When did Bright Box Theater open as an entertainment event venue?
What types of events do Bright Box host? How does someone book an event?
We feature a wide variety of entertainment including live music, comedy shows, burlesque and drag performances, murder mystery dinner theatre shows, Shenandoah University performances, 80s dance parties, and more. We’ve got all state-of-the-art sound, lighting, and projection equipment and the acoustics in the room are superb, so music genres like bluegrass, blues, Americana, jazz, jam, and rock work perfectly at Bright Box. Because the stage, tables, and chairs, are all moveable, we can host shows that are all-seated, all-standing, or a mix of both. It also makes Bright Box a fantastic venue for wedding receptions, fundraisers, reunions, and other such events.
Booking inquiries can be sent to Bill@brightboxtheater.com. For private parties and other special events, inquires can be sent to Matt@brightboxtheater.com
How does Bright Box appeal to everyone?
With such an eclectic lineup of entertainment, with artists that come from diverse backgrounds, there’s something to suite all tastes.
For those looking for a party, we feature high energy bands like Hackensaw Boys, Bud’s Collective, Threesound, Souled Out, The Reflex, Gallows Bound, New Riders of the Purple Sage, and Drymill Road. For those who fancy roots rock and blues we’ve got Terry Oates and the Mudcats, Mary Ann Redmond, Tom Principato, The Nighthawks, and Patty Reese. Looking for something a bit more relaxing? We have acts like Springfield Exit, Bitter Liberals, and Ver Azul. For something more adventurous we have events like murder mysteries and burlesque shows. Want some big laughs? We’ve got stand-up comedy, improv, comedy hypnotism, and drag shows.
And our diverse appeal applies to our libations, too. We have a wide selection of beverages with lots of craft beers, fine wines, and locally distilled liquors, plus a variety of food options that are perfect for a snack, dinner, or a tasty dessert… something for every taste!
What does having a cultural center such as Bright Box do for the local community? Why do you think it’s an important asset?
We’re so grateful that we’ve been embraced and supported by the Winchester community. But we’ve also seen tons of people who have traveled from neighboring towns, West Virginia, DC, Baltimore, and beyond to attend our events. It gives us a nice feeling that we’re bringing people into Winchester and showing off our amazing little city. For those visiting from out of town, we have Old Town Winchester brochures out in the lobby for guests to take so they can discover all the great shops, restaurants, cultural sites, and more that the area has to offer.
We’re big proponents of, and strong advocates for supporting local businesses, art, and artists. Fostering these not only helps support our local culture, but contributes to the economic success of the city.
Are there any details about Bright Box people should know that they might not already know?
Bright Box is all about the experience. We want you to come on out and have a great night in Old Town Winchester. Gather up some friends and join us for some food, drinks, and awesome entertainment. Come see something new! We pride ourselves in booking amazing national (and sometimes international) talent that you’ll enjoy regardless if you know every word to their songs, or have never heard of them.
What makes Bright Box different compared to other venues in the area?
Bright Box is a performance space similar to venues like the Birchmere in Alexandria, DC’s The Hamilton and Gypsy Sally’s, and Vienna’s Jammin’ Java. Like at these great venues our focus is on the performances, with nationally touring acts making stops on a weekly basis. Other venues in the Winchester area are less focused on the entertainment itself, and the acts are often more part of the background. At Bright Box entertainment is front and center.
We’ve been awarded and recognized by several different publications for being the best live music venue in the area, and even named one of the 50 Best Small Live Music Venues in America! Just last month we received an award by City Beat News for excellence in customer service.
Would you want to take a date to a show at Bright Box? Is it a good place to meet new people?
Absolutely! Bright Box is the perfect place for a date, girls’/guys’ night out, birthday celebration, anniversary, or anyone just looking to have a good time. Many of our events have table seating — perfect for dates and groups of friends — with full wait service so you can focus on having fun with your company. Looking to make some new friends? Saddle up to the bar where you can mingle with other fans of your favorite act (while one of our amazing bartenders fixes up something special, of course). Bright Box is definitely a social environment. We see people making new friends all the time. Come with a group of friends or come by yourself — you’re going to have a ton of fun either way.
What are some fun upcoming events? What is the price range for admission/food/drinks?
There are so many great shows coming up! I’m personally really excited about our August 5th performance: Life On Mars, a tribute to the late, great David Bowie, with one of our favorite local indie bands, Burning Dirty. On August 13 The Reflex return for another outrageous 80’s dance party. Everyone LOVES those. Our comedy shows are always a blast, the last weekend of each month. Hackensaw Boys and The Nighthawks are coming back on Labor Day weekend. Steve Lauri from the 60’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band The Hollies makes his Bright Box debut on September 9. We’ve got a great Latin jazz band called Ver Azul playing on September 16 and a really fun Hungarian band on September 23. There’s lots more on the schedule, and we’re always adding new shows. The full lineup can be found on our website at www.brigthboxwinchester.com.
Though ticket prices range based on the performance, we strive to keep them affordable. A majority of our shows average between $8 and $15. It’s almost always cheaper when you purchase them online in advance, too. Much of our food and drink menu includes local items (like local craft beer and spirits, Maryland crabs, locally-made brownies) and can range from $6 to $14.
What was the vision when opening the Bright Box as an event venue?
This is best summed up in a great article written by Vince Diem and published in the fantastic arts/music magazine Appalachian Jamwich in March 2013:
In 2005, when business entrepreneur Marilyn Finnemore, PhD, purchased the building that would later become an icon in downtown Historic Winchester, Virginia, she knew that there was a particular space within the building that would someday become something special and unique. The space started out as a large, two-story space with squatty ceilings and brick walls. There was little more than mere potential to fulfill a vision.
Marilyn was destined to create a hub for the performing arts. Winchester seemed like the perfect backdrop for her vision, with having been the home of legendary country music icon, Patsy Cline and the highly-regarded Shenandoah Conservatory. The area remains the home of such nationally-known recording artists as David McLaughlin, Marshall Wilborn, Lynn Morris, and David & Linda Lay. She recognized that she had a unique space and wanted to fulfill her vision of establishing a “true event venue” in downtown Winchester. Initially undecided about whether to introduce a production studio or theater, Marilyn settled on pursuing a performance venue – not just another bar that features live music – but, the dream to build a creative/music culture in Winchester.