TBR – Richmond, VA – It was back in 1914 when the Hippodrome first opened its doors as a vaudeville and movie theatre for 1,050. It’s location was and still is in the Jackson Ward district. Attracting mainly an African-American audience it brought in big stars like Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson, Ethel Waters, Ella Fitzgerald, Ray Charles, Moms Mably and James Brown.
In 1945 the interior was gutted when the building caught fire and the building was re-built in an Art Deco style with a reduced seating capacity of 850, re-opening in 1946 when it became primarily a movie theatre. In 1967 the theater closed again and re-opened again in 1970, but once again closed in 1970 to become a church. It re-opened briefly in 1982 but since then has remained mostly closed. Renovation plans were proposed in November 2009 and approved in January 2010.
However history was made once again, when the newly restored Hippodrome Theater once again opened its doors this year and on Saturday hosted its first Gospel Concert for 2012 with special headline guest Dorinda Clark Cole!
The events promoter Wanda Stallings said, she was excited about the opportunity to host the event there. Even though the crowd could have been stronger in number, those who attended were blessed with an amazing night of back to back talent.
Hosting the evening concert were Mikki Spencer and Ed Stephens, followed by Bishop Joel Brown in prayer.
Guest performances for the evening included the A. Alexander Singers and Maggie Ingram & the Ingramettes who gave an amazing performance.
Taking the stage last was Dorinda Clarke Cole who was simply a powerhouse from her music ministry to her Praise & Worship. During her performance she performed a song that described how awesome God is that lasted about twenty minutes. The song was so powerful she could have actually performed the song another twenty minutes with no complaints. It was a blessed and amazing time in the Lord.
Cole was so moved she said, “I may have to bring my sisters back down here to the Hippodrome for a live recording. I just thought I would put that on out there.” The audience applauded, catching some off guard.
In her usual signature moment, Cole passed out roses to some of the women in the audience, reminding them just how special they are to the body of Christ.
Throughout most of her performance many people rested on their feet while others took a few praise breaks throughout the evening as they shouted and praised the Lord.