Roger Fons / Old Town Theater
815 King St
A Viet Nam vet, Roger came to the area after the war and eventually started an insurance agency and became a real estate mogul. After working for Washington Mutual, in 2003 Roger bought the theater for the citizens of Alexandria. “I loved the building and what it stood for. I didn’t want it to become another CVS a condo, so I bought it.”
About The Old Town Theater:
Opened in 1914, The Richmond Theater (as it was known) was the first permanent theater constructed in Alexandria. It was originally opened as a vaudeville theater on the first floor and a dance hall on the second until around 1932. At this time, the dance hall was removed, and a theater balcony constructed. Sometime in the 1940s vaudeville was phased out, and the theater was used exclusively for motion pictures until 1972. In 1980, the theater was renovated and re-opened as a double theater under a new name, the OldTown. The OldTown operated until October 1999 when it again closed. On Valentines 2002, the OldTown was reopened after renovations brought the balcony back, replaced the seats to a comfortable level and added lighting and sound systems. In 2003, Roger purchased the theater, and through some hiccups and other bumps in the road, the theater is back serving the people of Alexandria. The Old Town can show two movies at once, seating 230 downstairs and 165 up, or for large events the upstairs screen can raise and both levels can be used together to seat @ 400. The biggest surprise is that it’s also a restaurant that serves fine meals (not to mention beer and wine). “It’s the largest restaurant in old town”, Roger confided. “We also have seating outside for those wanting to eat and people watch”.
“We’ve always wanted people to consider the OldTown as more than a movie theater. We’ve diversified it to include a restaurant that serves wine and beer, and also offerings of live entertainment, parties, business meetings, special events.”
Why did you choose to do this?
“I wanted to save the building from being turned into condos or demolition. I always thought it was beautiful, so when I had the chance to acquire it, I jumped.”
Want to talk to Roger?
Roger will be checking his "Old Town Theater" thread under "movies" in our forums. Click here to ask him questions or just say "hi"!