Wells Theater

108 E. Tazewell Street,
Norfolk, VA 23514

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Related Websites

The Virginia Stage Company (Official)

Additional Info

Architects: E.C. Horne

Firms: E.C. Horne & Sons

Functions: Live Theater

Styles: Beaux-Arts

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 757.627.6988

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News About This Theater

Wells Theater

The Wells Theater was opened on August 26, 1913 by Jake and Otto Wells. The theater enjoyed early success with live stage performances. In 1916, a movie screen was installed, and by the beginning of World War II, burleseque had joined the repertoire. In the 1960’s, the Wells Theater became an X-rated movie house.

A decade later, The Virginia Stage Company moved into the Wells Theatre in 1979 and, in 1986, completed a $3.5 million restoration, resulting in this the theater’s designation as a National Historic Landmark.

Contributed by Brett England

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Patsy on December 19, 2004 at 8:03 pm

That’s what we like to read “completed a $3.5 million restoration, resulting in this theater’s designation as a National Historic Landmark.” The photo shows a beautiful facade and thank goodness the x-rated movie house era ended for this theater!

ghamilton on April 6, 2005 at 5:17 pm

Downtown Norfolk is a pretty decent place with so many old bldgs and the big mall right across from this theater.Where else can you shop at Nordstroms,go on a real battleship,take a harbor cruise,a broadway play and then go up the street a little to a great club in another old theater in one day?

kdb2 on November 30, 2005 at 8:37 am

I went to the Wells in 1960 or 1961 and saw King Kong. It had lots of empty seats and was apparently used at that time by the homosexual community as a pick up spot.

wurlitzer on February 12, 2006 at 7:39 am

Does anyone know whatever happened to the old Kimball Theatre Pipe Organ from 1919??

Local619 on April 17, 2006 at 2:14 pm

I went to the Wells Theatre in 1959 or 1960. Saw a western double feature, Bob Hope western? It was a grand old Palace on hard times. Sat in the balcony. I was 11 or 12 years old and didn’t notice any unusual behavior, if I saw any I didn’t know to notice.

SethG on June 14, 2022 at 5:25 pm

Address is 108.

rivest266 on July 9, 2022 at 2:03 pm

Grand opening ad posted.

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