Gates Theatre

322 High Street,
Portsmouth, VA 23704

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Gates Theatre

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This theater, which was located on High Street, was originally opened as the New Orpheum Theatre in the 1920’s. Later renamed Gates Theatre, it closed in the late-1950’s, and has since been torn down. In the 1945 Film Daily Yearbook, the Gates Theatre is shown as open with seating for 726.

Any further information on this theater would be appreciated.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

kencmcintyre on September 15, 2006 at 2:37 pm

Here is an undated photo, probably from the 1930s:

kencmcintyre on September 15, 2006 at 2:42 pm

Here are two undated photos showing the front and back of the theater:

CSWalczak on May 31, 2012 at 12:29 am

This picture shows the gates sometime in the 1930s. The caption indicates that the theater was previously known as the Orpheum.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 5, 2012 at 12:12 pm

The Feb 8, 1914 obituary of Stephen P. Buler said that he had been given charge of the Orpheum Theatre in Portsmouth, Virginia, eight years previously and had managed the house for five years, which would give an opening year of no later than 1906 for the original Orpheum.

The 1913-1914 edition of the Cahn guide listed the Orpheum in Portsmouth as a Wilmer & Vincent house presenting vaudeville exclusively.

An ad for the Pannill Miro Screen Corporation of Norfolk, Virginia, in the March 11, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World boasted that the company had “…installed the world’s largest moving picture screen in the Orpheum Theatre, Portsmouth….”

A June 24, 1922, item in The American Contractor reported that the Portsmouth Improvement Company would expend $50,000 for fire repairs to the Orpheum Theatre in Portsmouth, Virginia, but an item in the October 19 issue of Manufacturers Record said that the company would build an entirely new Orpheum at a cost of $500,000.

A list of buildings in which products of the J. G. Braun Company had been used, published in the company’s 1926 catalog, names the architect of the Orpheum Theatre as Charles M. Major.

JELongVA on July 28, 2012 at 2:52 am

The Gates was envolved in a major fire which damaged it beyond repair.

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