Virginia Theatre

935 Boardwalk,
Atlantic City, NJ 08401

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virginia theatre

Located on the Boardwalk and Virginia Avenue. The Virginia Theatre was opened in 1916. It was operated by Warner Bros. Circuit Management Corp. in 1941. It was later Atlantic City’s premiere theatre that showed roadshow features. The theatre had 70mm and steophonic sound equipment. The theatre closed in 1973 when the Government purchased the block for future casino development. The theater sat empty until it was demolished around 1980. The last features that played there were “The Sound Of Music” re-release in 70mm which opened June 27, 1973, followed by “Cabaret” re-release and the last feature to play was “A Touch Of Class” with Glenda Jackson and George Segal in 1973. They were scheduled to get the re-release of “Mary Poppins” on August 15, 1973, but didn’t, due to the great success of “A Touch Of Class”.

A few of the other features that I remember playing there were, “It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World”, “The Carpetbaggers”, “Gone With The Wind”, “Sweet Charity”, “Krakatoa East of Java”, “Hello Dolly” (non-roadshow engagement that opened June 24, 1970), and “Fiddler On The Roof”, which was done as a reserved performance format instead of roadshow engagement.

Contributed by Mike MArtinelli

Recent comments (view all 63 comments)

MSC77 on December 14, 2017 at 10:35 am

Does anyone know/recall if “Camelot” had its Atlantic City roadshow run at this venue?

Mikeoaklandpark on December 15, 2017 at 12:34 pm

It definitely wasn’t here at the Virginia.

vindanpar on October 14, 2019 at 4:56 am

Virginia had the 70MM roadshow version of GWTW so this would have been the time period of Camelot. I remember all the display photos outside the theater walking by it in the summer of ‘68. Above the theater was a faded billboard of Thoroughly Modern Millie which might have played there summer of '67.

Mikeoaklandpark on October 14, 2019 at 1:17 pm

It was the summer of 1967. That was out first year in AC. Prior to that they had The Sound Of Music for two summers. George Hamid kept the theater open all winter because business was so good. That was rare for a boardwalk theater.

vindanpar on October 14, 2019 at 1:56 pm

Happened at the Paramount in Asbury Park as well. I assume this is the only time in Jersey shore history a film played through the autumn and winter through to the following summer. Even the other biggest roadshow hits like South Pacific(surprisingly,) WSS and MFL were gone by the autumn while they continued their big city engagements.

vindanpar on November 5, 2019 at 9:42 am

Funny how still in ‘67 the newly posted picture could be from the 50s except for the film and the women’s clothes. In a matter of only a few years this was sadly going to drastically change. And films on the boardwalk would be movies like Klute and Shaft.

vindanpar on December 29, 2019 at 4:05 am

Thank you David Zornig for these great 60s photos of the boardwalk. I didn’t get there until the latter part of the 60s but it still looked pretty much the same. It’s like I like to remember it. Visited one more time in ‘76 and the blight had taken over.

But I’m dismayed to say the least that people claim its premiere 70mm roadshow house the Virgina was during all those years a run down dump. So it’s been said.

Mikeoaklandpark on December 31, 2019 at 12:34 pm

Vindanpar, for the main Roadshow theater in the Hamid chain It had no curtains or masking. The Roxy was double the size of the Virginia had curtains and masking and a stage. One of the screens from the Virginia was moved to the Music Hall at the Steel Pier. When the screen was lifted up you could see on the bottom where it said Virginia Theater. I was only in this theater several times for Hello Dolly. Honestly I was not impressed. David Zornig than you too for the photos. I had no clue that South Pacific played there. The only early films I remember there before 67 were the SOM and It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World. There was a post card in the 60’s that showed the Virginia had The Carpetbaggers but no clue what year that was. It was an exception for a boardwalk theater to be open during the winter. Hamid only kept the Hollywood and Center open during the winters. The Shore stayed open all year in 1969 after Oliver closed.

vindanpar on January 2, 2020 at 8:32 pm

Mikeoakland park it seems you went a few times to see Dolly at the Virginia. You should have traveled up to the Asbury Park St James to see it there. A very classy elegant large screen, borders, curtain 70mm roadshow house. As I’ve said I was only there once but had I been older I would have gone probably several times to every roadshow picture there. If I were a billionaire I would rebuild it as a revival house.

I had a friend who was a big fan of Sabatini. He much preferred the Ramon Navarro Scaramouche to the Granger(I love it but I’ve never seen the silent.) He went to look it up at the Lincoln Center library and came back to show me a copy he made of an ad for it. It was for the St James. I thought that was pretty cool. Who needed Granada when they could have had Asbury Park?

DavidZornig on January 2, 2020 at 8:43 pm

Cinema Tour website lists the address as 935 Boardwalk and that it operated from 1916-1973.

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