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National Theatre To Become Concert Hall

(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — Richmond, Virginia’s National Theatre has been sold to a group planning to restore the facility as a concert hall for acts that currently bypass the area.

The Historic Richmond Foundation sold the theater for nearly $1.6 million to RIC Capital Ventures, who plans to have the theater open by the end of 2006.

RIC Capital Ventures is affiliated with James River Entertainment, which produces the Innsbrook River After Hours concert series and Loudoun Summer Music Fest. James River will co-promote the venue with Rising Tide Productions of Norfolk, who’s recently restored 1,500-capacity theater NorVa is being used as a model for the National Theatre restoration.

The National Theatre, with its well-known Italian Renaissance-style façade, opened in 1923 for theatrical performances, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, but was later used as a movie house and renamed The Towne. It closed in 1983 and was slated for demolition when the Historic Richmond Foundation bought it in 1989.

The National will be one of two planned venues that could attract concerts that have been bypassing the city for stops at the NorVa and Washington, D.C.’s 9:30 Club. Toad’s Place Richmond, a planned 1,300-capacity venue, is expected to open in late spring. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers