317 Monticello Avenue,
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The Norva (Official)
The Norva Theatre (which is named for Norfolk, Virginia) originally opened on November 27, 1922 with Thomas Meighan in “The Man Who Saw Tomorrow”. It was equipped with a Robert Morton organ which was opened by organist Professor Rossa, followed by organist Jack Griffith. It was Norfolk’s first true movie palace, and sat just over 2,000. Though nowhere near as ornate as Thomas W. Lamb’s Loew’s State Theatre, which opened four years later (now the Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center), the Norva Theatre nonetheless was the grande dame of Norfolk’s downtown movie houses for decades. Following its closure in the 1970’s, it was converted into the Downtown Athletic Club from 1980 to 1998.
After the revitalization of the long-dormant downtown Norfolk in recent years, including the old long-closed Norva Theatre, the former movie palace was transformed into the city’s most popular and exciting concert venue.
Offering three levels and around 1,500 seats, with excellent acoustics, high-tech sound and lighting, and an industrial appearance inside (though the exterior, including its marquee, retain their 1920’s appearance), the Norva Theatre has become of the THE place in Norfolk to see and be seen.
Every sort of musical genre from punk to R & B, heavy metal to dance and everything in between has been featured on the Norva Theatre’s large stage.
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