2018 State of The Byrd

Letter From the President

Gibson Worsham

The vision to restore and establish the Byrd Theatre as the premier community supported film center for Central Virginia is laid out in six key pillars of the Strategic Plan:

  • Organizational Stability
  • Defining the Byrd Experience
  • Restoration and Renovation of the Theatre
  • Programming and Partnership
  • Growing the Byrd Community
  • Creating a Center for Film and Film Literacy

Dear Friends,
If time travel was possible outside of the movies, and we could bring the Richmonders who watched the first “talkies” to the present-day Byrd Theatre, I’m sure they would be thrilled to discover that the Byrd is stronger than ever — ready for another 90 years.

The Byrd is beloved in a way that outshines our great programing, our tasty concessions, and our amazing decorated interior. It is a community, and it encloses the collective memories of nine decades of shared experiences, with the promise of many more. I would like to thank all of you who supported the Byrd Theatre Foundation in 2017. The enhancements to our programming and facilities are only possible with your contributions. You are the true superheroes of the Byrd Theatre!

Even if you are a regular member of our audience, I think you’ll be amazed at everything that takes place in our beautiful theater. We entertain with award-winning second-run and classic movies, organ performances, curated special programs, and family films on weekend mornings. We pair films with discussions that inform and engage our audiences — sharing insights on a range of topics and social issues. We partner with, and serve, our community — hosting film festivals, concerts, tributes, celebrations, and, every now and then, a marriage proposal.

We want everyone to enjoy the Byrd! I am proud to say that the Byrd Theatre is accessible to people with disabilities for the first time since opening in 1928. We’ve installed a wheelchair accessible seating area and an ADA restroom off the lobby. These are an important step in making the Byrd welcoming to all. 2017 was a significant year at the Byrd as we began replacing seats at the theatre – a highly anticipated event. Audiences are enjoying the more comfortable seats in the center section on the main floor, and in 2018, we will continue raising funds for the two side sections. Improvements were also made to the men’s room on the first floor with new sinks and new wall and floor tiles.

In addition to more seats, future restoration plans include renovations to the women’s room on the first floor, improvements to the concession area, the addition of hearing and visual assistive technology, and restoration of the loge or front of the balcony. We will be working with Martinez and Johnson, a leading architectural firm that focuses on historic theater restoration.

Volunteers are essential to improving the Byrd experience for our audiences. Last year, they contributed to a total of 10,500 volunteer hours spent on restoring, improving, and promoting the Byrd. We rely on the commitment of our volunteer board and committee members as well as students from James River High School who welcome people to the Byrd on Saturday mornings, handing out program flyers and serving coffee.

Our progress would not be possible without the support of our generous audiences, donors, and volunteers, and our dedicated staff and board members. We are grateful for your contributions to Virginia’s Grand Motion Picture Palace. Thank you, again, for being a part of the growing Byrd community.


Gibson Worsham
President of the Board
Byrd Theatre Foundation

Restoration Progress

New seats for the first time since the theatre opened in 1928!

Old theatre seating
New theatre seating

First step was removal of the original seats (above). Mushroom vents under the seats had to be relocated because the space between rows was increased, leave the vents exposed. The new seats (below right) were installed in October. The end pieces (below left) were restored and repainted to their original colors.

Honorary seat plaques

After 90 years, seats have been replaced!

The Byrd Theatre Foundation was thrilled to give audiences the one thing they valued most: new seats. The center section of seats on the main floor were in place last October, thanks to our supportive community of donors. The process took about five months in part due to vent and flooring work. The new seats are wider and the rows are farther apart, giving everyone a little more legroom. The seat end caps (shown above left) were restored to their original paint colors. Additionally, a wheelchair accessible seating section was created at the back of the auditorium, allowing the Byrd to welcome people with physical disabilities for the first time in its history. The Foundation is proud of this milestone and excited to continue the restoration with the installation of new seats in the side sections next year.

