The Byrd Theatre (Hall of Fame Winner)
2908 W. Cary St.
Second place: Bowtie Cinemas
Third place: Cinebistro
Honorable mention: Regal Westchester Commons
The Byrd Theatre always makes the short list of things you have to visit if you’re in Richmond. Our historic movie palace is that stunningly beautiful – for film lovers, it’s like going to church. A French documentary praised it as one of the world’s great cinema palaces, and actor Crispin Glover once told Style that the Byrd was one of his favorite theaters in the world. He’s a well-traveled guy.
Built in 1928 and designed in the French empire style by architect Fred Bishop, the Byrd is known for its Wurlitzer organ, Italian and Turkish marble and massive 2.5-ton chandelier above. Run by the nonprofit Byrd Theatre Foundation, the theater remains closed due to the pandemic and no reopen date has been announced.
“We are monitoring the situation. In the meantime, we are doing everything we can to prepare for the reopening, with updated protocols, ensuring proper PPE and cleaning,” says spokeswoman Lisa Rogerson. “We are looking to partner with outdoor spaces this summer and into the fall to bring cinema into the community. We also have a wonderful collection of films available in our Virtual Screening Room. Renting a film via the screening room is a great way to support the theater as we receive a portion of the funds. While we are closed, donations are more important than ever.”
The Byrd named its first executive director, Stacy Shaw, who previously worked at the National Theater in D.C., earlier this month.