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Beacon Theatre renovation in Hopewell wins top honor

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The Beacon Theatre, Commonwealth Architects’ rehabilitation project for the city of Hopewell, has been selected to receive an Honor Award for Excellence in Historic Preservation from the Virginia Society AIA.

The $4.1 million historic rehabilitation tax credit project emerged as the best in the region, earning the only Honor Award in its category.

“The renovation of the theater and the adaptive reuse of the adjacent building demonstrates comprehensive preservation – careful research, beautiful restoration and thoughtful adaptive reuse in support of new programmatic requirements and economic realities – which will serve as a catalyst for continued downtown revitalization,” the awards jury said in its remarks.

Built as a downtown movie house in 1928, The Beacon Theatre had served as a community gathering place for Hopewell residents until its closing in 1981.

The renovation returned the dilapidated building to its former splendor, while converting it into a contemporary performance venue. Since reopening, the theater has attracted sold-out crowds.

This year’s juries gave 12 Honor Awards and six Merit Awards. Award categories include architecture,  contextual design, historic preservation, interior design and residential design. The winning projects were selected from a pool of 155 submissions.

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