Comments from wsasser

Showing 26 - 50 of 178 comments

wsasser commented about Smithfield Theatre on Dec 21, 2016 at 8:34 am

I talked to the Editor of the local newspaper this a.m. He grew up in Smithfield. The Smithfield Theater did not open next to the Jamestown Theater which was in the 100 block of Main Street. The Smithfield opened next to Delk’s Department Store at 229 Main Street and was open at that location until it closed. Both the Delk building and the Theatre building remain in place being used for office and retail space.

wsasser commented about Smithfield Theatre on Dec 12, 2016 at 4:44 pm

Just added two photos of the theater – one with the fire in 1946

wsasser commented about Smithfield Theatre on Dec 12, 2016 at 8:42 am

I do not think that it was built next to the Jamestown based on what I have seen on-line. Just my opinion. The Historical Society said that the address was 229 and is now occupied by a lawyer – would think that they would be in the know

wsasser commented about Smithfield Theatre on Dec 11, 2016 at 3:27 pm

The local historical society sent me the following message:

The Smithfield theatre was located at 229 Main Street

wsasser commented about Magic Lantern Theatre on Dec 8, 2016 at 8:25 pm

November 24, 1982 – Story in Norfolk Journal and Guide
a.Fire heavily damaged the Magic Lantern Theater in Suffolk November 18, 1982
b.Fire officials have charged three men with arson in the early morning blaze.

Notes Note 1: The men arrested were the owners Note 2: Arson was suspected from the outset due to the fact that the projectors had been removed from the theatre prior to the fire.

wsasser commented about Cavalier Theatre on Dec 8, 2016 at 12:43 pm

Just posted a Jan 1928 ad in the photo section

wsasser commented about Broadway Theatre on Dec 7, 2016 at 9:56 am

Found a story on the naming of the Broadway Theatre in Suffolk dated March 1, 1924. Posted on photo page.

wsasser commented about Downtown Theatre on Nov 17, 2016 at 7:18 pm

I just posted a news story in the Daily Press Newspaper showing the Oct. 17, 1910 date. Check it out

wsasser commented about Onyx Theatre on Nov 17, 2016 at 7:05 pm

The two movies shown in the display ads in front of the theatre were released in 1921 per IMDB. Thus fire must have been in 1921 and theatre closed.

wsasser commented about Hippodrome Theatre on Nov 9, 2016 at 6:23 pm

per a news article that I just posted, it opened in 1917

wsasser commented about Wardley Theatre on Oct 19, 2016 at 6:05 pm

Just found an article in a Nov 7, 1938 news article regarding the “Recently Opened Wardley Theatre”. Have posted it on the photo page.

wsasser commented about Palace Theater on Oct 15, 2016 at 3:04 pm

The Palace Theatre opened on November 3, 1917.

The original building was demolished and rebuilt and opened in 1940.

The first Sunday showing at the Palace was June 2, 1940

The Palace played its first X movie, “ILSA”, in January 1976.

The Palace played a lot of Black Exploitation type movies in 1976 and 1977

The last ad for the Palace found appeared in the June 6, 1978 issue of the Daily Press

All of the other Downtown Newport News Theaters – The Warwick, The Paramount and the Downtown – were all playing XXX movies in their last days during the late 70’s

wsasser commented about Village Drive-In on Oct 12, 2016 at 2:29 pm

I was able to find ads in the local paper only in 1950 and 1951 other than the 1958 ad about midget races. No information to state that the Drive-In was still operating at that time. Just posted that ad.

wsasser commented about Lee Theatre on Oct 5, 2016 at 9:33 am

The Lee Theatre, a part of the Pitts Circuit, opened on Oct 2, 1947 and closed on Nov 13, 1958 per news articles in the local newspaper

wsasser commented about York Theatre on Oct 2, 2016 at 1:29 pm

I found a number of ads dated from Feb 1971 to April 1971 of the Lisa Theatre that operated in the Old York Theater. No other information available. See ad that I posted on Photo Page.

wsasser commented about Rappanna Theatre on Sep 27, 2016 at 7:28 am

I think that the information above is incorrect regarding the Regal Theater and The Rappanna.

Ad appearing in the local newspaper indicates that they were separate locations.

The address listed for the Rappanna Theatre is 235 Virginia Ave and the Regal was listed at 251 Virginia Ave.

