Court Square Theater was once the home of The Rockingham Motor Company (RMC), operating as one of the premier car dealers in Downtown Harrisonburg from the 1920s through the 1970s. In 1998 at the start of the downtown revitalization, Court Square Theater was carved out of the existing building along with 3 other businesses. The architecture of the old RMC was kept intact, with outside RMC crests being preserved and duplicated on the inside of the theater. Elements from other Harrisonburg downtown business were also incorporated into the theater–the ticket box office came from the historic Kavanaugh hotel. Originally the Theater was named The Rockingham Theater to pay homage to the car company.
In 2000 a group of local citizens who long dreamed of bolstering the arts within the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County communities, came together on the Rockingham Theater stage to form the non-profit organization now known as The Arts Council of the Valley. The Arts Council was charged with managing the theater as its performing arts branch and creating innovative partnerships in the arts amongst area civic organizations, businesses, schools, and certainly, artists.