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Altria Theatre

"This Theater, ranking high among the ten greatest in the United States, has been built and will be operated as ‘Richmond’s Own Theater.’" Source: Opening Night Program, October 28, 1927.

Following seven years of planning and two years of construction, the Mosque Theater opened on that Autumn evening more than 80 years ago with the farewell performance of opera legend Madame Ernestine Schumann-Heink.

The Mosque Theater was the 1918 brainchild of Clinton L. Williams, Potentate of the ACCA Temple, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. Williams felt his fraternal organization had outgrown its meeting place, so he set out to build a venue that would outshine any other Shriner facility, and thus would create an entertainment palace for the City of Richmond. Designed by architects Marcellus Wright, Sr., Charles M. Robinson and Charles Custer Robinson, the original plans included a 4,600 seat theater, four lounges, six lobbies, 18 dressing rooms, 42 hotel rooms, a gymnasium, locker rooms, a pool, a three-lane bowling alley, offices and a restaurant called “The Mosque Grill”. The theater’s construction price tag was $1.65 million.

The City purchased the Mosque from the Shriners in 1940 and a 1994-95 renovation restored its splendor. One of the best known and most striking buildings in Richmond, the Altria also ranks among the City’s most popular stages for theatrical and musical performances. Some of America’s greatest entertainers have appeared on stage beneath its towering minarets and desert murals. Known for its excellent acoustics, the Altria now offers seating for 3,565. The Altria ballroom is also host of numerous gala affairs and the ballroom has a capacity of 1,000 and a seated capacity of 600.

Richmond’s Altria Theater is located to the west of downtown Richmond, across from historic Monroe Park. The City of Richmond owned theater is nestled in the middle of the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University and it now plays host to a variety of events including Broadway productions, The Richmond Forum, concerts, comedians, children’s theater, lectures, school commencements and fashion shows.

6 N Laurel St, Richmond, VA 23220

Place Type

Theatre

Phone

800-514-3849

Website

altriatheater.com

Twitter

@@AltriaTheaterVA

Instagram

@altriatheatreva

Upcoming Events

The Richmond Forum Presents Captain Scott Kelly
11/17 8pm

“LESSONS FROM A YEAR IN SPACE”—During his record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station, U.S. astronaut Captain Scott Kelly captivated the...

The Richmond Forum Presents Tina Fey
1/19/2019 8pm

“FUNNY YOU SHOULD ASK: A CONVERSATION WITH TINA FEY”—Tina Fey rarely stands still, much less sits down. But in January, the acclaimed actress, comedian,...

The Richmond Forum Presents Dr. Sanjay Gupta
2/23/2019 8pm

“BATTLE SCARS: MEDICINE IN TIMES OF WAR AND DISASTER”—A practicing neurosurgeon, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is also a medical correspondent who has reported from the...

The Richmond Forum Presents Ian Bremmer
3/23/2019 8pm

“A GEOPOLITICAL SURVEY: 2019”—The creator of Wall Street’s first global political risk index and the founder and president of Eurasia Group, Ian Bremmer is...

The Richmond Forum Presents Dr. Temple Grandin
4/27/2019 8pm

“THE WAY I SEE IT: A PERSONAL LOOK AT AUTISM AND ASPERGER'S”—Temple Grandin is an international lecturer on autism, a professor of animal science at Colorado...

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