Name a Seat at the Byrd

The Byrd held a campaign to sponsor a new seat with a plaque that honors or memorializes family or friends, a favorite movie or Byrd experience. This campaign is currently closed as the plaques are being placed on seats.

We plan to start a new Name a Seat campaign when work on the next phase of seat replacements begin.

Improving facilities and making the Byrd welcoming to all.

ADA family bathroom
Mens bathroom

Top photograph: The new ADA family restroom on the main floor off the lobby.

Above: New sinks and new floor and wall tiles were installed in the men’s room on the main floor.

Below: The main floor men’s room before the renovations.

Old mens bathroom

Restoration Master Plan


  • Replacement of the roof
  • Replacement of the theater’s heating and cooling system
  • Installation of a digital server to add digital as well as traditional films
  • Installation of a new state-of-the-art, 4K projector
  • Ongoing maintenance and repairs on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ
  • Repair and restoration of the theatre’s historic plasterwork
  • Installation of a point-of-sale system at the theater
  • Restoration of the theatre’s center section of seats in the main auditorium
  • Creation of a wheelchair accessible seating area in the main auditorium
  • Construction of an ADA family restroom on the first floor of the theatre


  • ADA Hearing Assistance, Descriptive Audio & Closed Captioning Renovation of the lobby level women’s toilet room with possible ADA stall
  • Concession Stand improvements with possible beer service
  • Study of “multi-purpose” room on Mezzanine Level/Upper Foyer
  • Main level house left and right seating replacement with existing standards
  • Main level house left and right repair and rehabilitation of concrete floor
  • Main level house left and right relocation of HVAC mushroom devices
  • Carpet replacement house far left and far right
  • Study of Balcony Loge seating replacement and configuration for VIP table service for possible inclusion
  • Restoration of the harp
  • Stagehouse & Lighting System Improvements
  • Mechanical Improvements
  • Electrical Improvements
  • Replace fire alarm system
  • New house PA system
  • Exterior Repair Improvements

Expansion of Facilities for Growth Now Under Study:

  • Additional screens
  • Office space
  • Storage
  • Elevator

2017: By the Numbers

2017 Expenses

2017 Revenues

due to the programming expansion of classic film series
patrons visited the theater in 2017
volunteer hours spent working with the Foundation to deliver the Byrd experience
community partners worked with the theatre to create valuable public events in 2017
represents the Byrd Theatre’s economic impact on the Richmond and Tri-Cities Region, based on findings from the Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 impact study conducted by American for the Arts

Thank you to our 2017 Supporters

The Foundation is grateful for the support so many individuals and organization in 2016. We regret any unintentional error or omissions from this list.

The Annual Fund


  • Anonymous
  • Brian Baird and Katherine Laybourn
  • Brett Carreras
  • Center of the Universe Brewing Company
  • Citizen Burger
  • Sallie and Richard Cross
  • JoAnne Draucker and Jim Thompson
  • Durham Foundation
  • Ted and Jean Haynes
  • George and Joan Maughan
  • Owens & Minor
  • The Reinhart Foundation
  • Marian Schutrumpf
  • Jim Shew and Daniela Wyatt-Shew
  • Mary Ellen Stumpf
  • Thompson McMullan
  • Bob and Holly Ulrich Fund of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia
  • Rick and Lane Witthoefft

PROMENADE $250-$499

  • Ms. Page W. Bauder—In Memory of my family and friends who shared evenings at the Byrd
  • Mr. and Mrs. Orran Lee Brown John and Sarah Charlet
  • Fred Danz
  • Mr. Charles Davidson
  • Marie de Percin
  • Mark and Joni Dray
  • Mr. and Mrs. James Forsythe
  • Chris and Cheryl Guedri
  • Michael Kennedy—In Honor of Todd Schall-Vess
  • Loughridge & Company, LLC—In Honor of Melissa Loughridge Savenko
  • Pacific 2.1 Entertainment Group, Inc.
  • Margaret Pfohl
  • Robert and Mary Pierce
  • Rick Pleasants—In Memory of George R. Stitzer
  • Janet Lundy and Mark Ryan
  • Jed and Janice Thomas
  • Dr. and Mrs. C. Kent Titus
  • VA Comicon
  • Dr. John Warkenton
  • Elise Wickham
  • Mr. and Mrs. G. Nelson Williams
  • John and Bucci Zeugner

