Robinson Theater, Virginia

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Exterior view of the rehabilitated Robinson Theater.
After standing vacant for almost two decades, the historic Robinson Theater in Richmond, Virginia, shines brightly once again. Built in 1937 for the African American community in the city’s Church Hill neighborhood, the theater was named for Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, an early 20th century African American actor and tap dancer and a Richmond native.
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Top: Exterior before rehabilitation; Bottom: Interior view of the theater.
After the theater closed in the 1980s, its iconic marquee was removed. A $1.2 million rehabilitation returned this Art Deco community landmark its former glory. The highlight of the rehabilitation is the restoration of the theater marquee, which was based on historic photographs of the building. The new marquee marks the entrance to the new Robinson Theater Community Arts Center, once again serving as a performing arts venue for the historic Church Hill neighborhood.