Jefferson Theater

110 E. Main Street,
Charlottesville, VA 22902

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The Jefferson Theater (Official)

Additional Info

Architects: Claude Knox Howell, W.W. Keenan, William Harold Lee

Functions: Concerts

Styles: Greek Revival

Previous Names: Cinema Theater, Movie Palace

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 434.951.2246

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News About This Theater

The Jefferson in 1936

The Jefferson Theater was built in 1912 in a Greek Revival style by architect W.W. Keenan. (The building had previously been a bank built in 1901.)

Richmond architect C.K. Howell worked on the theatre after a 1915 fire. Philadelphia architect William H. Lee worked on the theatre at some time, likley the redesign of the facade in 1925, since it resembles his work.

In 1969, the Jefferson Theater was renamed Cinema Theater.

In January 1984, the Peanut Gallery balcony became its own auditorium, with 184 stadium seated seats and a movie screen 12.5 high x 23 feet wide. The main floor auditorium of 369 seats has a movie screen 12 feet high x 26.5 feet tall. Renamed The Movie Palace the theatre switched to second run movies because of competition from suburban multiplexes.

In 1993, the theatre returned to its original name, the Jefferson Theater.

The Jefferson Theater closed on June 15, 2006 for restoration and renovations to be carried out and re-opened onNovember 27, 2009.

Contributed by Brian Rostron

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

Patsy on February 14, 2006 at 12:33 pm

Just looked at the exterior photo with the marquee and vertical JEFFERSON sign which was there in the 40’s, but not today! I guess the 4 businessmen who bought the theatre and changed the name to THE CINEMA (now that’s creative) decided to make other changes, as well!

Patsy on February 14, 2006 at 12:33 pm

And when was the decision to TWIN it made?

aarfeld on April 13, 2008 at 11:45 pm

The theater was twined by enclosing the mezzanine in 1983. I took a peek in while the demo of the enclosures over the two balconies was taking place a year ago. It’s a spectacular view up to the top. Although work appears to have stalled for now, the theater will be a splendid intimate music venue when restoration is completed.

nonsportsnut on November 25, 2009 at 6:20 pm

The Three Stooges Fan Club is trying to verify the exact times/dates that The Three Stooges msde a personal appearance at the Jefferson. It was mentioned in a newspaper regarding the re-opening, but no dates were shown. Please email me,
Thanks, Frank Reighter

CSWalczak on April 8, 2010 at 8:03 am

An article about the restoration of the Jefferson and its history: View link

DavidZornig on June 24, 2017 at 9:13 pm

Mid `70’s photo as the Cinema Theater at the bottom of this link.

rivest266 on June 26, 2023 at 5:13 pm

Reopened October 1st, 1969 as Cinema. Ad posted.

rivest266 on June 26, 2023 at 5:50 pm

Correction : April 21st, 1978.

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