New in Lynchburg:
Academy Center of the Arts Grand Re-Opening

Kaci Barker
December 2018


In the 18th and early 19th century, Lynchburg, Virginia was a hot spot for art and culture in the south. Many old-time celebrities were born here, and all kinds of musicians, artists, and other notable figures would make Lynchburg a stop on their travels.


The Academy Center of the Arts in Downtown Lynchburg originally opened in 1905. It’s epic architecture, excellent acoustics, and star-studded list of world-renowned performers made it one of the most well-attended theaters in Central Virginia. Performances included shows from Broadway, concerts, musicals, and even movies.


Because of changes in the way people spent their free time as television grew in popularity, the Academy Center of the Arts closed its doors in 1958.

Thanks to the dedication and love of a loyal group, the original Academy of the Arts building has been restored to its former glory. The renovation stayed as true to the 1905 Academy as possible, even putting in replica seats and saving as much original plaster work as they could. Experts in architecture and historic renovations were brought in from all over the world including Los Angeles, New York, and even Paris!


A brand new lobby was built to the side of the original entrance to allow for a concessions and bar area. Much of the original exterior walls, doors, and other charming features can be seen when you visit the Theater.


State of the art sound systems and other technology will make this an absolute gem in Lynchburg’s cultural scene. Equipped for rock concerts, musicals, plays, movies, and more, you will definitely want to keep up with what’s going on at the Academy!


Thanks to over 30 years of fundraising and many years of renovations, the grand reopening of the Academy Center of the Arts is happening now! Starting on December 6, there are so many events coming up in the next few months that you won’t want to miss! Here are some of the highlights:

  • Academy Presents: “In Unison”: A Concert Event Featuring Mavis Staples and Devon Gilfillian — Celebrating the Integration of the Historic Academy of Music Theatre December 6

  • Holiday Movie Marathon December 8

  • Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra Presents: There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays! December 9

  • A Legacy Celebration: A Showcase Event Featuring the Resident Companies of the Academy Center of the Arts December 11

  • Academy Presents: Big Band Holidays — Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis December 13

  • Charlottesville Ballet Presents: The Nutcracker December 15

  • Lynchburg Symphony Youth Orchestra and Junior Strings present: Sounds of the Season December 16

  • City Auditorium Presents: Michael W. Smith Christmas December 22

  • Academy Presents: New Years Eve Bash with No BS! Brass and Apple Butter Soul December 31

  • The lineup for 2019 is already amazing! World famous musicians, comedy troupes, stage shows, and more will be coming to Lynchburg! Find out about everything going on at the Academy at