Norva Theatre, Norfolk, VA | CruiseBe
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Norva Theatre

Activities, History and museums
attractions, theatre, fun, culture, music venue

The NorVa is a performing theatre located in Norfolk, Virginia. The NorVa's name consists of an abbreviation relating to its location.

The NorVa was the brainchild of local music venue entrepreneurs Bill Reid and Rick Mersel, who have also developed the NTelos Wireless Pavilion and have ties to the development of Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach. In 2014, the NorVa was acquired by Anschutz Entertainment Group.

The original NorVa Theatre opened in 1917 as a 2000-seat Vaudeville theater then thrived as a premier movie theatre into the 1970s. The building served as home to the Downtown Athletic Club from 1980 until 1998 when it was renovated for its current use. The building is often noted by its patrons to be charming and aesthetically pleasing due to its rustic and old-style appearance. The NorVa features top-notch acoustics, acoustics provided by a state-of-the-art V-DOSC sound system and engineered acoustical padding throughout the walls. The NorVa's stage area also features extensive utilities and lighting for special effects.


The NorVa faces MacArthur Center's north parking garage. Hampton Roads Transit's The Tide light rail's Monticello station is located less than a block away.

Concert Venue History:


  • Everything and The Dirty Dozen Brass Band was originally scheduled to open the venue
  • April 17 - James Brown performed the inaugural show.


  • April 28 - Prince sold out the venue in less than five minutes.


  • The NorVa hosted the after party for the Larry Holmes-Butterbean fight, promoted by Daryl DeCroix and Frank Azzalina. It was Larry Holmes' last professional fight.


  • The hard rock band Chevelle released a DVD entitled "Live from the NorVA."
  • March 24 - Queens of the Stoneage with Turbonegro
  • April 18 - Flaming Lips
  • August 13 - Snoop Dogg
  • October 14 - Justin Timberlake


  • April 6 - Bob Dylan
  • September 27 - Wilco


  • March 19 - Willie Nelson
  • The NorVa was named one of the top five rock venues by Rolling Stone Magazine.


  • April 27 - Phoenix


  • September 14 - Kendrick Lamar


  • The NorVa ranks #16 in Rolling Stone's Best Big Rooms in America list.
  • NorVa picked best venue by Rolling Stone readers
  • The NorVa was the recipient of the Best Major Music Venue award in the 2013 VEER Music Awards.


  • September 24 - The NorVa was purchased in a $5.9 million deal by AEG Live. The National Theatre, The NorVa's sister venue, was also purchased in October.


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