Movie ads show the Regal operating as late as July 7, 1938 playing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It was open as early as Feb 1983 per a story in the local news. It had 225 seats and was later used as the Town Hall.

The Rappanna Theatre was opened Oct 16, 1931 per ad in local newspaper. It had 225 seats also. During the days before integration, Blacks were allowed to attend but had to sit in the balcony. There was a fire on Feb. 24, 1949 that destroyed the building and it was rebuilt and re-opened on Oct 13, 1949.

It was operated by the Local Volunteer Fire Department from 1964 to 1982 as a fund raiser. They actually purchased the building in 1967.

In February 1982, the interior of the theater was covered with a layer of soot when the furnace malfunctioned and it was closed. Does not appear that it opened again as a movie theater

In its last days it served as a venue for community events.

It was sold in April 1984 to local businessmen who opened a Teen Club called the Balcony.

One bit of trivia that I found interesting is that in 1938,it played a short documentary demonstrating 3D -with colored glasses being supplied to the patrons.

wsasser commented about Jefferson Theatre on Aug 23, 2016 at 8:55 am

The Jefferson was open in 1971- per newspaper ad. There is a listing for this theater in the City Directory for 1971- does not appear in 1972 City Directory. Appears that the theater closed in 1971

wsasser commented about Cavalier Theatre on Aug 22, 2016 at 1:40 pm

Found this on line in regard to the Cavalier Theatre:

In 1964 the Loth Corporation sold the theaters to the B&K Virginia Corporation, then in April, 1966, Davidson Theaters in Washington D.C. acquired the Wayne Theatre on a long-term lease but passed on the Cavalier, which was forced to close. The building was purchased and torn down by Advance Auto.

wsasser commented about Bruton Heights Movie Theatre on Aug 11, 2016 at 4:54 pm

Bruton Heights Theater was held in the School auditorium at Bruton Heights School – a Black school in Williamsburg, Va

This was in the days of segregation.

The school served as a school for the Black Community from 1940 – 1966.
After integration it served the community until 1989.

Prior to the opening of the Bruton Heights Theater, there were few movie venues for Blacks in Williamsburg.

The Apollo on Bypass Road operated from 1934 to 1938 before closing

The New Theater, at Nicholson & Botetourt, operated from 1934 to 1936.

The only other venue was a Black only parking section at the Stockade Drive In Theater on Richmond Road from 1941-1963.

The Bruton Heights Theater operated from 1941 to 1954 per the Motion Picture Daily Annual Publication.

Some ads appeared in the Williamsburg Gazette over the years but not on a regular basis.

wsasser commented about Carmike Cinema 4 on Jul 22, 2016 at 9:11 am

Per local newspaper ads and City Directories:

Blane Twin – 1969-1973
Martin Twin – 1974-1990
Carmike – 1990-2002

wsasser commented about Donk's Theater on Jan 24, 2016 at 6:16 am

Per the story: The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011. According to the application submitted for it’s inclusion, “Donk’s Theatre was constructed in 1946-1947 and features vernacular commercial form design with Art Deco touches.” It was originally built as a movie theater, and operated in that capacity until 1970.

wsasser commented about Stockade Auto-Torium on Jun 1, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Drive-In 54, these are wonderful photos. Thanks so much for sharing. First time I have ever seen shots of what it looks like. Again, thank, wsasser

wsasser commented about Jefferson Theatre on Mar 23, 2015 at 1:55 pm

Just posted a newspaper story and photo of the opening of the Jefferson Theater

wsasser commented about Magnolia Theatre on Feb 28, 2015 at 5:30 pm

Watched Pushover with Fred McMurray and Kim Novak today – the Magnolia Theater was in it.

wsasser commented about Palace Theater on Jan 6, 2015 at 6:56 pm

The Palace Theater, Main Street (Duke of Gloucester Street) across from Palace Green near the intersection of Palace and Main Street 1.Story Oct 24, 1912, Landmark tree torn down to build a theater. 2.Nov 21, 1912, new theater building progressing rapidly. 3.Jan 8, 1913, theater to open soon. 4.Opened Jan 23, 1913 by owner B.F. Wolfe 5.Jan 23, 1913, Williamsburg’s Educational and Civic Association approve of theater. 6.Last ad found was in Daily Press dated Dec. 5, 1925 7.Motion Picture Daily Periodical lists them through 1928