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Richmond BizSense Reporting the Sale of Samis Grotto

They hope to begin repairs and construction this summer.




The iconic building in the Bellevue neighborhood could see some dramatic changes.

Details on Richmond BizSense.

The former Samis Grotto Temple at 4028 MacArthur Ave. has sold to developers and real estate investors Ben Adamson and Alex Griffith for $300,000.

Originally built as the Bellevue Theater in 1937, the building was most recently a Masonic lodge for the local chapter of Grottoes International. Adamson and Griffith are planning a mixed-use conversion of the Art Deco structure with approximately 10 apartments above ground-floor commercial space.

Adamson, a developer and general contractor who owns Corinthian Construction, said in recent years the building has sat vacant and begun to fall into disrepair.

“It’s not in great condition. The roof went bad and started leaking inside,” he said. “It’s just full of wet debris.”


Previous Post – Richmond Then and Now: Bellevue Theater, A then and now snapshot of Richmond.

The two pictures above are from Cinema Treasures and the one below from RTD ArchivesThe Jungle Princess is a 1936 American adventure film directed by Wilhelm Thiele starring Dorothy Lamour and Ray Milland. Tropic Holiday was released in 1938 also starring Dorothy Lamour. With no evidence to support this claim, I can’t help but wonder if our unknown photographer was a Dorothy Lamour fan.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.