The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

May 16, 2010

Historic Fayette Theatre to offer tours

— Beginning May 21, The Historic Fayette Theatre on Court Street in Fayetteville will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays so visitors can tour the facility and learn the history of the converted movie theater.

The theater was constructed in 1937 as part of a building boom that began in Fayetteville that year. After decades as a movie theater, followed by a time of inactivity, The Historic Fayette Theatre was renovated in 1993 as a live-performance venue.

“Since the opening in 1993, we have been asked by many people to be open at a time that would allow visitors, especially those from out of town, a chance to see the facility, even when there are no productions going on,” said artistic director Gene Worthington. “We will be part of the proposed Historic Theatre Trail in West Virginia that will link several of the older theater houses across the state. By being open for tours, we will be adding to the celebrated history of the town and we will have another place for history buffs to visit.”

Historic Fayette Theatre volunteers will be on hand to answer questions about the theater’s history, including its early owners and operators, and its role as a modern theater in the ’30s and early ’40s.

“One of my favorite times is when we get visitors who grew up in the area, moved away and then come home for a visit,” said Worthington. “When they see the theater, they almost always have stories to share about when they used to watch the latest movies here. It’s a nice way to look back on a time that was much simpler and less hurried.”

For more information about visits or to set up a group tour, call 304-574-4655.