top of page

Community Development

Real estate development, job creation, innovative financing in support of the arts, and creation of rental housing

BARC structured and closed this innovative financing in July of 2021, raising more than $1.1 million which, combined with contributions from businesses, foundations, government, and individuals, allowed the theater to open debt-free and capitalized with an operating reserve. 

In 2021, BARC raised $1.1M in the opening of The Granada Theater.  


BARC was successful in attracting a sophisticated institution, MVB Bank from Fairmont, WV, as the investor benefiting from the tax credits.

Screenshot 2024-02-06 194631.png

The Historic Granada Theater 

While programming is crucial for an arts organization, long-term sustainability also hinges on the venues used for entertainment and educational programs. In August 2021, BARC reopened the restored Granada Theater, originally built in 1928. After its last movie screening in 1977, the theater underwent a historically accurate renovation, spearheaded by committed residents starting in 2012, to restore its former grandeur as the last remaining theater in Bluefield's downtown.

The quality of an arts organization's facilities is crucial, and BARC meets this standard with a restored historic theater, two new cinemas, and a renovated art gallery. However, financing these venues is also vital for success.

To address this, BARC established an affiliate, BARC Real Estate Development, to ensure financial stability. The restoration of the historic Granada Theater was completed using historic tax credits, marking the first project in Bluefield to utilize these federal and state community development incentives.

Raleigh Street Cinemas 

The lower level of the Granada, which has frontage on Raleigh Street at the rear of the theater, was not part of the historic renovation of the theater. The 11,000 square feet of open, lower-level space with high ceilings, which was previously a Montgomery Ward tire and auto center, has been repurposed as an entertainment and education center with multiple amenities.  Raleigh Street Cinemas, as the project is named, complements the existing operations of the Granada Theater. 

The facility was designed by BARC and constructed with two state-of-the-art theaters, each with fifty seats. The theaters show first-run movies and are available for rent for private parties or community events.  The project also includes two teaching labs which will be used by New River Community and Technical College for job training programs.

Raleigh Street Cinemas also made use of an innovative financing tool - New Markets tax credits. This creative adaptive-reuse project was the first project in Mercer County to benefit from this federal community development program.  BARC attracted one of the largest banks in the country – US Bank – as the investor making use of the tax credits.

Renovation and Reopening of the Paine Gallery

The Paine Gallery is an exhibition space managed by BARC in Bluefield’s Old City Hall. The gallery has been used in the past by local and regional artists and schools for student art shows. In 2020, the gallery was closed, as a water leak in the building damaged the space’s floor, rendering the gallery unusable. Additionally, the lighting in the gallery was inappropriate for an exhibition space. Wall coverings and ceiling tiles were also outdated and the electrical system needed to be upgraded as well. 

BARC raised funds from multiple sources, including a grant from the state, to complete a renovation which addressed all of these deficiencies, upgrading and replacing the existing improvements, allowing the gallery to not only reopen, but to offer Bluefield and all of Mercer County a contemporary exhibition space.

Importantly, with the reopening of the gallery, the local community will once again have access to gallery space, a cultural amenity in short supply in Bluefield and the surrounding communities. The gallery reopened in 2023, with a county-wide student art show in late April.

The Paine Gallery has in the past exhibited an eclectic mix of works by local and regional artists and artisans including art glass, ceramics, photographs, paintings, pottery, photographs, and sculptures. Now that the facility has reopened, this multi-faceted programming will again be offered. BARC’s purpose in reopening the Paine Gallery is to make art in all of its forms accessible to area residents.

Sign up for the BARC digital newsletter. 

Be the first to know about upcoming events, announcements, and community projects. 

Thank you for subscribing to our mailing list. We promise not to spam you.

bottom of page