The Wells Theatre Restoration

A fine example of early 1900s-era theaters, when ambience was as important as the shows presented, the Wells Theatre was in need of restoration to reclaim its historic grandeur.  The Virginia Stage Company purchased the theater and the adjacent Monroe Building and engaged Hanbury to restore the outer vestibule, lobby, and house. The facade of the theater was restored, and a new marquee replicates the original. Ornate plaster work throughout the theater was also restored and brought to life by paint colors discovered in the ceiling murals. 

Sight lines from the theater’s 650 seats were improved, as was the seat spacing, and seating is now available for people with physical disabilities. The stage and rigging were rebuilt, and there is now direct access to the scene shop from the stage. The adaptive use of office and retail space created additional lobby space, box offices, and circulation in the Wells’ two-story wing. The Monroe Building now houses expanded and improved support spaces; the two buildings are connected on two levels.
“Cosmetic surgery and skilled makeup artistry have transformed the Wells Theatre from an aging actress into a classic beauty.”
John Witt, Richmond Times-Dispatch

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