Marion is one of a few towns to be designated as an official Virginia Main Street Community and National Main Street Community. The Lincoln Theatre, a meticulously renovated Art-Deco Mayan Revival -style performing arts center in Marion, is the home of the nationally syndicated bluegrass music program Songs of the Mountains. The General Francis Marion Hotel has been completely restored. It is a boutique hotel that has received an AAA Three-Diamond ranking. The town hosts a monthly ArtWalk with local artists and musicians, held on the second Friday of each month in May through December.
The Lincoln Theatre’s Art Deco interior was designed to evoke images of an ancient Mayan temple. The unusual auditorium was embellished with painted appliqués of exotic creatures and mythological gods. In juxtaposition to this stylized architecture, six enormous murals (View the murals...) depicting scenes from national and local history were painted and installed. A local artist, Lola Poston, was paid $50 for each painting. A soaring cove-lit ceiling, modern lighting and projection equipment, and luxurious appointments made The Lincoln Theatre the premier movie house of southwest Virginia.
When The Lincoln Theatre opened on July 1, 1929, nearly 1,000 patrons packed in to see “Close Harmony,” starring Buddy Rogers and Nancy Carroll. It was the first talking picture many had ever seen. Hundreds were turned away at the box office because the theater could not accommodate them.
The Lincoln Theatre operated for 44 years before its first closing in December of 1973. In the mid-1970s, the theater reopened briefly, but the few customers who came could not sustain its operation. The building and its systems fell into severe disrepair. On August 28, 1977, the theater closed — appropriately — with the 1974 adventure film, “When the North Wind Blows.”
The Lincoln Theatre reopened on May 16, 2004, with a performance by the Grammy Award-winning western musical and comedy group, Riders in the Sky. As a programming facility and presenting organization, The Lincoln Theatre offers events year-round and is available as a venue to touring companies, performance groups, and individual artists. Today’s theater, one of only three existing Art Deco Mayan Revival theaters, is included on the National Register of Historic Places and is a Virginia Historic Landmark.
hungry mother state park
Legend has it that when the Native Americans destroyed several settlements on the New River south of the park, Molly Marley and her small child were among the survivors taken to the raiders’ base north of the park. They eventually escaped, wandering through the wilderness eating berries. Molly finally collapsed, and her child wandered down a creek until the child found help. The only words the child could utter were "Hungry Mother." The search party arrived at the foot of the mountain where Molly collapsed to find the child's mother dead. Today that mountain is Molly’s Knob, and the stream is Hungry Mother Creek.
general FRAncis marion hotel
The General Francis Marion Hotel, once said to be the most elegant lodging establishment in Southwestern Virginia, reopened in February 2006. After almost two years of renovation and restoration, the grand old hotel was reborn with the comfort, convenience and amenities of a modern hotel while retaining the ambiance of the 1920's.