Information for this tour was contributed by Daniel Gibbs.
2001 would have been the 80th anniversary of the beautiful Colonial Theatre in Richmond, which was torn down back in 1992. Not the biggest or most ornate theatre in the world, but it was my personal favorite (well, OK, the Hippodrome in Baltimore could vie for the title of favorite, too). There was just something magical about it -- a very low-ceilinged lobby, arched underneath the stadium seating above. Then, instead of grand staircases, the Colonial had grand RAMPS -- huge, marble-lined ramps that swept up out of sight from that low lobby into unseen territory above. When it opened in 1921, there was no carpeting in the entire theatre aside from some rugs in the Tea Garden and the Georgian Smoking Room. The aisles of the auditorium, as well as the big ramps, were floored in marble. All this probably helped the theatre's rather underpowered little Morton organ -- only eight ranks of pipes to fill a 1900-seat house!
June 1992 photos from the John Lewis collection.
1921 photos from the Richmond Then and Now collection.
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