The National is located on the 700 block of Broad Street. This used to be known as Theatre Row. The National was opened in 1923. It held both live shows as well as motion pictures. It was closed in 1983 and wasn’t opened again until 2008. it is on the National Register of Historic Places.
The National has hosted several VCU socials, corporate events, and private parties. The distinctive Italian-renaissance design, wooden floors, brick walls, and seven full bars, definitely leads to a fun vibe.
Their are several VIP lounges where you can set up lounges for your guests. The stage is outfitted with the most recent technology for sound and light quality. Being as this is an event venue they have several options for special effects. If done correctly, no one will leave here thinking they were bored.
The mezzanine level has recently been restored and is a great option for cocktail hour. Your guests can mingle around the balconies and enjoy all of the unique architecture.
There are suites off off the main space that used to be used as offices. They look very Mad Men. They are currently being used as VIP lounges, wedding suites, and greenrooms for the entertainment. If your groomsmen are planning on getting ready here they should definitely check out the rec room. This space is the perfect setting for some really great photos. There are working video games, a pool table, and a few lounge options.
The ladies have several options to get ready here as well. There are other VIP suites that have large windows facing Broad St. that allow for some great natural light. Your make up artists and photographers will thank you for this.
There is some history here and a bit of a scandal. You can see the aftermath of this in the nursery room. I’ll leave this here, but you can ask the venue the story. It’s a good one.
This venue is also unique in that it has a secret pass through to the restaurant next door. This is a great place for a rehearsal dinner or an after party. We went through the elevator, but you can access the restaurant from the front too. Vagabond serves southern food, craft beer, and interesting cocktails. Downstairs they have their 1920s speakeasy, The Rabbit Hole. This is a really neat lounge with a literal piano bar, and a moth light for singers and readers to do their thing.
I would recommend hiring an event planner if this is your chosen venue. In order for things to run smoothly and keep the momentum moving with your guests you will need a pro leading the charge. I would also select the photographer very carefully. There is no natural light in this space, and you will be relying heavily on special effects.
For more Information on the venue check them out here.
Click here if you would like more info on Vagabond.
As always, I would love to chat.