Renovating the Historic Wells Theatre

Phase One of renovations began in late March 2016 and included expanded the restrooms and casual seating areas, a new theater side lobby lounge/bar, and a row of enlarged seats. The sound and lighting systems were also improved to increase show quality. All of this is was possible through support provided by more than 130 generous donors, including Patricia and Douglas Perry, who provided the lead charitable gift for this project, which has helped us raise more than $3.75 million dollars to date.

The Wells Theatre has stood as a downtown Norfolk landmark for over 100 years and has been under the stewardship of Virginia Stage Company for the past 36 years, having served more than 2 million patrons since its last renovation, which was 30 years ago. The Theatre maintains the Beaux Arts design style from its inception, and VSC is committed to preserving that character while welcoming much need renovations.

In 2020, we were able to update our Flyloft from the original hemp system to a modern, computerized system.

Under Virginia Stage Company’s guidance, the improvements to patron amenities will bring the Theatre into the next century so that it may continue to serve our community for the next 100 years and will ensure that it remains the most attractive theater destination in Hampton Roads. As such, the theater will have the opportunity to house more pre-Broadway shows, allowing members and patrons to see productions before they debut in New York.

For more information on our Centennial Campaign or to find out how you can add your support, Please contact Kandis Hyde, Development Manager, at (757) 627-6988 ext 315.