Comments from wsasser

Showing 51 - 75 of 179 comments

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

wsasser commented about Paramount Theatre on Dec 21, 2014 at 6:53 pm

tjmonty, check out the photo page on this site for the Paramount and you will see an ad for the Paramount advertising Elvis. Check it out. Just go to the top of this page and click on the tab labeled Photos right above the picture.

wsasser commented about Comique Theatre on Nov 28, 2014 at 3:58 pm

This theater must have had a very short run. Could find no other ads nor any listings in the Newport News City Directory.

wsasser commented about Dreamland Theatre on Nov 28, 2014 at 3:32 pm

Dec 17 1909

wsasser commented about Dreamland Theatre on Nov 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm

The Newport News City Directory shows 2508 Washington Ave as the exact address for this theater.

It opened in 1907. The City Directory has a posting for it in 1912 but there is a news story of its closing in 1910

wsasser commented about Colonial Theatre on Nov 28, 2014 at 3:11 pm

The Newport News City Directory shows the Nickelodeon to be located at 2608 Washington Ave

It was in operation as the Nickelodeon during 1907 and 1908.

In Dec 1908, it was announced that it was reopening as the Colonial. The Colonial closed in March 1909.

wsasser commented about Fairfax Theatre on Oct 8, 2014 at 9:29 am

Per a story in the Sept/Oct issue of Pleasant Living Magazine, the Fairfax opened on April 16, 1928 and closed On Dec. 31, 1989. The first movie shown was “Little Shepherd of Kingdom Come” with Richard Barthelmess.

wsasser commented about Jefferson Theatre on Sep 12, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Hey Stromley, many thanks, very nice. Helpful for my theater research.

wsasser commented about Palace Theater on Jul 26, 2014 at 4:42 pm

I was able to go inside the Palace Theater this week. It is now a church and looks just about like it did in its day. The murals on the walls are gone replaced by paint and Bible verses, the upstairs lobby has been remodeled as well at the rest rooms but other than that it is much the same. They told me that the seats are about 90% original. The screen is gone but the stage is still there. They hold meetings there every Sunday. I am posting a photo of sitting in the lobby last week.

wsasser commented about Firemen's Theatre on Jun 8, 2014 at 11:26 am

I ran across this in April 2014. It is just a couple of blocks from the Church that was used in High Noon with Gary Cooper. I was looking for the church and rode by this old theater – just a shell but still there.

wsasser commented about Rappanna Theatre on Jun 8, 2014 at 11:12 am

Based on information in the Motion Picture Daily and local newspaper ads, the Theater operated from 1931 to 1982.

I have the opening ad dated Oct 16, 1931 and the last ad that I found featuring a film is dated Feb 11, 1982.

A March 4, 1982 story states that the interior of the theater was covered with soot when the furnace malfunctioned and that it would reopen when possible. I can find no record of it opening as a movie theater though I have been told that it operated as a venue for fund raisers and local plays for a while.

Quoting a news story- “The Middlesex Volunteer Fire Department upgraded its equipment. For years the company raised money by running the Rapanna Theater. In 1992, the company bought a $280,000 fire truck with proceeds from the theater and bingo.”

In Jan 1996, the theater building collapsed due to heavy snow and ice. It was demolished and now is an empty lot.

wsasser commented about Vista Drive-In on Jun 7, 2014 at 7:59 pm

This theater operated under 3 different names as follows. Sources include the Southside Sentinel, the local newspaper in Urbanna, Va and the Motion Picture Daily publications

Middlesex Drive In – Grand Opening April 16, 1953 Middlesex Drive In – Closed on Oct 3, 1957

Midway Drive In – opened April 11, 1958 Midway Drive In – closed June 12, 1958

Middlesex Drive In – reopened July 24, 1958 Middlesex Drive In – last ad found Sept 25, 1958 Note- Motion Picture Daily shows open until 1960

Vista Drive In – opened July 15, 1965 Vista Drive In – last ad Oct 15, 1966 Note – No listings for this theater in the Motion Picture Daily

wsasser commented about Lincoln Theatre on Feb 10, 2014 at 2:40 pm

Hey CharmainZoe, sorry for my misread. But a ton of thanks for the source, it has filled a big hole in my research. Are you familiar with the Motion Picture Daily Archives. Can get you there if you need to.

wsasser commented about Lincoln Theatre on Feb 9, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Hey CharmainZoe, thanks for the update. The Newport News City Directory shows it for the first time in 1920 which would agree with 1919 since the Dir. generally trails a year. I have a June 1920 ad that shows the Lincoln being managed by William M. Moseley with E.C. Brown as President and General Manager which supports your post. However, there has never been, to my knowledge, a Dunbar in Newport News. There was a Dunbar across the water in Norfolk. Could you tell me where you got your information because it might serve me in my local research.

wsasser commented about Jefferson Theatre on Nov 26, 2013 at 10:36 am

Hi Stromley, what a find. Could you scan it in and post it for us to see.

wsasser commented about American Theater on Nov 2, 2013 at 7:53 am

Chuck1231, I do not know if the theater is able to show feature films or not. However, the only things that they advertise are plays and concerts. Have attended a few plays there. Will ask the next time that I am there. It is a very nice theater but I wish that it was still the Lee that I attended as a kid.

wsasser commented about Paramount Theatre on Aug 14, 2013 at 3:04 pm

According to local City Directories and historical books:

The Academy of Music operated from 1900 to 1927. It was demolished and rebuilt as the Paramount in 1931 and operated until 1978 when it closed due to a lack of business. A story about the opening of the Paramount in the Oct. 3, 1931 Daily Press states the seating as 1350.

