South Charleston theater gets new lease on life

March 13, 2013 by  

The state of Virginia recently awarded South Charleston a $6,300 grant to renovate an historic theater.

The city of South Charleston came to own the LaBelle Theater in 2002. It has had a long life prior to that, having first opened its doors in 1938 as a movie theater. Sometime in the 1960s, it changed its name to Cinema South. LaBelle was a movie theater until 1979, when it closed its doors. In the time between the 1980s and 2002, the theater was the home to a number of different church congregations.

Today, the venue is available to be rented for numerous purposes, and is operated by the South Charleston Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is willing to rent it out for weddings, concerts, performances, and business meetings.

The $6,300 grant will help to pay off a recent $60,000 renovation undergone at the theatre. The state funding is meant to cover the cost of the installation of 300 like-new seats and other furnishings. The recent renovation also included new paint, new lighting fixtures, a new sound system, and a wide screen for showing movies.

South Charleston stationery printers could have had a hand in the grant, as West Virginia state officials presented the leaders of the city with a ceremonial check this week. While the theater still has a long way to go before it is restored to its former glory, the grant money will no doubt help it along the way.