Virginia Theatre

935 Boardwalk,
Atlantic City, NJ 08401

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Showing 26 - 50 of 63 comments

spectrum
spectrum on September 29, 2007 at 1:52 pm

According to THS’s Marquee issue of 1980 (v. 1), the Virginia was built in 1915.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on September 8, 2006 at 3:55 am

Crazy Bob
The Virginia got rid of the V in 1968 when they put up a totally new sign on top the marquee. I old sign was green letters and was much betterthan the new one installed which was whire with red letters. I did not know Hamid owned the Stadium theater in Phila, I can’t imagine they had Todd Ao at the Virgina.The only time I was in the theater was to see Hello Dolly and the screen was small, no curtains or masking. For a roadshow theater, the Virginia was tacky.

Crazy Bob Madara
Crazy Bob Madara on September 7, 2006 at 9:31 pm

The Virgina had 35/70mm Cinemacanica Victoria projectors. I saw “The Sound Of Music” there in the mid sixties and the marquee said TODD A-O. I was once visiting the booth about 1972, and saw a sign on the wall that said “NO LARGE V ANYMORE” I asked the operator what it meant? He said That there use to be a large neon V on top of the marquee in the forties. The sign was to remind them that they didn’t have to turn it off any more. I think that it blew down in a storm. I worked at many AC theatre that had the marquee switches in the projection booth. I remember the Virginia having no balcony & a tin ceiling. They told me that George Hamid used to take the 70mm projectors up to his Stadium Theatre in South Philly during the Winter.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on June 16, 2006 at 8:10 am

Howard
I wonder if we know each other? I was in AC from 67-78 fro the summers and I remember it well. The Strand was indeed the last theater to operate on the boardwalk. The Apollo’s last season of operation was 1977.Charlie Tannenbaum was a customer of mine at Atlantic Bank and he told me they auditoium was condemmed. The front part through the lobby was used the following year, but burned. Eventually a men’s clothing store opened there. The last year of operation for the Strand was 1978. After that the front was kept and used for bike rentals. The auditorium was knocked down.

Cinedelphia
Cinedelphia on June 16, 2006 at 7:02 am

I recall the Strand Theater, which was located between the Virginia
and the Apollo, remaining open through the winter in its' last year of operation as a second run house. I saw an odd double feature of
“The Last Detail” and “Lightening Swords of Death” there during what I am sure was not the summer season. I believe the Strand may have been the last of the boardwalk houses to close in AC. The Apollo may have lasted a little longer as a burlesque/porn house. Man I miss those AC theaters. Grew up in AC during the 60’s and 70’s and attended those theaters on a regular basis. AC was a small town with
nine large theaters (plus two on Steel Pier) five of which would qualify as palaces. They were not always the most well maintained places, but they all had “charactor”.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on June 16, 2006 at 3:54 am

Wow that was unheard of for Atlantic City having a boardwalk theater open in the winter months.
I remember an old post card that had a picture of the Virgina and one summer they played The Carpetbaggers. Does anybody know which year this was. I don’t think The Carpetbaggers was a roadshow engagement. I also seem to remember them playing It’s A MAd MAd MAd World at the Virginia.

Coate
Coate on June 16, 2006 at 12:16 am

“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
kencmcintyre on May 22, 2006 at 2:28 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
VincentParisi on May 22, 2006 at 12:55 pm

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
Mikeoaklandpark on May 22, 2006 at 9:57 am

Michael
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
Coate on April 6, 2006 at 4:38 pm

From VARIETY (July 20, 1966):

‘MUSIC’ PROBABLE FINALE FOR ATLANTIC CITY SITE BEFORE URBAN RENEWAL

“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
teecee on March 24, 2006 at 4:20 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
Mikeoaklandpark on March 22, 2006 at 9:53 am

TC
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
teecee on March 2, 2006 at 4:29 am

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

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on September 30, 2005 at 5:35 am

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

Moviejoemovies
Moviejoemovies on August 24, 2005 at 3:16 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
teecee on July 5, 2005 at 11:38 am

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

VincentParisi
VincentParisi on May 9, 2005 at 8:26 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 10:35 am

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

koolart
koolart on April 23, 2005 at 5:11 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.
Fondly,
Lynne (age 49 and alumnus of Holy Spirit High)

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on January 21, 2005 at 12:50 pm

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
VincentParisi on January 21, 2005 at 11:52 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
Mikeoaklandpark on January 21, 2005 at 11:33 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.