The Forum Experience

The Richmond Forum is America’s largest non-profit speaker series, based in Richmond, VA. Our mission is to bring speakers from the world stage to our stage in Richmond—to expand horizons, stimulate conversation, and inspire our community. We are a subscription series, and present five world-class programs each season at Richmond’s historic Altria Theater.

An evening at The Forum begins at 7:00 PM when the doors open at Altria Theater. Talented musicians perform prior to the program and during intermission. Past performers range from local favorites like the Bellevue Rhythmaires, Susan Greenbaum and Belle Arte String Quartet to school groups—the Richmond Boys Choir and the VSU Gospel Chorale—to music from around the world—the Saltanah Ensemble performed before our program with PM Ehud Barak of Israel and Nobel laureate Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, and a didgeridoo ensemble in honor of PM Julia Gillard of Australia. Our programs begin promptly at 8:00 PM with a performance of our national anthem.

After opening remarks and a video by local studio Cream, our speaker or panelists present their perspectives in a speech or moderated discussion on the topic of the evening. Forum speakers expand our horizons by presenting a variety of unique perspectives and viewpoints. Panelists stimulate conversation about current events and the critical issues of our time. Presenters enlighten, entertain, and inspire curiosity in the minds of everyone in the room. At the conclusion of the first portion of the evening, there is a 15-minute intermission in preparation for the audience Q&A.

During intermission, our student pages collect hundreds of written questions from all areas of the theater and rush them backstage to be reviewed and sorted by the evening’s moderator and a team of subscriber volunteers. Forum speakers are not involved in the selection of questions and will hear them for the first time on stage.You can improve the odds of your question being selected by writing legibly and posing your question thoughtfully and succinctly. You can also submit your question before the program.

After intermission, we pose these audience questions to our guest(s). Speakers are often remarkably candid in answering your questions, revealing new insights into themselves and their subject matter. The Forum concludes around 10:00 PM.


All of The Richmond Forum’s programs take place at the beautifully restored Altria Theater.

Subscribers view the program live from the 3,600-seat theater space and via simulcast in the theater’s ballroom..

HD Simulcast Room

New subscribers generally start their subscriptions viewing from the HD simulcast room, with the opportunity to upgrade into the theater if seats become available through subscriber ticket donation.

Our simulcast room offers general admission seating in padded banquet chairs, all with a clear view of the HD screens. conveniently located concession stands, restrooms, easy wheelchair and handicap access via elevator, and area carpeting for comfort and excellent acoustics.


Parking is available in the VCU Main Street deck across from the theater. It costs $10 at the deck or $8 in advance via VCU Click&Park.

Large bags and backpacks are not permitted. All guests will be subjected to a voluntary bag or clothing search. The search is voluntary because the guest can refuse; however, the refusing guest will not be permitted entry. The theater has a no re-entry policy; individuals who enter the theater with an admission ticket and then leave the theater will not be allowed to re-enter. Additional security measures may be announced on a program-by-program basis. Firearms or weapons of any kind are not permitted in the theater.

Cameras, Cell Phones, & Recording Equipment
Presentations may not be recorded or photographed by any means for any purpose. Please turn off cell phones during the program.

Food & Drink
No food is permitted in the theater during Richmond Forum programs. Beverages without ice are allowed.


Assistive Listening Devices
The theater has an infrared assistive listening system with a variety of means of listening. Devices and information are available in the Box Office area.

Handicap Access & Seating
Should you need special assistance or handicap seating, please contact The Richmond Forum in advance of the program at (804) 330-3993.


Advertising Tickets for Resale is Prohibited
Due to the high-profile nature of our speakers and the security surrounding many of our programs, advertising or otherwise publicizing Richmond Forum tickets for sale is strictly prohibited. If you are unable to attend a program—and can’t find friends or family members who would love to attend in your place—you may donate your tickets back to The Richmond Forum for a tax credit.

Lost/Misplaced Tickets
If you know before noon on the day of the event, please call The Richmond Forum at (804) 330-3993, ext. 1 and indicate that you need to have duplicate tickets waiting for you at Will Call in the Altria Theater Box Office on the Main Street side. Will Call opens at 7:00 PM on Forum night. If it’s after noon when you realize there’s a problem, simply come to Will Call as soon as you arrive at the theater, show us your ID, and we will issue you duplicate tickets.

Inclement Weather
Should bad weather ever require us to reschedule or cancel an event, we will get the word out via this website, emails to our subscribers, our Facebook page, a message on our office voicemail, and by notifying local television and radio stations and The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Individual Program Tickets
Tickets are available to subscribers only. We do not sell tickets to individual programs. If you are not a subscriber and would like to become one, please read more on our subscriber page.

Renewing Subscriptions
Each year, any seats not renewed by Subscribers will be used to upgrade renewing Subscribers who wish to improve their seats. After such upgrades, any remaining available seats will be made available for purchase through a Ticket Lottery. Current Subscribers may register in the Lottery for additional seats, provided that the number of seats requested would not bring that Subscriber household’s total seats to more than four.

Upgrading Tickets
Simulcast subscribers have the opportunity to upgrade to theater seating should seats become available for any of the five programs. Seats become available when subscribers are not able to attend a particular program and donate their tickets back to us for a tax credit. These seats are only made available to other subscribers, including simulcast subscribers, and start at $10 per upgrade.