The building that now houses the Jefferson Theater was originally built in 1901 as a bank. It was then sold and reopened in 1912 as a "live performance theater that played host to silent movies, vaudeville acts and a historic list of live performers, ranging from Harry Houdini to The Three Stooges." 
In a 1924 issue of the Daily Progress, Cora Murray Duke was thanked for the success of the Juilee Concert that had been held at the theater, with the proceeds used to furnish beds in the colored wards of the UVA Hospital.
In 1969, a group of local businessmen purchased the building and re-named it the Cinema Theater and by the late 1970s it had acquired a reputation for showing so many x-rated films that locals nicknamed it "the Skinema." 
In 1983, owner Alton Martin sealed off the mezzanine to create the upstairs theater, renamed it the "Movie Palace," and began showing second-run films.  Martin passed away and Hawes Spencer purchased the building in 1992. 
Since the 2009 remodeling, the Jefferson Theater has been equipped with state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems, new restrooms, a restored balcony, and two full-service bars. 
- Web. Star reborn: Jefferson readied for next act, Dave McNair, The Hook, Better Publications LLC, 24 Aug 2006, retrieved 28 Feb 2012.
- Web. Theater Information, The Jefferson Theater, 2011, retrieved 28 Feb 2012.
- Web. New Jefferson Open Tomorrow, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, October 2, 1925, retrieved October 2, 2022. Print. October 2, 1925 page 1.
- Web. Paramount Firm Dickers for Two Local Theaters, Daily Progress Digitized Microfilm, Lindsay family, September 27, 1935, retrieved September 26, 2022. Print. September 27, 1935 page 1.
- Web. Mall theater almost ready to rock ‘n’ roll, Rachana Dixit, Daily Progress, Lee Enterprises, Sept. 13 2009
- Web. Jefferson Theater to open November 27, Vijith Assar, The Hook, Better Publications LLC, November 10, 2009 Print. November 12, 2009 , 845, .