Downtown In the News

Court Square Theater Turns 10, Seeks a Facelift

The DNR reports that Court Square Theater intends to hold it’s first major fundraiser to celebrate its 10th anniversary and give the theater a needed makeover, including new carpeting, paint, sound and lighting equipment, as well as upgrades to the concession area.  Article appears below.

Theater Campaign Under Way Posted 2008-12-15
By Heather Bowser

Court Square Theater officials are marking the venue's 10th anniversary with a fundraising campaign that likely will become an annual event.
Court Square Theater officials are marking the venue’s 10th anniversary with a fundraising campaign that likely will become an annual event.

Photo by Nikki Fox

HARRISONBURG – In honor of its 10th anniversary, Court Square Theater is starting its first large-scale fundraiser, a campaign geared to give the venue a facelift.

Called “Save-A-Seat,” the fundraiser aims to pay for new carpeting, paint, sound and lighting equipment, as well as upgrades to the concession area, officials said.

A “small” part of the drive will benefit the general operating needs of the theater, said Tina Owens, business manager at the venue.

“This will definitely enhance the atmosphere of the theater,” Owens said. “We want to commemorate our anniversary and make sure the theater continues.”

Donations of at least $100 will be recognized in a display at the theater, which will be unveiled at ComedyFest in March. Despite the name of the campaign, no plaques or nameplates will be placed on any of the theater’s 250 seats.

The campaign, which has no official monetary goal, has received about $1,000 so far and will likely become an annual event, Owens said.

Growth, Changes

The Court Square Theater began in the spring of 1998 in what used to be the Rockingham Motorcar Co. building. Back then, the Harrisonburg Redevelopment & Housing Authority owned and operated the facility.

In time, the Arts Council of the Valley took over the theater’s operation.

Over the years, the council put more of a focus on independent and foreign films, Owens said. The number of events held at the theater also has increased dramatically. These days, the facility is occupied and active about three out of every four days, showing both films and live theater, concerts and other community-based performances.

It costs about $200,000 a year to run the theater.

“The truth is, it costs a lot,” Owens said. “Even though our staffing is slim, utility costs and artist fees are pretty huge.”

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