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Arts & Entertainment

Byrd Theatre to dedicate Reinhard Auditorium following major donation

The Reinhart family recently provided a $500,000 donation to the Foundation – the largest gift in the Foundation’s history – to pay down the Foundation’s mortgage and establish several new initiatives.

Trevor Dickerson



The Byrd Theatre Foundation will host a formal Dedication of The Reinhart Auditorium at the Byrd Theatre, on Thursday, May 9th following a large gift.

The Reinhart family recently provided a $500,000 donation to the Foundation – the largest gift in the Foundation’s history. The event will draw government officials, civic and corporate leaders and community to the theatre to honor the Reinhart family and to hear about the current phase of preservation, program expansion and capacity-building evolving at the Byrd. The Dedication is part of a year-long celebration of the Byrd’s 90th anniversary.

Ted Haynes, President of the Board of Directors, called the gift significant. “The entire community will benefit from this extraordinary investment in Richmond’s beloved and historic movie palace,” he said. “The Reinhart family was inspired by the progress on preservation and programs, and by the vision and strategic plan for the Byrd to become a major film literacy center.”

The gift will be used to reduce the mortgage on the theatre; to establish an opportunity fund to develop more mission-based programming; and to expand access, audience and capacity in human resources over time – all part of Phase Two initiatives underway. Phase Two will capitalize on the Byrd as an experience, a historic and cultural resource, and as a museum of cinema, based on its unique collection of historic film equipment, projectors, and the Wurlitzer organ. To launch the effort, The Mary Morton Parsons Foundation has awarded the Byrd a $250,000 challenge grant.

The Byrd Theatre Foundation is also expanding partnerships with universities, film networks, and other community business partners to develop additional educational and enriching film series. A total of $2.5 million is estimated for Phase Two enhancements. Phase One raised $1.5 million for a new roof, major systems upgrades, new center seats, and other improvements.

The mission of the organization is to expand the big screen experience, celebrate the art of cinema and preserve Virginia’s grand motion picture palace, with a vision to elevate the Byrd’s landmark position among American theaters as a center for film that continues to provide the broadest possible public access to exceptional cinematic experiences.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.