About the Millwald Theatre
The Millwald Theatre is a historic theatre established in the town of Wytheville, Virginia in 1928. The restoration and management of the Millwald has been an ongoing project to provide a cultural arts and education center that serves the entire region and helps to revitalize downtown Wytheville. The facility is ADA accessible on two levels and includes a 500-seat auditorium, classrooms, dressing rooms, a green room, and administrative space.
The mission of the Millwald Theatre is to contribute to downtown revitalization and economic growth in Wytheville, Virginia by purchasing, renovating, and operating the historic Millwald Theatre as a multipurpose entertainment and education venue.
For decades, the Millwald Theatre on Main Street served as the cultural and social center of Wytheville, Virginia. Built in 1928, it originally boasted Vaudeville and “moving pictures” programming. It was intended to host large crowds, with original seating capacity reports ranging from 424 to 700.
More than just a movie house, the theatre hosted pageants, rallies, community events, debates, fundraisers, and even an opera and a film festival during its long run. Key points in both US history and Wytheville history played out within its walls: presidential election results were reported by telegraph in the 1930s, its basement was designated a Cold War fallout shelter, and public debates over the infamous Wytheville UFO sightings were held on its stage.
In 2003, the Millwald celebrated its 75th anniversary and was hailed as “Virginia’s longest continuously-running theater.” Unfortunately, it would close its doors just three years later.
The future of the Millwald is inextricably linked to its past. By returning to its roots as a multi-purpose hub of arts and community, this piece of living history can once again thrive.
Want to be a part of history?
The restoration of the Millwald Theatre was made possible by generous donors, and the majority of our operating costs are covered by donations. Make a donation today to ensure the history of the Millwald is preserved for decades to come!