Brookland Theatre

115 W. Brookland Park Boulevard,
Richmond, VA 23222

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Additional Info

Architects: Fred A. Bishop

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Brookland Theatre

The Brookland Theatre opened on January 29, 1925 with Richard Barthelmess in “Classmates”. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual 9 Ranks organ. It was closed sometime in the 1950’s.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm

Good for you. You are okay in my book. I know its trespassing,and i would never do it to closed up Circuit City, But movie theatres,I have been real lucky to find an exit door open.

cmastersin on August 17, 2010 at 1:39 am

The original 3-9 Wurlitzer lays disassembled in an unfinished theater room at a private residence within spitting distance so to speak, of the Brookland! The owner of the organ, is rather well known around here, but he has grown ill in his older years, and likely will never finish the project. I visited him last fall, and have about sixty pictures of the organ. It’s apart, right in the room he personally built on his home, specifically intended for it, that has chambers, swell shade openings, etc.that he himself made, when he built the house, many years ago.The Wurlitzer presently lacks its toy counter and remote piano, but is otherwise complete.It was moved early in it’s life to a Church on Broad Street, right on Theater Row, which later was demolished, along with MOST of Theater Row; in the name of “urban renewal” He saved the organ and personally disassembled it and moved it to his home.He was a wholesale jewelry/ watch reapairman with a shop, for many a year, next door to the Byrd Theater, on Cary Street. In the day, he helped maintain the Byrd’s 4-17 Wurlitzer, which, incidentally still plays EVERY Saturday night, with it’s original relay, as it has for about 83 years! I know, because, being 59 and widowed, my Saturday night fun is usually going to the Byrd, and hanging out in the projection room with Bill and the house organist, Bob Gulledge, before the show. I contribute whatever I can, to the survival of the original installation “Mighty Wurlitzer”, at the Byrd. Now, that 3-9; from the Brookland, needs to be re-leathered, cleaned, refinished, and assembled, in order to speak again. Sad it could not return to the Brookland, but its so highly doubtful, that theatre will EVER re-open, I just wish he would DONATE it to a movie palace in need of a theater organ, so it may be enjoyed again. I have kept his name confidential, although everybody in the industry around here, knows exactly of whom I speak, as so he will not be disturbed unduly, in the winter of his life. He’s a wonderful man, and has so much knowledge that will go with him, when it’s his time,to go to Heaven. When I visited him, his knowledge, skills, and passion for theater organs awe struck me, and has earned my respect, and remembrance, for as long as I live.

kvkitsch on March 22, 2011 at 3:02 pm

The current owner for the property can be found through public records (which I was able to do easily, and although I was tempted to post the information, I am honoring zmaster’s previous post). I’m wondering if the Wurlitzer owner mentioned in zmaster’s post is the same as the owner of the building (since the current property owner also happens to live in spitting distance of the old theater, so to speak).

Here is a picture found in public records, although I do not know how recent it is.

If the Wurlitzer owner is the same as the Brookland Theater owner, and if he is indeed in the winter of his life, there is a slim to none chance he will consider selling the Brookland Theater and it will most likely be bequeathed to a surviving relative… which is a shame because there are those of us with the funding power who would love to see this place restored.

cmastersin on March 22, 2011 at 3:29 pm

I am told that the theater owner is not the same person as the Wurlitzer organ owner, just to clear up the matter

cmastersin on March 22, 2011 at 3:31 pm

if you have loose available, you also could consider helping the Byrd Theater foundation. Just a thought

rvanorthside on November 29, 2012 at 10:00 am

Good news! There is interest in getting the Brookland Theatre open again. A large group turned out Tuesday night to discuss its future.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 16, 2013 at 12:32 am

The permit for the Brookland Theatre was issued in 1924. It was designed by architect Fred A. Bishop.

CHague on December 21, 2013 at 3:08 pm

The 3/9 Wurlitzer has been moved to New Jersey and hopefully will be restored. I was privileged to assist in the move of the instrument and meet the owner of the private residence where the organ had been stored since the late 1960s. The current owner of the organ would like to see it re-installed in its original location.

chicagopaul on April 7, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Would cmastersin please contact me about Brookland Theater Organ Pictures at ? Thank you!

rivest266 on September 28, 2022 at 2:04 pm

The Brookland theatre opened on January 29th, 1925 and closed in 1957.

It reopened on August 22nd, 1969, as the Brookland adult theatre and closed in 1984.

Grand opening ads posted.

Brookland Theatre openingBrookland Theatre opening 29 Jan 1925, Thu The Times Dispatch (Richmond, Virginia)

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