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Strasburg Theater purchased; stage, live music to return

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The former Strasburg Theater on King Street has been sold. Rich Cooley/Daily

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

The Strasburg Theater's new owners plan to raise the curtain on the downtown revival.

The buyers want to use the theater, at 151 W. King St., as a venue for stage performances and live music, according to Richard Perryman, one of the partners involved in the purchase by RTR Holding Corp. The purchase price was not available Tuesday. Perryman and Tina Embree make up the purchasing entity.

"We have some big ideas," Perryman said while standing outside the venue.

The new owners plan to bring in local and national musical performers, according the Perryman.

The partners also bought two other properties downtown, according to Town Manager Judson Rex -- an office building across from town hall which features a small theater in the rear and property at 219 W. King St., which is home to Cristina's Cafe, an eatery which features live music.

"We're excited," Rex said.

But the owners expect to make some repairs and renovations to the building before they can reopen the theater.

"It needs a lot of TLC," Perryman said.

The property has sat vacant since the previous owners closed it down a few years ago. The prior owners offered live music and other entertainment at the venue.

The building has issues typical of one left vacant and unattended but doesn't need major work, according to Perryman. He estimates work on the property to take two to three months.

The owners plan to restore the main lobby to its original condition and to spruce up the front of the theater, according to Perryman.

The proprietors plan to offer naming opportunities for patrons and supporters, such as names on bricks or parts of the theater, to continue the community's connection to the organization, Perryman said. Donations would help the group make more improvements to the building, he noted.

"We want the community to be very much part of this," Perryman said.

A member of the RTR team spotted the property while visiting the town during this year's annual Mayfest, Perryman recalled. He noted the process to buy the property felt like it took longer than the mere three months since they saw the theater.

"This adventure was originally going to take place in Northern Virginia, but we decided to bring it on down here," Perryman said.

Since the group set its sights on the theater, the town has helped serve as a conduit for the new owners to meet other downtown community leaders and business proprietors, Rex said.

While new to Strasburg, Perryman said residents have greeted the new owners to downtown.

"We've learned a lot about the building," Perryman said. "I had the doors open this morning and before an hour six people had stopped to talk to me. We're in a prime location certainly.

"Every time I'm in town I meet someone that I hadn't met before," Perryman added. "They're telling me their stories or they met their husband or wife here on a blind date. There's a lot of community support for this thing. We're very encouraged to be here."

Perryman further explained that he and his business partners belonged to other theater organizations.

"We brought all our talent and skills together to bring life down here," Perryman said.


I love these people! I can't wait for the theater to open again as a family and community oriented place. So glad they're here!

Make it work! Yay!

Groovy, Glad someone is reopening the place. Its a relic! Let's enjoy it an rejoice.

revival? This town better think about parking, that's the reasone nothing survives in Strasburg. Tear down the old taxi stand and Brillo's grocery and make a parking garage. But no lets waste money on studies and bumb outs.

I;m sure there is parking in some of the politicians driveways or in front of there houses. I'm willing to walk a little bit to get to the good old theater.

A parking garage? Most houses in Strasburg are within EASY walking distance to anything on King Street. It's one of the reasons we chose to live here. I love being able to walk or bike to the bank, post office, library, pool, dinner, etc. Now we can walk to live theater, too? Tremendous.

A parking garage? Learn to parallel park. On the occasions I have needed to drive into town ( like if I'm making a stop on my way elsewhere) I have never, ever, ever, not been able to find a parking spot.

We are so glad to see this theatre revitalized. Strasburg is such a charming town and needs something like this to bring more life to it!! Can't wait for it to open.
Pat & Bob Cullers

Strasburg has waited so long to have the theater alive with real entertainment. It is great to have Rich and Tina here in town! Welcome to town!!!

The parking situation is fine for the locals but when hundreds of patrons travel from afar is when the problems occur. For a theatre, Town Code requires one off-street space for every four fixed seats. I am guessing the theatre has at least 500 fixed seats which would require 125 off-street parking spaces. I would imagine the town has additional provisions that may ease the noose of regulation on older buildings, proximity to public lots, etc. but you can look at numerous businesses in town and very few have adequate parking not to mention space size that meets current codes. Bottom line...if the town wants it, they'll make it work.

Spanky, Ive seen you on here before, Your most likely a local. Why are you worried bout those from afar. I'm sure you can figure out where to park when Foghat comes to town. I'm sure things will be working by then.

Shen1, when people leave a show they want to take the Slow Ride back home and talk about how great the band sounded and how convenient it was to get in and out of the venue because everybody knows the new theatre will see plenty of patrons who may be Fools For (or From) The City.

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