1930 – The building was built as a 250 seat movie theater, complete with a crying room at the back of the house, a concession stand on the North wall and a staircase on the south wall leading to the only bathroom upstairs It was named the Rio Theater.
1930’s – Sometime in the 1930’s a fire occurred with no injuries. The fire consumed the entire wooden structure leaving charred timbers attached to the brick wall of 317 Main where the original roof trusses were. The theatre was rebuilt.
1947 – A second fire was caused by nitrate film exploding out the front of the building under the arch. The fire consumed most of the wooden interior. Again there were no injuries and the theatre was rebuilt with no ticket booth or crying room. A concession stand spanned the front center of the lobby with theatre entrances on the north and south of the building. Over the next 40 years the building was bought and sold many times.
June 1988 – The building was purchased by Erick Spiess for his daughter, Gretchen, to be turned into a stage theatre. During reconstruction the building was gutted from the ceiling down. Part of the cove ceiling was altered and seating changed from 250 seats to 99 seats. The upstairs was extended with the projection booth converted into the current office space and two new rooms added (now the costume room and the light booth). Under the second floor extension, the lobby floor was built up to match the street level and concrete was floated in to smooth the transition from the existing floor to the wooden addition. Plumbing was brought from the center post where it was sunk in the concrete floor to the north wall for the kitchen sink. The north lobby staircase, originally positioned west to east, very narrow and steep, was rebuilt as a curved wide staircase facing north to west. A second staircase was added on the south wall to access the bathroom and light booth. Electrical and plumbing improvements were made. June 1998 – The roof was removed over the stage, the old truss removed, and a laminated beam was installed. New roof joists were added with a four foot over hang. The entire roof was replaced with rolled
September 9, 1999 – A third fire was limited to the stage. Heat and smoke damage was throughout the building.
September 1999 to 2000 – The theatre was gutted with the exception of the wooden framing. The wood frame was fire sealed and a new stage built. New electrical was done and sheetrock was installed. A new furnace and air conditioner along with insulation were installed.
2000 – The theater was donated to The Chantilly Players.
2002 – The front of the building underneath the archways was removed, along with half of the lobby wall. A new front was built with new front doors and a box office. These were truer to the original design. The exterior of the building was patched with concrete and painted with StuccoFlex, a rubberized paint to hide minor imperfections.
2008 – The name of the theater was changed to Stevensville Playhouse and it was incorporated under this new name. By 2009 the theater had acquired 501(c)3 non-profit status and By-Laws were created. 2015 – Major structural engineered upgrades and other improvements were made at a cost of over $100,000. The south concrete wall, beams, and roof trusses were connected to a new roof system and further connected to the neighboring Art Gallery on the north side of building. All trusses were reinforced and metal strengthening rods and plates were added. A new heating system was installed for the lobby and office area. Electrical upgrades were made in various locations throughout the theater.
September 2017 – A three story addition was added to the back of theater. The main floor has a green room, workshop, bathrooms and storage space. A basement provides additional storage for set pieces and props. The upstairs houses two new dressing rooms and costume creation and storage.
Spring 2018 – The carpet was replaced in the lobby and house. Isle lights were added making a safer space for everyone. The lobby and stair ways also received a fresh coat of paint. A new volunteer made new curtains for our counter area in the lobby. Summer 2018 The theater purchased new LED lights and a Color Source light board.
Fall 2018 – Extensive remodeling was done in the office area. This created 2 separate spaces one for office use and the other for costume storage. New flooring and fresh paint were added to the public bathrooms and lobby.
Spring 2019 – New presidium curtains were added.
2020-2021 – Improvements were made to the tech room including new carpet and fresh paint. The ellipsoidal lights were relocated for better access. A new sound board was purchased as our old one was having a great deal of problems. We purchased new mic stands.
Spring 2022 – New headsets and mics were purchased.