Bijou Film Center
The Bijou’s new home is at 304. E. Broad St., second from the corner in this photo by Scott Elmquist of Style Weekly. The building's ground floor renovation will soon be completed.

Independent art house theater inks deal in downtown Richmond

Good news: After having staged seven pop-up events and having conducted a membership drive that achieved it goal, the Bijou Film Center has parlayed its string of successes and good luck into a lease for the ground floor of 304 E. Broad St. From here on the Bijou concept will no longer be a drawing on a napkin with no place to call home.

While it will start out with a temporary screen and folding chairs, in the fall we hope to install some of those seats that were donated to us by the owner of the building that once housed the Westhampton Theatre. Since cinema pioneer Jake Wells' original Bijou opened in 1899, just five blocks to the east, the folks working to build The Bijou are delighted to have this opportunity to bring movies back to Broad Street.

As soon as it's feasible The Bijou will begin showing films on a regular basis. Although 304 E. Broad St. may not be where the Bijou Film Center concept will be fully realized, this starter-home seems like the perfect spot in which to incubate our plan to become the hub of all things film in Richmond. More information will be posted soon.


Breaking news! Screen and seats from The Westhampton going to The Bijou.

The ownership of the building that housed the Westhampton Theatre (1938-2016) has decided – make that generously decided! – to donate the 279 seats and screen from Theatre 2 (the upstairs auditorium) to the Bijou Film Center. Needless to say, it came as great news to us when a spokesman for Westhampton LLC, confirmed the other night that it is willing to help us out in this way.

Soon we'll need to put together a small crew of volunteer workers to help remove and store this equipment. Stay tuned …

Become a member of the Bijou Film Center!

You can join more than 400 others who became members during our Leap of Faith Campaign.

By becoming a member with of the Bijou Film Center with a $50 contribution, you are helping us build a 100-seat independent art house cinema, café and nonprofit film center that will serve as a community hub for information on film exhibition, production and preservation. With help from friends like you, we will bring the best new and classic art house films to Richmond that otherwise would not be shown locally, filling a gap in the Richmond film scene.

Thanks to you, we are finalizing plans to launch our next phase — a folding-chair, pop-up style Bijou in the downtown arts and cultural district. During the next year to 18 months we will continue to build our membership base, bring new films to Richmond, finalize architectural plans and raise the “big money” necessary to build out the permanent little cinema, café and film center of our dreams.

Become a member today! »

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