Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center joins National Trust for Historic Preservation

Updated 7 years ago Edited from a Press Release
Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center joins  National Trust for Historic Preservation
Photo by Jeff Hedgecock

HUNTINGTON, WV – The Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center (KAPAC) is now a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC. The Keith-Albee is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Downtown Huntington Historic District.

Noted theater and cinema architect Thomas W. Lamb built the Keith-Albee in 1928 with design elements that include Baroque styling, murals and atmospheric ceiling. The Keith-Albee operated as a movie theater until closing in 2006 but continues to be the performance home to the Marshall Artists Series and a venue of choice for a wide variety of community events.


West Virginia Senator Robert Plymale and his wife Jennifer paid the membership fee to the National Trust on behalf of KAPAC. Sen. Plymale serves as Co-Chair of the KAPAC Board of Directors, along with Huntington attorney David Tyson.


“Being a member of the National Trust is important to the future of Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center,” Sen. Plymale said. “The National Trust preserves, saves and encourages the reuse and retrofit of older buildings,” he said. “They also have grant funds available to encourage protection of historic properties.”


Progress to date on the Keith-Albee includes a new roof; installation of an accessible first-floor restroom; a new fly system for the stage that quickly raises scenery, lights and other stage effects; increased seating capacity from 1,800 to 2,400 seats when space from two closed movie theaters was incorporated into the main hall; removal of the concession stand to bring the lobby back to the building’s original floor plan; replacement of small display cabinets; upgrades to the marquee; and ongoing repair and restoration of brickwork.

Sen. Robert Plymale
Sen. Robert Plymale


Upcoming projects include electrical updates, a new HVAC system and restoration of the theater’s dressing rooms.


“Huntington has a genuine treasure with the Keith-Albee,” Sen. Plymale concluded. “Not only will Keith-Albee Performing Arts Center continue as a vital part of our community, but an exciting period lies ahead for innovative new programs in arts and education.”