PATRONS $100-$249

  • Anonymous
  • Ms. Janet L. Adams
  • The Honorable Parker Agelasto, Richmond City Council, 5th District
  • Charles and Sally Ayers
  • Wesley Ball
  • Robert and Gayle Barber
  • Scott and Nancy Belleman
  • Glen Besa
  • Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bliley
  • Mr. J. Richard Bragg
  • Ms. Doris Brody
  • Ms. Louise G. Coldwell
  • Dr. and Mrs. Robert Cone
  • Mayme Donohue
  • Tom and Lyn Emory
  • Tomeco Fields
  • Jerry and Nancy Finch
  • Ms. Dianna Gabay-Selby
  • J. Todd and Tina Graham
  • Mary Lee Haase
  • Mrs. Phoebe Hall
  • Terrell and Elliott Harrigan
  • Beth and Lowrey Holthaus Gregory Johnson
  • Erik Jones
  • Sharon Kelley
  • Richard and Nancy Krider
  • Mr. Bart Lacks
  • John and Vickie Levy
  • Dr. and Mrs. Marci Linas
  • Matthew Logan and Margaret Reed—In Honor of Margaret Reed
  • Catherine Lukaszewicz
  • The Lumpkin Family Foundation
  • Jane Martin
  • Joseph McVey
  • Robert J. Meckes
  • Mr. W.F. Michie III
  • Mr. and Mrs. Ken Morgan
  • Mr. William Motley, Jr.
  • Ms. Seung-Hee Nah
  • Missy Neff
  • North Park Band Booster Club
  • Ms. Nan Ottenritter
  • Mr. Charles Pearman—In Memory Of Charles C. Pearman, Jr.
  • Phil Pollack
  • Monroe Porter
  • Dastgir and Mary Jo Qureshi
  • Michael Raff
  • Linda Lee Redmond, PhD
  • Paula Rhoads
  • Catherine Rolfe
  • Mary Sadler
  • Kay Schlembach
  • James and Harriet Schnell
  • Dorothy Schoeneman
  • Mindi Seidel—In Memory of my Parents and Grandparents
  • Stephanie Shaw
  • Robert Sprague
  • Paul and Nancy Springman
  • Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Straus
  • Alan Stringer
  • Karen and Jerry Swerling
  • Margaret Vadas
  • Patricia Vastano
  • Mr. Ben Watson III
  • Merideth and Ley Watson—In Memory of Rev. M. Johns Gray
  • Mary Kay Williams
  • Ms. Jennifer Wright


