Attucks Theatre

1010 Church Street,
Norfolk, VA 23501

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Attucks Theatre (Official)

Additional Info

Previously operated by: Lichtman Theatres

Architects: Harvey Nathaniel Johnson, Charles Thaddeus Russell

Functions: Movies (Film Festivals), Performing Arts

Previous Names: Booker-T Theater, Crispus Attucks Cultural Center

Phone Numbers: Box Office: 757.622.4763

Nearby Theaters

Attucks Theatre ... Norfolk Virginia

The Attucks Theater has been a landmark for the African-American community since it was built in 1919. It is the oldest theater in Virginia built, owned, operated, and maintained entirely by African-Americans. Originally seating was provided for 835. In 1925 a Robert-Morton 2 manual, 3 rank theatre organ was installed.

The City of Norfolk supported a $6 million dollar renovation with the Crispus Attucks Cultural Center, Inc. The Crispus Attucks Cultural Center reopened in 2009, the current seating capacity is 624. It offers a wide range of community and cultural and cultural activities. Other uses include meet, banquet and reception facilities.

Contributed by Brett England

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

jeffconn on February 7, 2005 at 3:01 pm

The Attucks was called the Booker T at one time. I’m not sure if that is the original name, though.

BRAAB on February 18, 2005 at 10:55 pm

Two years ago, Armin Schallermeir, Project Superintendent for VIRTEXCO Corp., Bill Hickmann of NRHA, George Falkner, Project Architect of Livas Group and myself stood in the center of the auditorium of the theater. Plaster was hanging off rusted lath, paint was peeling off walls, pigeons flew thru openings in the roof, the balcony was barley stable, and the roof timbers were ready to fall in at any moment.

After two years of hard work involving many long hours of work and sleepless nights, the four of us were able to sit in that same auditorium and for the first time, realized the magnitude of what we were all a part of. Watching a performance where actors and musicians such as Duke Ellington once played, you really begin to understand the richness that the Theater has to offer to generations to come.

Rarely does the opportunity come along to be involved in such event as rebuilding and returning a building such as the Attucks Theater to its former beauty. I will be forever grateful for such an opportunity.

Brennan Raab
Project Manager, VIRTEXCO Corp.

BRAAB on February 18, 2005 at 11:05 pm

The Restoration of the Attucks Theater has been awarded the 2004 National Award for Excellence in Construction by the Association of Builders and Contractors for renovations between $2 Million and $10 Million.

ghamilton on April 7, 2005 at 1:10 am

The theater once stood in a thriving and neat commercial area of shops and eateries.Seeing it sit alone and derelict for so long is just sad.Richmond has a similar area that still survives somewhat with a theater also.Both areas are victims of the same phenom.-the fleeing of middle-class blacks out of the inner city.The big difference in the two areas is the curse of “urban-renewal"passed the Richmond neighborhood by-although it did hit some other parts of Richmond with horrible results.(still hitting Richmond-drive down Broad St.)

ghamilton on April 7, 2005 at 1:12 am

The picture just shows the street front,not the big bulk of the bldg.Which brings up the seat figure.It looks like it would hold a lot more than 675 .

spectrum on October 18, 2009 at 7:50 pm

Check out their webpage! They’re open! A busy schedule of concerts and performing arts is listed. The auditorium has been beautifully restored with a pink and blue color scheme. Looks great!

flightmatron on February 4, 2012 at 4:53 am

I remember this theater as the Booker T. I saw many stage shows there, as well as Saturday morning serials. I’m glad to see it thriving again.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on April 1, 2012 at 3:24 pm

As mentioned before, a Robert-Morton Theater Pipe Organ was installed in this theatre in 1925. It was a 2/3 (manual/rank keyboards/units of pipes). The Robert Morgan Organ Company, home of the “Wonder Morton” was located in Van Nuys, California and was the number two volume producer of theatre organs, building about half as many as the industry leader WurliTzer. “Robert Morton” wasn’t a person, rather the first names of a major stockholders sons.

Does anyone know what happened to the organ?


From Manteno, Illinois, Mile Post 47

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 10, 2020 at 9:06 am

Architect Harvey Nathaniel Johnson designed the Attucks Theatre in collaboration with his mentor, Charles Thaddeus Russell, the first African American to establish an architectural practice in Richmond. The theater was one of several projects on which Johnson and Russell collaborated.

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