Virginia Theatre

Boardwalk and Virginia Avenue,
Atlantic City, NJ 08401

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Showing 26 - 50 of 55 comments

Coate on June 15, 2006 at 10:16 pm

“TSOM did move to the Shore but I am not sure if it was April 66 or 67.” (Mikeoaklandpark on May 22, 2006)

“Does that mean that SOM played from May ‘65 until '67 at the Virginia and then moved to the Shore?” (Vincent on May 22, 2006)

It definitely was not in April of ‘66. “The Sound Of Music” played exclusively at the Virginia on a reserved-seat basis from spring '65 through the fall of '66. The Shore engagement would not have been with reserved seats nor would it have been a move-over.

kencmcintyre on May 22, 2006 at 12:28 pm

I remember the Glenda Jackson movie playing there in 1973, but nothing after that. The Strand was nearby. There was a large burlesque house, name unknown, further down Virginia Avenue, by Morton’s Hotel.

VincentParisi on May 22, 2006 at 10:55 am

Millie couldn’t have played there until the spring of ‘67. Does that mean that SOM played from May '65 until '67 at the Virginia and then moved to the Shore? Was this all on reserved seats?
As I’ve written above on my first visit to AC GWTW was playing at the Virginia in the summer of '68. There was a billboard above for Mille which they hadn’t bothered to change.
When I was on the boardwalk in the summer of '76 the Virginia was still there but boarded up.
Does anybody have any interior and exterior photos of the Virginia?
Amazing that SOM was selling out everywhere in that summer of '65.

Mikeoaklandpark on May 22, 2006 at 7:57 am

The theater didn’t close until 1973. TSOM did move to the Shore but I am not sure if it was Aptil 66 0r 67. It was whatever year Throughly Modern Mille played at the Virginia. I was not aware that the Virginia stayed open for the winter with TSOM. Can anybody confirm this?

Coate on April 6, 2006 at 2:38 pm

From VARIETY (July 20, 1966):


“Sound of Music” (20th Century-Fox) continues to draw remarkable crowds to the Virginia Theatre where it shortly will go into its 900th consecutive showing, the longest run of any single motion picture in the history of the resort.

It opened last season on May 27, 1965 and played throughout the summer. George A. Hamid Jr., theatre operator, decided that it would draw during the winter months also, and kept the house open when all others on the boardwalk closed.

In fact, it may be the last motion picture to ever play there, as the theatre is due to be razed in the resort’s massive urban renewal program which will clear 10 city blocks bordering on the boardwalk.

So did this theatre not actually close in late ‘66 as the article suggested?

teecee on March 24, 2006 at 2:20 am

Film Daily Yearbook – the #1 source. You can find them at a good university library or quality used bookstore. I personally think that eBay is overpriced but they sell some at times.

Mikeoaklandpark on March 22, 2006 at 7:53 am

I see you have posted on most of the AC theaters that it lists in the FDY as GG theaters.What is FDY? George Hamid leased the theaters to a company called GG and they ran them until 1973. I think the last year for the Shore was 1971.

teecee on March 2, 2006 at 2:29 am

Listed in the 1970 FDY as part of G.G. Theatres.

VincentParisi on September 30, 2005 at 3:35 am

I hope you got to see those movies at those theaters, I sure would have loved to.

Moviejoemovies on August 24, 2005 at 1:16 pm

“My Fair Lady” played at the Center Theatre in the Summer of ‘65. “Sound of Music” was at the Virginia and “Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines” played at the Shore. In the Summer of '71, “The Love Machine” played at the Beach Theatre, not the Shore. This Theatre was further up Atlantic Avenue on the other side.

teecee on July 5, 2005 at 9:38 am

My records show that an Austin organ, opus 627, was installed in 1916. Later in 1924 the Kimball organ was installed.

VincentParisi on May 9, 2005 at 6:26 am

The last time I saw the Shore it was I believe playing The Love Machine.
I voted to pass gambling in Atlantic City thinking this would restore the City to its former glory. Which for me meant restoring the great hotels and the great theaters. Of course this just hastened the demise of what made the city great in the first place. I now avoid it totally. Losing money fast in large impersonal casinos holds no allure for me whatsoever.
Jersey lost so much in letting its great shore towns run down. I wonder if I’m the only one who noticed. Well in allowing it I’m sure the politicos made a ton of money.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 7, 2005 at 8:35 am

The Virginia Theatre opened in 1915 and it was equipped with a Kimball theatre pipe organ.

koolart on April 23, 2005 at 3:11 pm

It was interesting to stumble upon this site while researching Skinny D'amato for an art piece to go into the new AC House of Blues. I grew up in Ventnor and remember all the summer people coming for the season and how lively everything would be for those preciious three months. Sometimes we would venture to an Atlantic City beach…usually in front of the Traymore as we locals often had pool passes and could use the facilities there. I remember laying down on the beach and looking back and noting the spectacular skyline and all those glorious old hotels mentioned above. I would get such a thrill from that vision-as if I was looking at palaces in some exotic placel
I’ve lived in San Diego for the past 20 years and rarely visit Ventnor as my parents come here each year to get away. I did go back this past Thanksgiving and I barely recognized the place. In a way that’s very sad, but at the same time, what was going to happen to AC if casinos never passed? Would those gorgeous old hotels simply have faded into total disrepair anyway and the ghetto have moved closer and closer to my little pocket of suburbia? Could you even envision walking on the boardwalk after dark back then? Casino’s have been both a saving element and a plague upon a city that we knew and loved-a high price to pay for it’s salvation. Now, it’s all changed….and so have we. So, that said….thanks for listening and I loved reading about the city of my childhood.
Lynne (age 49 and alumnus of Holy Spirit High)

