More big corporate dollars will help fund the makeover of Richmond’s Landmark Theater.
The City of Richmond and CenterStage Foundation announced Thursday evening that the non-profit had secured a $2 million donation from Richmond-based utility giant Dominion Resources to help fund the continued renovation of the 85-year-old theater.
Mayor Dwight Jones and Dominion chief executive Tom Farrell showed up downtown at the Carpenter Theatre to announce the donation to the $50 million Landmark renovation project, which kicked off in July.
The announcement marks the second big donation toward work on the theater from Richmond’s corporate world. Altria donated $10 million to the project this summer to CenterStage, securing the naming rights to the building. The theater will be renamed the Altria Theatre in October.
Dominion’s money will give it naming rights to the theater’s stage.
Jones said a renovated theatre would mean big bucks for downtown business.
“This is going to create millions of dollars in revenue for local business,” Jones said. “I’ve heard people when they come to the Landmark that they haven’t been to the city in years. These are people from places like Henrico and Chesterfield. It brings people into the city, and when they come here they spend money.”
The city, which owns the theater that sits on North Laurel Street in the heart of the VCU Monroe Park campus, allocated $14 million for the renovations.
At a news conference after Thursday’s announcement, which took place before a 7 p.m. performance of “The Nutcracker,” Farrell said that Richmond CenterStage still needs to raise $8 million to complete the Landmark’s renovations and establish a foundation for it.
CenterStage Foundation operates both the Landmark and the Carpenter theaters.
Farrell sits at the head of the Richmond Performing Arts Council, a wholly owned for-profit subsidiary of the CenterStage Foundation. RPAC is acting as the developer for the Landmark renovations.
The renovations are being funded, in part, by historic tax credits.
RPAC hired the Rhode Island-based firm Gilbane as general contractor. The architect on the project is the Massachusetts-based Wilson Butler Architects.