Revived Theater Helps Community Bounce Back

<p>Restoring a historic theater in a downtrodden neighborhood of Norfolk, Virginia, has served to revitalize the neighborhood as well.</p>
July 7, 2007, 7am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"The feeling then was that a revitalized Attucks Theater - which was built in 1919 and had fallen into disuse in the 1950s - could help revive the Corridor, which is about a mile north of downtown Norfolk. But attempts to renovate what had been one of the first legitimate theaters in the country owned and operated by African-Americans had run short of funds."

"The theater (which reopened at the end of 2004 and which has an elaborate fire curtain depicting the Boston Massacre, in which its African-American namesake, Crispus Attucks, died in 1770) is now a showplace. The interior has been completely restored - the work of Livas Group Architects of Norfolk - with new facilities for visiting performers. Outside, the prostitutes and drug dealers are gone, and the neighborhood, while not bustling, is pleasant and tidy."

"There is new housing along Church Street, just north of the Attucks, and demand now exceeds supply."

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Published on Monday, July 2, 2007 in The New York Times
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