  • Anonymous
  • Ms. Jacquelyn Brooks
  • Guy and Elizabeth Adamson
  • Liz Aucello
  • Scott and Sandi Bergman
  • Glen Besa
  • Ms. Eugenia Borum
  • John Brainard
  • Eric Brakman
  • Mrs. Carlisle Branch—In Memory of Ann Nicholson
  • Bennie Breece—In Honor of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Cross
  • George Ann and Stuart Broth
  • Wiliam Burch
  • Donald O. Spec Campen, Jr.
  • Courtenay Cann
  • Ms. Martha Chick
  • Beverly Chinnis
  • Linda Coile
  • Frona and Alan Colker
  • Ms. Harriett Condrey
  • Deborah and Michael Cooke
  • Mr. Carl Craig
  • Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Curley
  • William Curry
  • Emily Dandridge
  • Guylaine DesRosier and Barry Long
  • Crystal Dickinson
  • Patricia Doniger
  • Chris Eklund
  • David Esposito
  • Clark Evans
  • Debbie and Miles Fagan
  • John and Teresa Festa
  • Mr. and Mrs. George Flowers III
  • Linda Gardner
  • Lizette Gecel
  • Karen Gerard
  • Thomas Goode
  • Drs. Jon and Linda Halstead
  • Merelyn Hammett
  • Daniel Harman—In Honor of Jesus Christ
  • Ms. Lisa Hearl—In Memory of Bootsie Donati
  • David and Cadence Heden—In Honor of Kathryn Stephens
  • Victoria Heller—In Memory of Ann Nicholson Adamson
  • Sharon Hill
  • Diana Hollett
  • Mr. and Mrs. Christopher Howell—In Memory of Ann Nicholson Adamson
  • Roberta Jones
  • Mark and Erin Kenny
  • Tracy Labin
  • Robert Lamb
  • Mr. and Mrs. H. Pettus LeCompte
  • Richard Liles—In Memory of Ann Nicholson
  • Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Mackell
  • Betty Mann—In Memory of Dixie Glass Mertens
  • Maureen Miller
  • J. Grant Mizell III
  • Mr. and Mrs. John Mizell, Jr.—In Honor of Grant and April Mizell
  • Kevin and Jeanine Mooren
  • Deane and Frank Mountcastle
  • Sean Murray
  • George and Nilsa Nan
  • Felipe Nascimento
  • John Nelson
  • Carol and Ron New
  • Donna and Jeffrey Patrick
  • Trish Pettus
  • Mr. and Mrs. Ralph Puccinelli
  • Deanne Ralston and Andre Bailey
  • John Ritz
  • Robin Seagraves
  • Maria and John Shugars
  • L.E. Singletary
  • Ronald Skinner
  • Mr. and Mrs. Scott Slagley
  • Dana Smiddy
  • Chrishawn Spackman
  • Robert Spiers, Jr.
  • Dick and Susan Stephens—In Memory of Kathryn Alice Stephens
  • Ms. Elizabeth Stevenson
  • Reeve Stimpson
  • Karen and Jerry Swerling
  • Nyssa Thongthai—In Honor of Haggis the Cat
  • Mr. & Mrs. Robert Turnbull
  • Ms. Katy Vess—In Memory of David “Bear” Vess
  • Carla and Jack Vipperman—In memory of Margaret Lacy
  • Ms. Kay Wason
  • John Watt
  • Lisa Webster—In memory of Shirley Webster
  • Erik and Patricia Weems Sue Welsh
  • G. Scott and Leigh H. White
  • Elise Wickham—In Memory of Ann Nicholson Adamson
  • Charles Wilson—In Honor Of Mike Richardson
  • Benjamin Wood
  • Wendy Wurlitzer and Bruce Evans—In Memory of Prescott Wurlitzer
  • Joe Yates


  • Bank of America Charitable Foundation Matching Gifts
  • Dominion Foundation Matching Grant Program
  • The Benevity Community Impact Fund
  • The Cameron Foundation
  • Wells Fargo Matching Gifts Program

