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I got this from a movie expert friend of mine who lived and still lives in the area and attended the Visulite growing up:
On April 1, 1937, the Visulite opened its doors. The feature film was THE GUARDSMAN with Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontaine. The Visulite was a revival theater showing first class pictures, using the trans-lux rear projection system.
By the 1940s, the Visulite became another neighbor theater showing pictures that had first been screened at the first run theaters. It was usual for the Visulite to show as many as 4 or 5 pictures each week.
On September 21, 1946, the decision was made to devote the Saturday program to a western feature and a serial chapter. The first western was DON’T FENCE ME IN with Roy Rogers. The first serial was THE SCARLET HORSEMAN. From the noon opening to dinnertime, kids were the audience. After dinner, the seats were filled with predominately adult patrons. From time to time, a non-western picture would be shown on Saturday, usually a jungle adventure with Johnny Weissmuller.
The last Saturday western and serial program was shown on Saturday March 29, 1952 with CYCLONE FURY with Charles Starrett and Chapter 7 of CAPTAIN VIDEO. On the following Sunday, TOO YOUNG TO KISS with Van Johnson was the last film shown at the Visulite. Patrons never found how Captain Video and Ranger escaped the cliffhanger ending. The Visulite had a fifteen year run.
The Visulite later reopened as the Towne Theater as part of the Memrose chain, showing such fare as AND GOD CREATED WOMEN with Brigette Bardot and MASH with Donald Sutherland. In addition, there was a Saturday kiddie show with a family oriented feature and a chapter from a Columbia serial until the early 1960s.
In the early 1970s, now called The Towne Art, an independent theater, a change was made to X rated adult fare. The theater finally closed its doors in the mid 1970s.
As published on April 8 1937 in the Norfolk Ledger Dispatch
All photos by Vollmer.
The Visulite, the last word in theatre construction recently opened at the corner of Colonial avenue and Thirteenth Street under the direction of Jeff Hofheimer with Robert Coupland as house manager. The equipment of the Visulite includes the latest developments of the motion picture industry –.
The Capital Theatre was taken over by the City of Newport News which used the lot to build a new Court House on it in 1948
The Fitzgerald’s changed the name of this theater to The Corinthian and in 1977 attempted to start it as a legitimate theater. I have posted the story on the photo page.
The Dixie Theatre actually opened on Dec. 23, 1917 – just posted a photo of the opening ad.
Colonial Williamsburg has announced that they will close the Kimball Theatre on July 6, 2017 after two decades of financial struggles. The last time the Theatre was profitable was in 1999. Last year it lost $782,000
Joe Vogel, I have some friends from that area and they say the Jefferson was the theatre of choice. It was just down the way on 25th right at Jefferson Ave.
Joe Vogel, I have posted a photo of the map on the photo page. It looks like the Dixie was directly on the corner of 22nd and Jefferson
Joe Vogel – per the 1919 Sanborn Map, The Dixie Theater was located on the corner of Jefferson and 22nd Street at 2129 Jefferson. Hampton Ave ran between 21st and 22nd Street one block to the south (I think) of the theatre. 22nd not longer runs all the way to Jefferson as it appears on the Sanborn map of 1919. I have posted a jpeg of the map with the theater identified and 21, Hampton and 22nd streets visible.
Just found several ads that show the address for the Dixie Theater as 2129 Jefferson Ave not 2206. Confirmed such with a Sanborn map for 1919
Just posted the closing story on the photo page
The last ad that I found was dated Aug 30, 1983.
Feb. 18, 1984 Notice that property was sold to satisfy a $330,000 lien against Drive In by American International Pictures vs. Price Enterprises, Inc.
While they may have had a Grand Opening or something on Aug 9th as reported by rivest266, on Oct 4th, they reopened at 5 p.m. playing a double feature while advertising that they were also renovating. See ad just posted in photo section.
Just posted an ad dated March 28, 1910 announcing the opening of the Jefferson
I just posted what appears to be the Opening Ad for the Bijou – July 26, 1913
I just posted a newspaper story on the Photo Page that talks about the Virginia Theater moving from it Henry Street address to just around the corner. This could account for the multiple addresses listed in the header. The story is dated July 13, 1935
The Charter by the State of Va was issued Oct 5, 1916
I just posted an ad from the Roanoke Newspaper showing the address of the Virginia Theater as 109 Henry Street.
To add to the confusion, there was also a Virginian Theatre that catered to the white community
I just posted an ad from the Roanoke Newspaper showing the address of the Hampton Theatre.
I just posted a post (in photo section) from the Roanoke Newspaper showing the Hampton Address at 39 High Street, NW.
I just posted an Oct. 2, 1913 ad stating the Opening of the American Theatre
I just posted the Grand Opening ad for the Park Theatre dated Feb. 1, 1921. Check it out.
I just posed an ad from Dec. 23, 1911 announcing a Christmas Day Opening of the Roanoke Theatre.
The Rialto opened in Dec 1920- see story on photo page
Have ads in 1908