Gone Away / Posts

A peek inside the Byrd Theatre, Richmond

It’s not easy to get a good interior photo of the Byrd Theatre with a mid-tier phone like mine, especially in near darkness. This was the best I could manage. What betrays the age of this place — something you can’t see in photos — is the seating, which is as old as the cinema itself and in desperate need of replacement. Locals arrive with their own seat cushions as if attending a high school football game. My back is in good shape, but even I was uncomfortable after each film. Kathryn and I attended Mass after the last film on Sunday and remarked how much more comfortable it would have been to watch the festival from wooden pews. Still, the Byrd Theatre in Richmond is a historic landmark. It’s hard not to appreciate the effort and resources that have gone into preserving its character. Most cinemas built in the same era were demolished decades ago.