Mikeoaklandpark on January 21, 2005 at 10:50 am

Yeah I was lucky. We went to AC every summer from 67-78. We spent a lot of time at the Steel Pier. We went almost every week in the latter years. We saw some roadshow films. We saw The Bible and Oliver at the Shore, Funny Girl at The Center. Do you remember Wildwood and Ocean City? All the theaters there were ruined too. Wildwood closed all the theaters except for one. This was after Frank Theatres runied them by twinning and quading the 4 theaters. They did the same to the Ocean City Theaters in 1989 when they got there hands on those theaters

VincentParisi on January 21, 2005 at 9:52 am

Then you were fortunate that your parents took you to see these movies on vacation. While I remember a few roadshows playing in Asbury as well we never went to the movies first run. Those prices would have been outrageous. We had to wait to see them in the burbs.
I saw Lord Jim at a drive-in in the summer of 65 outside of Asbury though I would have rather seen MFL at the St James or SOM at the Paramount(so what was at the Lyric?.) I wish they had taken me to ee Jim at the State in Manhattan.
Saw Dolly at the St James on a Saturday afternoon in July ‘70. Still a beautiful first run house. Non reserved but prices different for Orch Loge and Balc($3.00 and $3.50 I believe.) The place was deserted.

Mikeoaklandpark on January 21, 2005 at 9:33 am

I was also very young when all this was happening. I was born in 57 so a lot of what went on I don’t remember to well if t was the early 60’s.

VincentParisi on January 21, 2005 at 7:37 am

Mike I was so young in the ‘60s when all these places had their last flicker of glory. I remember the retirees filling the benches on the boardwalk in the evening and now imagine them visiting as young men and women in the 1920’s when the resort was at it’s height. The place to me seemed like Disneyland for adults. I looked forward to visiting on my own when I was old enough and doing everything and visiting everywhere. Little did I know that in the '70s when I would finally have my chance everything would vanish as if it had never even existed.

Mikeoaklandpark on January 21, 2005 at 6:55 am

I know and you probibly rememebr steel pier. That was so much fun. When Hamid sold that to the owners of the Million Dollar Pier they ruin it. They knocked down the big vaudeville hall and the smaller Tony Grant theater to make way for International thrill rides. Well they got screwed becuase hurricane Gloria ruined it

VincentParisi on January 21, 2005 at 6:37 am

And think of the magnificent hotels that were torn down as well. Why anybody would want to tear down The Blenheim and the Traymore. It makes me sick to my stomach. At the time I thought the casinos would bring in revenue to restore the city to its former glory. What they did was to destroy the city itself and make it nothing more than a haven for casino owners. Except for people with a compulsion to lose money very quickly why in the world would anyone want to go to there?

Mikeoaklandpark on January 21, 2005 at 5:20 am

George Hamid closed the Roxy too after the 1973 season. In 1974 he converted it into a small museum called movie world that his son ran. They only used the inner lobby for the theater and the main auditoirm was left intact. The following year it was turned into an indoor amusement park and in 1980 or 81 it burned to the ground.
The Apollo closed in Auf 1973 when there lease was up. The following year it was turned into the Apollo burlesque and porno theater.The Hollywood opened Memorial Day weekend 1977 with King King and closed for good a week later with no explanation.The Strand lasted until 1979 and than was closed. The casino’s ruined AC.

VincentParisi on January 20, 2005 at 2:24 pm

Mike you’re killing me with all this negative info on what I thought were these grand cinemas. I remember seeing the Virginia boarded up in ‘76 with porn playing at the Apollo. How sad it all was and I haven’t been to the Boardwalk since. Too hearbreaking. I never knew about the Roxy, the Center or the Hollywood. Maybe it’s just as well…

Mikeoaklandpark on January 20, 2005 at 1:26 pm

Oh yeah Vincent, TSOM and GWTW did play in 70mm and steo sound. The revival of SOM also played in 70mm

Mikeoaklandpark on January 20, 2005 at 1:25 pm

Yeah I agree Vincent. I always thought it was a great palace inside and it wasn’t. I was very disappointed the only time I went when they had Hello Dolly in 1970. A shot of this theater all boarded up can be seen in the movie Atlantic City with Burt Lancaster.
Actually the Center theater on Atlantic Ave was beautiful and had a large curved screen and beautiful curtains. I also would love to know about My Fair Lady. 1971 was the last year the Shore was open.It too had no curtains or masking but did have a balcony.

VincentParisi on January 20, 2005 at 10:04 am

No curtains? No masking? Shabby, small auditorium, Odd curve to the screen? Here I’m thinking all these years this was the Rivoli of Altantic City, the premiere movie house of the town and I suddenly find it was a dive. Also what theater did MFL play roadshow in ‘65?
I think I walked past the Shore(not on the boardwalk correct?) in the summer of 71 and it was playing The Love Machine.