Grand Re-Opening Ribbon Cutting. April 19, 2016. Photo by Mark Miller Photography.

Grand Re-Opening Ribbon Cutting. April 19, 2016. Photo by Mark Miller Photography.

Waynesboro’s premier live entertainment performance venue in which all of the arts may be appreciated, enjoyed, learned and supported

Welcome to the historic Wayne Theatre/Ross Performing Arts Center. As you see, we have so much to celebrate. The Wayne Theatre has had quite a history of making an impact on our community since it first opened its doors as a vaudeville house in 1926.

The Wayne’s restoration and re-opening in 2016 was fueled by a handful of community members who had the vision of what the Wayne could mean to the community. We like to say that the restoration of the theatre was done by the community, for the community and ultimately is being given back to the community. The dream was that when the restoration was complete, the theatre would be a gift to the community where all ages could come together to be educated, enriched, enlightened and enchanted.

Thus far, we have had patrons from 33 states and numerous countries. We are the first theatre experience for many students, and to date, more than 14,000 students have come through our doors for an Arts Education program. Our Arts Education program offers performances for Pre-K through adults and encourages our community to be life-long learners.


Our Mission

The Wayne Theatre Alliance promotes the artistic, cultural, and educational opportunities and the economic vitality of Waynesboro and adjacent region through the operation and preservation of the Ross Performing Arts Center at the historic Wayne Theatre as a performing arts/conference facility.



The Wayne opened on January 18, 1926, with plans to be a vaudeville/movie house. It advertised itself as the “finest theatre in the Shenandoah Valley.” It had an orchestra pit with organ, and a small “Wayne Orchestra” entertained the audience before the program.

In 1929, the Wayne followed the lead of the Dixie Theatre in Staunton and installed a “talking machine” by RCA which allowed the Wayne to show talkies.

In 1949, the boom times in Waynesboro led to expansion of the Wayne and the removal of nearly all of the original elements.

In 1980, a fire gutted the Wayne and the owners converted it into a twin cinema.

In 1999, the owners closed the theatre and deeded the structure to the city of Waynesboro.

In 2000, to prevent the demolishing of the Wayne, a group of citizens incorporated the Wayne Theatre Alliance as a 501 (c) 3 with the goal of renovating the theatre.

On March 1, 2016, the restored Wayne opened to the public with a preview season offering an array of theatre and live performances.


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