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3rd Street: Best Seats in the House

3rd Street tells the story of the Paramount Theater’s formerly segregated 3rd Street entrance and box office through the experiences of those local Charlottesville African-American residents whom were forced by Jim Crow law to use it and sit in the balcony.

The film not only shines a light on an important location in Charlottesville’s history. But it also highlights the valuable stories of those whom lived that very history that was not so long ago. “3rd Street” discusses topics like structural racism, Jim Crow Laws, and racial segregation as we learn and value the experiences of our own local elders.

Writer/Director Lorenzo Dickerson states, “The 3rd street entrance at the Paramount Theater may be the most trafficked historical location in Charlottesville that has not yet had its story told.” “People walk by it daily, and exit the theater there after seeing a film or a show, all the while not knowing the history of the very ground they walk on, and whom walked those stairs before them.”

  • Lorenzo Dickerson
    Albemarle's Black Classrooms, Anywhere But Here, The Coachman, Byrdland, Color Line of Scrimmage
  • Lorenzo Dickerson
  • Frank Walker
    Key Cast
  • Billy Byers
    Key Cast
  • Marcha Howard
    Key Cast
  • Bessie Williams
    Key Cast
  • Rev. Nate Brown
    Key Cast
  • Bernice Mitchell
    Key Cast
  • Kenneth Mitchell
    Key Cast
  • William Redd
    Key Cast
  • Phil Jones
    Key Cast
  • Michel Tawney
    Key Cast
  • Edwina St. Rose
    Key Cast
  • Lorenzo Dickerson
  • Gerald Terrell
  • Chris Howard
    Original Music
  • Jane Smith
    Historical Research
  • Jane Myers
    Archival Video Footage
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature, Short
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 13 minutes 52 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 23, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    17,704 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Lorenzo Dickerson

Lorenzo Dickerson is a documentary filmmaker from Charlottesville, Virginia focusing on telling little-known stories of African American history and culture.

Dickerson is a storyteller that enjoys bringing films to the community for the purpose of awareness building and understanding. Each of his films are designed to be a learning experience and teaching tool.

His films have played in film festivals and broadcast on PBS.

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Director Statement

Film provides us the opportunity to shine a light on forgotten stories of people and places. To make people aware of these experiences.