Torn, worn, and tattered the chairs at the historic Byrd Theatre have stood the test of time. After more than 50 years The Byrd Theatre is getting updated seats but they aren't just any chairs.
They are coming from the Grand Theatre Lumiere in France, home of the Cannes Film Festival
"This is a very timely and very beloved gift from the most recognized film festival in the world," Byrd Theatre General Manager Todd Schall-Vess said.
The donation is valued at about $1.3 million. Richmond Film Festival directors and the general manager at they Byrd Theatre are all working to facilitate the process.
The chairs at the French theatre will be packed up after the Cannes Film Festival in May, then its up to the Byrd Theatre Foundation to find the money to have twenty-two hundred chairs installed.
"Everyone sees it on TV. Everyone sees the red carpet of all the stars walking up the steps at the Cannes Film Festival, then they sit in these seats. The very seats that will be coming here to Richmond," Richmond Film Festival Founder and Director Peter Kirkpatrick said.
The chairs are being donated as a result of a 22-year working relationship with a French filmmaker. He gives out one of the biggest awards at the Cannes Film Festival each year and severs as speaker at the Richmond Film Festival.
"When we started twenty years ago we had not thought that we would, maybe, bring the Cannes seats to the Byrd," Francoise Kirkpatrick Richmond Film Festival Founder and Director said.
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