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November First Friday
This month the Museum will feature artifacts highlighting the history of the Academy of Music, now the Academy of Fine Arts. Billed as “the prettiest opera house in the state and among the prettiest in the entire South,” the Academy of Music officially opened its doors on February 1, 1905.
From the beginning, local acts and legendary performers crossed its stage including Mary Pickford, John Phillip Sousa, Anna Pavlova, George M. Cohan, and Will Rogers. After suffering a major fire in 1911, the Academy was rebuilt on an even grander scale. Thriving during the golden age of theatre, business began to decline in the 1920s as live shows were replaced by motion pictures. After difficult financial years, it closed in 1958.
Almost immediately after it closed, there was an interest in preserving and restoring the theatre. In 1969 the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places—the first Lynchburg building to receive such an honor. Since then, there have been ongoing efforts to restore this beautiful downtown landmark, which is in the midst of a major restoration and capital campaign. To learn more about the Academy, visit www.AcademyMusicTheatre.com.
Objects on display will include historic photographs, programs, posters, tickets, and early 20th century theatrical costumes. The artifacts will remain on display throughout the weekend. The Museum is open Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday noon-4pm.
The Museum is on the free trolley route that loops between participating attractions. For more information, call 455-6226, or visit www.lynchburgmuseum.org, www.pointofhonor.org, the Museum’s Facebook page, or at Twitter/LburgMuse.