Why we need the Staunton Performing Arts Center

1. Economy: To enhance the economic success of the City of Staunton and Augusta County, thus supporting “destination tourism” by creating a “Theatre District.”

2. Entertainment: To enhance entertainment and educational opportunities in the region by providing a state-of-the-art venue.

3. Children: To provide a live, major theatre experience for children that cannot be provided in our schools and will supplement their arts education.

4. Architecture: To save The Dixie, one of America’s most unique Art Moderne theatres of the 1930s – an architecturally-significant historic theatre designed by the renowned theatre architect John Eberson (1875–1954).

5. Quality of Life: To enrich the quality of life in this culturally rich area and historic community.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the main reasons for this project?

A)Quality of Life through enhanced cultural/educational opportunities for all ages.

B)Economic Development

C)Venue for children’s programming

D)Magnet for performers to


2. Why does the future home of the Staunton Performing Arts Center need to be restored and renovated? Although the Dixie Theatre continues to operate as a four-plex movie house, only a small portion of its potential is being utilized. It is important to enhance the thriving mix of artistic endeavors that already exists and to fulfill an unmet need for various types of entertainment.       


3. Why do we need the Arcadia Building in addition to the Dixie Building?  Because the Dixie is equipped to show movies only, it does not contain the spaces needed for a performing arts center. To put these into the Dixie footprint would  mean digging under the building, which is expensive and risky. The acquisition of the Arcadia will provide a more cost-effective approach to providing the needed spaces including dressing room spaces for performers, SPAC offices, fand functional space to bring in additional income. The Arcadia will provide the essential larger lobby and off stage space that the Dixie alone could never provide.                                                          


4. What will the theatre restoration and renovation include? In addition to those things mentioned above, the Main Stage Theatre will include a retractable large screen for films and projection of shows from places outside Staunton, such as The Metropolitan Opera, state-of-the-art sound and lighting, comfortable seating, handicap accessible spaces, and hearing impaired apparatus.


5. What will be the total project cost? The entire project will cost $14 million.


6. Can we afford it? Yes! We will receive funds from many sources, including Government, Corporate, Foundation and Private Donors. We will also utilize Historic Tax Credits and New Markets Tax Credits.


7. When will construction begin? This is contingent upon funding, possibly as early as 2015.


8. Why can’t you just put up some temporary walls and have a Cabaret until all of the money is raised? There is much work that needs to be done on the Arcadia before it will meet code. Additionally, there is much infrastructure work that needs to be done on the building, beginning with a new roof and steel framing.


9. How will the Wayne Theatre affect our project? The success of the Wayne Theatre project will positively impact our own success, encouraging city support and providing additional opportunities for successful regional collaboration.


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