Virginia Theater - quite the amazing place. Built in 1920 as a vaudeville stage and movie house it has also hosted everything from dramatic plays to dance recitals. We posted a few pictures in our first Ebertfest post upon our arrival, but I've got more shots of the incredible interior to show too.
The Virginia was commissioned by prominent local contractor A. W. Stoolman, who named it for his daughter Elizabeth Virginia Stoolman. The exterior is of the Italian Renaissance style and designed to resemble an Italian pavilion. The recently restored marquee is shown at left, and at right some of the detail of the exterior stonework.
Refer to our previous posts of wide shots of the interior. We were assured by fellow attendees in the long lines to get in that there really were no bad seats in the house and after sitting in both the main floor and balcony that it is absolutely true. The interior seems open and expansive, and the details are quite spectacular. Shown at left is part of the organ loft where the pipes are housed, and at right is some of the details in the columns.
There is liberal use of stained glass from signage to lighting. Shown at left is one of a pair of stained glass house lights, with decorative murals. At right is the front face of the balcony seen from the main floor - incredible details showing Spanish adventurers Cortez and Hernandez. Descriptions say the interior is of Spanish Renaissance design.
It seems everywhere you look are designs of incredible detail. In the dusk of the downstairs concession stand, wall panel designs with perhaps Greek influence are shown at left in a quarter second exposure. In the balcony level concession, the ceiling panels feature incredibly deep relief designs, shown at right.
While the Ebertfest program is second-to-none for quality movies, it is the venue of the Virginia that really makes it special, and part of the reason that we're likely to return in the future...
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