State Theatre, Culpeper
Built by Virginia State Senator Benjamin Pitts, the c1938 State Theatre was originally a vaudeville movie house named the Pitts Theatre. Featuring an art deco façade with a modest interior, this venue was the only one of 30 built by the Senator in the state to still be in use as a cultural center. Bought by Regal Cinemas in 1973, it remained a single-screen movie house until it was closed in 1993, but in 2004, local businessman and philanthropist Greg Yates purchased the historic facility in the hopes of preserving the once-treasured theatre.
The State Theatre Foundation, Inc led by Executive Director Raven Yates, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the creation of a cultural arts center within the Town and County of Culpeper, Virginia. The purpose of the foundation is to raise funds and obtain grants to organize, operate, and maintain a not-for-profit facility that utilizes the historically significant building, the State Theatre.
In collaboration with their design team, Martinez+Johnson was selected in 2006 to provide a study for the restoration of and additions to the State Theatre. In addition, this project was to qualify for Historic Preservation and New Market Tax Credits under The Secretary of the Interior’s Standard for the Rehabilitation of Historic Structures. The team’s scope of work includes planning and programming for new BOH spaces, modern patron support facilities, restoration of architectural finished, updating of theatre technology, and allocating of space for administrative offices.