Tour This Old-Fashioned Historic Theater

If you’ve driven down Court Street in Fayetteville sometime in the last, oh, 7 decades, there’s no way you missed the Historic Fayette Theater. Bold black letters spelling out ‘Fayette’ trickle down its classic golden brick facade, evoking memories of days past for those who grew up in the area. Fayette Theater

For a while, the beloved theater fell into a state of disrepair. In 1992, the first promises of restoration showed up in a local newspaper with the headline “Rebirth may be in script for theater.”

And reborn it was.

With a giant push from a rallying community— and one very generous building owner, Tom Louisos, the 1930s theater began to see new life (we’re talking a new heating, cooling and electrical system, plumbing and a fresh ceiling). Ever since then, the theater committee has been dedicated to making additional improvements to the building, like new seats, new lights and a tech booth.

The building is now in the care of the Fayette County History Society, which purchased it in 2011. They still have live performances, bringing back fond memories of the theater in its heyday.

They also have tours on Fridays from 10a.m. to 2 p.m. from late May through October.

A few reasons why you’ll want to get a look inside:

  • The theater is located in a renovated movie house, originally built in 1937.
  • It is one of the few Depression-era movie houses still in use in southern WV.
  • The walls are adorned with paintings and pieces of art that depict life and entertainment in the 30s.
  • It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is one of several stops on the West Virginia Historic Theatre Trail.

Curious? Volunteers are available to answer questions about the theater’s history, owners and its role as a modern theater in the 1930s and early 1940s.

Sam Babcock