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I was there last week, and it is still a beautiful theater. The red screen curtains still say Majestic Crest, and they still use a Carmike policy trailer. I saw “Fright Night” on its opening day, and there were only 5 patrons at the 1:00 show. Sad.
I just visited this theater last week, and I was really impressed. The auditorium I was in had a curtain flooded in green and red light. Finding a multiplex with screen curtains is very rare these days.
I saw my first scary movies at the Regent when I was 8. They were a double feature of “Creature with the Atom Brain” and “It Came from Beneath the Sea” on November 12, 1955. I dreamed about the creature for a long time afterward.
The Regent was a beautiful theater where I developed the movie-going habit and my love for theaters. I started going during the 1955 Summer Vacation Movies when I was 8. This was a series of 12 movies and the season ticket was $1.00. There was one movie per week, except for the first two weeks when there were two. Up through 1958, this series played at the Century, Regent, and Beacon. After the Regent closed in 1959, the series was moved to the original Bluebird, which closed in September 1959. Then they played at the Century in 1960 and the New Bluebird in 1961.
Here is the list of Summer Vacation Movies for 1955 at the Regent:
6/30 Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd
7/5 Last of the Mohicans
7/7 Big Leaguer
7/14 I Love Melvin
7/21 Plymouth Adverture
7/28 Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm
8/4 Son of Paleface
8/11 Jack and the Beanstalk (Abbott and Costello)
8/18 Poor Little Rich Girl
8/25 Here Come the Nelsons
The Beacon closed for the first time on June 30, 1962. It reopened under new ownership several months later. Hopewell didn’t support it, however, and it closed and reopened several times until it closed permanently. Before it closed for the last time, its name had been changed to the Town.
The Century closed in the fall of 1970. Its last picture was “Good Morning and Goodbye”.
The Rex Theatre opened in 1938. It closed for the first time on June 8, 1958. It’s last show was “Slaughter On 10th Avenue”. It reopened the day after the Palace closed, as a replacement for the Palace, on Sept. 24, 1959, with a double feature of “Thunder Road” and “God’s Little Acre”. It closed permanently a year later, on Oct. 30, 1960, with a double feature of “The Last Blitzkrieg” and “Gunman from Laredo”.
Instead of reopening as the Palace, it opened as the New Bluebird.
If you click on the photo link at the top, you’ll see opening and closing ads for the Regent.
I took this picture in 1966.
The Regent Theatre is now the Colonial Heights post office. The theatre building was partially demolished and the post office was built around it. Part of the original theatre building is visible around back.
The Regent closed in 1959. Its last movie was “The Perfect Furlough”.
I visited this theatre on Nov. 17, and saw “Due Date” in Cinema 1. I was rather disappointed in the presentation. First of all, it was a scope picture, but the screen doesn’t have movable masking and everything is shown in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. So on a scope picture, the edges are cropped off. Second, the right side of the screen was out of focus. Third, the CinemaScope lens was not properly set, resulting in a slanted picture. The green scratches in the picture were not straight up and down, but slanted, as were the end credits. It seems that the projectionist is one of those who just turns the projector on, and doesn’t stick around to fine-tune the focus or make other adjustments.
Are all the cinemas the same size? Cinema 1 seemed pretty small considering the size of the building and that there are three auditoriums in it.