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Virginia Beach history, the ‘Dome’

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Back in 1958 Virginia Beach had just finished a one of a kind building, unlike anything ever built in the United States. Although it was officially deemed the ‘Virginia Beach Civic Center’, locals knew it by one name, the ‘Dome’.

Built on 19th Street and Pacific Ave. at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, the ‘Dome’ was the entertainment epicenter of early Virginia Beach.

In the ‘Dome’s’ opening year, 1958, the 1,000 seat concert venue attracted Jazz legend such as Louis Armstrong. Many other artists also graced the ‘Dome’s’ stage over the years.

Virginia Beach residents watched concerts from The Supremes, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendricks, Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Wonder, and countless other performing legends. The ‘Dome’ didn’t always act as concert venue though, during the off season one would see a much different environment.

Depending on the month, the venue was open for roller skating, to watch surfing movies, or even to participate in the annual Garden Club flower sale.

Most locals who lived in Virginia Beach throughout the ‘Dome’s’ “heyday’, have lasting memories from the historic site. Whether going on a first date to a Beach Boys concert, or watching a legendary boxing match, the ‘Dome’ has a place in any true local’s heart.

According to the city economic development website and the Virginian Pilot, in 1994 the ‘Dome’ was torn down to make room for a parking lot; however, plans are currently in the works to revive the historic lot into a newer, superior, part of Virginia Beach history.

courtesy of City Of Virginia Beach
VIRGINIA BEACH DOME site’s possible future makeover.



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Ian Lichacz, Editor-in-Chief


Journalism III student

Ian enjoys scuba diving and sailing when he's not on his horse.

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Virginia Beach history, the ‘Dome’