Seat Sponsors

  • Chad Anderson
  • Mitchell Anscher
  • Darek Atkinson
  • Brian Baird and Katherine Laybourn
  • Bellamah Family Gift Fund
  • Scott and Nancy Belleman
  • Paul Betz
  • The Bob Foundation
  • Nancy Booker
  • Mr. J. Richard Bragg
  • Amanda Brennan
  • Cynthia and Gary Brittain
  • Bree Brostko
  • James Browne
  • Lloyd Bryant
  • Kenneth Byrd
  • Donald O. Spec Campen, Jr.
  • Keith and Pam Carney
  • Carol Caudill
  • Carlisle Childress
  • Sandra H. Christian
  • Gail Christie
  • M. Alex Meredith and H. Ruth Clemo Meredith
  • Andrea Coley
  • Mary L. Colfer
  • Amy Comstock
  • Joel Coulter
  • Marc Cram
  • Susan and Cecil Creasey
  • Beau Cribbs
  • Mary Dadisman
  • Mr. Martin Davenport
  • Mr. Brian Davis
  • Mary Jo Deeb
  • Morgan Dehaven
  • Joel Dexter
  • Clinton Diehl
  • Tess Dixon
  • Susan Doyle
  • Dunbar Milby Williams Pittman & Vaughan
  • Jacob Dyer
  • Norman Eddleton
  • John Evans
  • Welby Fairlie
  • Catherine Flynn
  • Mary Foust
  • Shelton Fraher
  • Devon Gallagher
  • Karen Gerard
  • Joseph and Emily Gianfortoni
  • Kelly Gottschalk
  • Robert and Joanne Gulledge
  • Warren Hall
  • Yvette Hayes
  • Jason Hilton
  • Christina Hirt
  • Ann Neil Holden
  • Chris Houlihan
  • Katherine Hubbard
  • Cecilia Hull
  • Ame Hull
  • Mid Atlantic Studio Mechanics and Broadcast Technicians, IATSE Local 487
  • Cameron Jackson
  • Dane Jackson
  • Robert Jones
  • Charles and JoLee Kenney
  • Frances Kimbrough
  • Dee Knaggs
  • Jonathan Knopf
  • Charles Kramer
  • Matthew Lessick
  • Wilson Little
  • Loughridge & Company, LLC
  • Michele Mandell
  • Jared Marek
  • Beth Marschak
  • Cheryl Marschak
  • Alex and Aimee Martin
  • Joe and Bobby May
  • Tracy Mazzoni
  • James McConville
  • Anne McCracken
  • Amanda Meadows
  • Ms. Ethel Melton
  • David Mills and Jennifer McClellan
  • Katherine Mitchell
  • Ernest and Betty Mooney
  • Val Murphey
  • Lisa Nelson
  • Rebecca Nielsen
  • Ashley Nollen
  • Bethany Novak
  • George Nyfeler
  • Kelly O`Keefe
  • Thiago Oliveira
  • John Oliver
  • Jennifer Paules
  • Donna Pendarvis
  • Keithley Pierce
  • Rick Pleasants
  • Monroe Porter
  • Jordan Pridgen
  • William Reinhart
  • Randy Renner
  • Richard S. Reynolds Foundation
  • Jared Ringstaff
  • Beth Robbins
  • Susan Robertson
  • Dana Gregory Rose
  • John Sabalis
  • William Sahnow
  • Jeffrey Sessa
  • Roger and Christina Shawn Evan Sherwood
  • Thomas and Linda Singleton Driscoll
  • Clint Smith
  • Trevor Smithson
  • Rachel Sorey
  • John Spacek and Lisa Harkey
  • Mary Ellen Stumpf
  • Aaron Sullivan
  • Marianne Svoboda
  • Mary-Austin Teter
  • Nicholas Thompson
  • Alex Thomson
  • Lara Todd
  • Derek Tolagian
  • Clare Trow
  • Nicholas Vanias
  • Zinda Vareed
  • Katy Vess
  • Carla and Jack Vipperman
  • Geoffrey Waugh
  • Sue Welch
  • Chris Welch
  • Sarah Whilden
  • Rick and Lane Witthoefft
  • Felicia Woodruff
  • Janet Worsham
  • Christina Wright
  • Amy Yarcich
  • Joe Yates
  • Meredith Yoder

Restoration Partners

  • Joan and Steve Clement
  • Coille Limited Partnership, LP
  • Eleanor Davenport
  • Durham Foundation
  • Robert and Patricia Kyle
  • The Greenway Pendleton Fund of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia
  • Custis Westham Fund of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia
  • Mr. and Mrs. Scott Moncure
  • The Reinhart Foundation
  • The Pauley Family Foundation
  • The Robert Leroy Atwell and Lucy Williams Atwell Foundation
  • Barbara and James E. Ukrop Fund of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia
  • The Wilbur Moreland Havens Charitable Foundation
  • Joanne Verdi

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Thank you to Capital One for the continued support of Saturday morning Family Classics.

View the Full 2018 Annual Report

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