Culpeper’s State Theater Marquee Illuminated Once Again - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Culpeper’s State Theater Marquee Illuminated Once Again

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The Culpeper community celebrated the lighting of a special landmark Wednesday night.

Hundreds gathered in front of the State Theater for the grand illumination ceremony to see the marquee light up for the first time since 1938.

"So tonight we're lighting the marquee which has been restored to its 1938 original condition. And it doesn't get any better than this. This is our Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting right here in downtown Culpeper," said Ed Bednarzyk, the theater's executive director.

Bringing the historic theater back to life was a roughly nine-year plan, and a $9 million project. The theater's 560 seats were donated by the Kennedy Center.

Area residents waited anxiously for the marquee lights to go on for the first time in nearly 75 years. Enjoying caroling and cider, they counted down and watched the lights turn on.

"This is the epitome of what a small town can do when it really pulls together and the folks pull together. The work that they've done, I must say, you show a lot of pride for something like this," said David Lochridge, a resident of Culpeper.

Not only is the theater an exciting new landmark for Culpeper residents, but it could also be a boost to the local economy.

"It's going to be a real economic accelerant to our town. They've got a lot of great ideas, it's going to pull not only regionally but locally," said Lochridge.

Theater representatives say it was important to renovate the building as opposed to knocking it down.

"I think that tonight, when this lights will be the crown jewel of this community and it will light up the next renaissance of this community for generations to come," said Bednarzyk.

The official opening of the theater will be on May 4. It will host many different shows that range from blue grass to jazz and even some ballet.

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