The Academy of Fine Arts (AFA) is in the midst of a $16.6 million capital campaign to complete the restoration of the historic Academy of Music Theatre, the final element in creating a three-building complex for the arts. When complete, the Academy of Fine Arts will include the restored 1905 Academy of Music Theatre, the Warehouse studio theatre, expanded art galleries, conference/meeting space, and an arts education center for instruction in a variety of disciplines, including art, pottery, music, photography and drama.
As one of the few surviving Beaux-Arts style theatres in Virginia, the Academy of Music Theatre is an important cultural landmark for the City of Lynchburg and the Commonwealth. Restoration of the historic theatre and completion of this project is almost universally regarded as the final key to the revitalization of downtown Lynchburg, serving as a magnet for continued economic development and enhancing the quality of life for Central Virginians.
The full integration of AFA properties will result in a restored 108 year-old theatre serving as a concert hall, conference center and host to numerous local arts organizations and touring theatre companies. Boasting exceptional acoustics and sight lines, and complete with modern amenities, the theatre will bring to the area some of the most prominent names in Jazz, Classical Music, Blues, Comedy, Country, Rock, Bluegrass, R&B, Dance and everything in between.
Construction is underway on the façade of the Academy of Music Theatre! Initial work began in February and the first visual element of the canopy is now completed. Steel framework was fabricated and installed as the first step. The structure will begin to take shape as the roof and cornice is installed, followed by the highly decorative glass flaps and globe fixtures, which will be fabricated locally by Lightsmith. This process will be complete by the end of April. Lightsmith will also reproduce the marquee, which will rest atop the canopy, planned for installation in late spring.
Virtual tour of the completed Academy of Music Theatre
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First Phase: (COMPLETED)
Acquisition and stabilization of the Academy of Music Theatre
Reconstruction of the Academy of Music Theatre's stage house and stage
Purchase of the Price Clemens Building (Arts & Education Center)
Creation of the 320-seat 5,000 square foot warehouse theatre
Creation of A&E studio, classroom, gallery and administrative spaces
Creation of the pottery studio
Purchase of the Lynchburg Gas Company Building (Administration building)
Renovation of Academy galleries
Completion of approximately 80% of architectural and engineering plans for the complex
Restoration of the Academy of Music Theatre to include:
historically accurate restoration of the theatre's Main Street facade to satisfy local, state and federal historic designation and historic tax credit requirements
historically appropriate interior restoration including recasting of original ornamental plasterwork, renewal of decorative painting and gilt work and reinstallation of the early side boxes
renovation of lobby, balconies, stairways, vaulted ceiling, lighting and casework
New construction of a two-story connector in the alleyway between the theatre and the AFA
administration building to expand lobby, gallery, concession and meeting spaces.