The Paramount opened briefly for a short period but again business caused it to close it doors again. It operated from 1980 to 1981.

It was demolished in 1988. Elvis performed here in the 50’s. In the late 70s, it was a XXX theater.

wsasser commented about Messick Theatre on Jun 13, 2013 at 6:53 pm

It appears that the Messick Theater on Poq. Ave opened for business on Dec. 3. 1931 as a part of the Scott chain that also owned the American in Phoebus and the Scott in Hampton. The American would later become the Lee, the Scott would later become the Langley.

There was a silent Messick that operated from about 1925 to 1930 at 6 Messick Road. It was condemned by the state to widen the road. Pottsie Martin, whose mother lived there, told me that the house was cut into and the back of the theater became the front of the house. His parents added a new back to the house and it is still there on Messick Road.

The Messick Theater closed in the early 70’s. The last listing that I found in the local newspaper was in June 1971 however the Poq. City Directory has a listing for the Messick as late as 1974, nothing after that.

The Messick Theater was remodeled into a private home and sits there today. It was up for auction a couple of weeks ago.

wsasser commented about Capital Theatre on Apr 5, 2013 at 5:53 am

A Facebook comment from someone who grew up in Poquoson posted April 4, 2013

i remember the old capitol theater so well— they use to have compitions there also— i remember playing the piano in one of the compitations—needless to say i didnt t win—lol— but momma entered me inn it and told me practice girl —and i did— i remember some of the stories about the old Capitol Theater— and even after when it was the zipper factory— and also the man that murdered his wife and then came and parked behind d the theater and killed himself—-and yes they had air conditioning —lol— was a good place to go and so was the Messick theater— at least we had someplace to walk too on the friday and saturday evenings and sunday was strickly church— youth fellowship—its a lot of the stories and memories of both theaters but i mainly went to Messick Thester— just to see mr. bucher and see if he still had his ring on !!! lol—such good memories and sweet laughter !!!

wsasser commented about Capital Theatre on Apr 4, 2013 at 1:50 pm

I was given a copy of a Fire Report dated Nov 29, 1951 showing a major fire at this theater causing an estimated damage of $20K. The last ad that I found in the newspaper was dated just a couple of days later – none after that. Assume that it never reopened.

wsasser commented about Imperial Theatre on Apr 3, 2013 at 3:19 pm

The original Imperial was opened in November 1924, closed in 1932 and was located on Duke of Gloucester Street in downtown Williamsburg before the restoration of the city. It sat approximately where the Kimball Theater sits today in Merchants Square.

wsasser commented about Orpheum Theatre on Apr 2, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Previously the Colonial Theater (a black theater) operated at this same address from 1919-1929.

wsasser commented about Messick Theatre on Apr 2, 2013 at 10:46 am

I got the following note from a Poq. native with memories of the Messick

The Messick Theater was located at 1279 Poquoson Avenue near Trinity United Methodist Church. It started out as home which was sold to A.D. Page, J.W. Rollins, and J.T. Rollins, trustees for the Charity Conclave Number 5, Heptasophs or Seven Wise Men for $50.00. It was sold by Littleton and Jannette Watkins on October 2, 1896. The Heptasophs sold the house to Linwood I. Burcher who then converted the building into the Messick Theatre. It had a half bricked front and tickets were bought from the front booth. Tickets cost 25 cents and a popcorn machine was located to the left after you entered the doors into the foyer. It also contained a staircase which led to the balcony and the projection room. It was sold again in June of 1974 to James Moore who bought the Theatre as an investment I know one of the movies shown during the second time was Dr. Zhivago.

wsasser commented about Capital Theatre on Apr 2, 2013 at 10:44 am

I got the following note from a Poq. native who has memories of the Capital.

Capital Movie Theater located at 1022 Poquoson Avenue. When the Capital closed, it became a dress sewing factory. My mother worked there. Later became a Baptist church which burned down in 1992. Now located at the site is the St. Basil the Great Orthodox Church just down the street from the Poquoson Middle School which was Poquoson High School at the time. Not only movies were shown, but talent shows and country music acts such as Sunshine Sue were held. The first color movie I ever saw was at this theater and was “Sampson and Delilah” in the early 1950s. I also participated in the talent shows dancing with Field’s Dance Studio.