About the Center
The Reichhold Center for the Arts is nestled within the lap of a natural valley whose mouth opens to the crystal blue waters of John Brewer's bay on the island of St. Thomas, United States Virgin Islands. This unique amphitheater of wood, limestone, copper, steel and concrete plays host to a wide range of concerts and performances, from Ray Charles to the Moscow Ballet, catering to our mission of enriching the cultural and social life of the people of the Virgin Islands.
The facility is constructed in two levels. The upper level consists of a proscenium stage, orchestra pit, two star dressing rooms, and ample backstage working space and storage areas. At the lower level you can find the chorus dressing rooms, rehearsal spaces, an art gallery, and inherited African Art display, Digital Media Institute, storage rooms, and the offices of the permanent professional staff of the Center and their supporting personnel.
The theater has 1196 seats in both the covered and open-aired sections. The lower area has 356 upholstered seats and is protected by a high-wing canopy roof which also accommodates sound and lighting equipment and acoustical clouds. The upper seating area has 840 seating places on newly constructed wooden contour benches in three sections, separated by dividers of natural stone and boulders and planted with low flowering shrubs. Rain protection during performances is provided by large shelters behind the upper seating areas and on a broad promenade between the upper and lower seating areas.
"The Center is a fine example of tropical architecture, a building suited to the character, climate needs, and a personality of the Virgin Islands." - The San Juan Star Magazine
Reichhold Center for the Arts: Mission Statement
To support programs that preserve and enhance the artistic heritage and cultural foundations of the Virgin Islands, the wider Caribbean and the Americas, and
To enrich the cultural and social life of the University of the Virgin Islands and its community with programs and performances drawn from across the globe that exemplify the best human artistic expression and, in so doing, to be recognized as a center of excellence of the University.
Mr. Henry H. Reichhold
Henry H. Reichhold (July 1901 - December 1989) was Chief Executive Officer of Reichhold Chemicals, Inc., the firm he founded in 1952 in Detroit Michigan. He held that position for fifty five years, longer than any other CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Mr. Reichhold had a life-long interest in music and art. While in Detroit, he revitalized the Detroit Symphony. He not only provided considerable financial support, but for many years he was the active president of the symphony, building it into one of the major orchestras of the country at the time. He completely underwrote the construction of the New Berlin Academy of Arts, which replaced the original academy destroyed in World War II.
Henry Reichhold has a not-so-secret passion - the Virgin Islands. He first came to the islands in the 1950's and was so impressed with our piece of paradise that he bought Bluebeard's Castle and developed the land mark hotel into one of the finest properties in the Caribbean.
Mr. Reichhold supported higher education in the Territory and was elected to the original Board of Overseers at the then College of the Virgin Islands in 1962. He made substantial donations to the development of the school itself, and endowed this beautiful arts center, which proudly bears his name. In his lifetime, Mr. Reichhold has received numerous honors such as the 1976 Louis Pasteur Humanitarian Award as well as the Virgin Islands Medal of Honor.
Lastly, in 1976-1977, Mr. Reichhold contributed 3.5 million dollars to finance the cost of construction of The Reichhold Center for the Arts. Operations of the Center Continues through the Reichhold Foundation.
View of Theater Area
Click to view the Reception Area