In August of 2014, the Byrd Theatre Foundation Board of Directors began a quest to redefine the future of the Byrd Theatre.
A Strategic Planning subcommittee was drafted. Floricane, a Richmond leader in organizational strategy, was engaged to facilitate the planning process. Community input among donors, patrons and leaders was sought out across varied overlapping industries and verticals.
In late May, the board of directors adopted the presented strategic plan to address both current and future patron needs, through six areas of focus.
Today, we submit to you the framework of our Strategic Plan, including a new mission and vision for the Foundation that focus on restoration of the Theatre as well as programming that showcases the big screen that is the Byrd’s signature offering.
TO THE RICHMOND COMMUNITY AND CINEMA ENTHUSIASTS EVERYWHERE,
The Byrd Theatre Foundation is honored to present the strategic plan that guides this exciting vision for the Byrd Theatre: To elevate its landmark position among American theaters as a Center for Film that continues to provide the broadest possible public access to exceptional cinematic experiences.
This plan outlines our objectives and the actions we are taking over the next 18 months— with your support and encouragement—to restore and preserve the historic theater in the heart of Richmond’s vital Carytown retail district and reposition the theater for ongoing success.
We designed the plan to ensure the building and the business are sound and sustainable, and that we are growing a community of supporters that take full advantage of the Byrd Theatre’s unique qualities. At a time when the film industry is being redefined by changing technologies and social patterns, we have the opportunity to position the theater more firmly as a destination, a community resource, and a center for great films and exceptional cinematic experiences.
The Foundation will work to create the appropriate balance of historic architecture and space, to deliver great programming and exceptional customer experiences, and to build strong community partnerships. From film festivals and special screenings to second-run and midnight movies, from movie-themed events to private parties, from historic tours to educational talks, the Byrd’s capacity to engage, educate, and entertain the community is limitless.
The Byrd Theatre Foundation
The Byrd Theatre has almost everything a successful business would want—a great location, a strong brand, and the ability to create amazing experiences, night after night. To enable the theater to fully live into its vision, the Foundation is defining a long-term business and operating framework and process that clarify the theater’s operating structure; establishing a multi-year budget; and providing clarity and direction for theater staff and for the board. Business planning, board development, and staff development are key to achieving this objective.
DEFINING THE BYRD EXPERIENCE
There is a timelessness at the heart of the Byrd Theatre—a spirit of grandeur, elegance, and fun that echoes the architectural flourishes of the building, and our cultural memories of what movie going must have been like in 1928. Creating an exceptional experience at the Byrd means paying attention to the details. The Byrd Experience is found in the theater’s marketing, its customer service, and its curation of film. The Byrd Experience is found in its attention to detail and the small touches—from the ticket window to the concession stand to the seats. The Foundation is defining what exceptional means at the Byrd.
RESTORATION AND RENOVATION
Reaffirming the Foundation’s commitment to the restoration and long-term maintenance of the Byrd Theatre is critical to the theater’s success and sustainability over time. The Foundation will protect the architectural integrity of the theater while actively exploring ways to leverage new technologies to enhance the ability of the theater to entertain and educate the public. A paralleled focus on ongoing maintenance, as well as restoration and long-term preservation, is crucial to achieving this objective.
PROGRAMMING AND PARTNERSHIP
Maximizing the Byrd’s use for a broad range of programming that engages diverse communities, and establishes the Byrd as a center for film and film literacy is central to its success. By increasing its programming mix and its hours of operations, the Byrd is poised to be a destination for the general public and for lovers of great film. The Byrd’s partners shape its programming, and deepen the Byrd’s connections to Carytown, the Richmond region, and to the idea of cinema as a vehicle for community connection, education, and entertainment.
GROWING THE BYRD COMMUNITY
With thousands of visitors filling its seats each year, the Byrd has a unique ability to connect people to its history, its story, and its vision on a daily basis. Putting plans in place to build a sense of community among the Byrd’s most passionate patrons and supporters is essential. From effective public relations to fundraising, the Byrd Theatre’s ability to engage people will be clear, effective and intentional.
A CENTER FOR FILM AND FILM LITERACY
As part of the Byrd Theatre’s longer-range vision to elevate its position as a Center for Film and film literacy, the Byrd will take several short-term steps to more intentionally connect visitors with the theater, with the history of film, and with their specific experiences. By providing context, and by actively exploring ways to make the theater’s programming more multi-dimensional, the Byrd Theatre will begin to more fully live its vision, starting now.
The Byrd Theatre is a non-profit, community-supported theater dedicated to expanding the Big Screen experience of film, while preserving and celebrating the art of cinema