Riverview Theatre

3910 Granby Street,
Norfolk, VA 23504

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Riverview Theatre

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Another classic Norfolk movie house, the Riverview Theatre was a roadshow theatre that kept a reserved seat policy and showed 70mm films such as “Cleopatra”, “Lawrence of Arabia” & “The Sound of Music”. In later years, the Riverview Theatre became a live theater venue.

Contributed by Bob Jensen

Recent comments (view all 22 comments)

spectrum on December 8, 2008 at 1:21 pm

The 1945 Theatre Catalog has an article showing the plans for the Riverview Theatre. I would assume it was built sometime between 1946 and 1948. Art style is streamline mocerne, it seats 700 and architect were Lublin, McGaughy and Associates. The building includes storefronts to the right of the main entrance. A lobby leads back to an oval shaped foyer, with the auditorium going off to the right. Unfortunately the article did not have any photos of the interior but the plans indicate it had no balcony.

Coate on December 12, 2008 at 12:00 pm
" 'The Sound of Music' opened at the Riverview theater on April 7, 1965. It ran there for nearly three years reportedly breaking all national records for the longest continuous run of this musical." -- posted by bufffilmbuff on Mar 18, 2008

"This theater is noteworthy as having the longest run on record for any USA theater for the original release of 'The Sound of Music' in 1965." -- posted by JeffreyK on Aug 2, 2008

I’m curious why some people believe the RIVERVIEW was the host theater for the longest running engagment of “The Sound Of Music” and what sources are claiming such? I ask because I’ve done some research on the matter and the info I come up with is “The Sound Of Music” played the RIVERVIEW Playhouse from April 7, 1965 – June 19, 1967. If I’ve done the math correctly that would be a run of 115 weeks, an incredible feat, for sure, but certainly not the longest. My research reveals that longer North American runs took place in Portland (116 weeks), Seattle (117 weeks), Omaha (118 weeks), San Diego (133 weeks), and Toronto (146 weeks).

Ampex175 on February 4, 2009 at 5:43 am

The Sound of Music ran from April 1965 to December 1967 at the Queens Cinerama theatre, Newcastle upon Tyne, England. The venue had recently been converted from 3 strip Cinerama to TODD-AO with Philips DP70 (Norelco AA) projectors and OMA6 sound. The deeply curved screen was 73 feet wide x 31 feet high. Sadly, the theatre closed in 1980.

There may indeed have been longer runs. I know that South Pacific ran for well over 4 years at the Dominion theatre, London.

jeffconn on March 4, 2009 at 9:02 am

Spotted a sign posted on the Riverview today:

630-2342 773-2338”

That’s area code 757, by the way.

Tyler10 on August 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Unfortunately, The riverview I believe is condemned and is an unsafe structure…The last I heard the theatre was selling for $775,000 with the parking lot. The neighborhood that it is in, the civic league doesnt want any sort of music, or restaurnat or even a movie venue in the neighborhood, so it just sits and sits. I had a brilliant business plan for the re-opening of the Riverview, the $$$ was there, developers, A had such a large group of supporters, but I was ignored, and there it sits…

Hello, this is for High Plains Drifter…I was just wondering what your plans were for the theater. Did you want to make it a revival theater? I too would love to re-open the Riverview and make is something amazing. I would love to hear your ideas.

WheatPennyLane on October 10, 2011 at 2:02 pm

Tyler10- I’ve lived in Virginia Beach but have been shuttled between Norfolk and Virginia Beach all my life. I have also thought about the purchase of this theater and restoring it.

I’m going to see what proper channels I must go through and see if anyone in the working for the City of Norfolk can help me with civic league issue.

tripnjive on August 20, 2012 at 6:22 pm

Tyler10. Would love to talk to you about your experience with the civic and business league. I myself failed to get the owner/realtor to return my calls. It seems other friends of mine have had a similar experience. Let’s talk.

vtal2000 on July 9, 2013 at 8:41 am

Tripnjive, I work with the owners of this property. We would be interested in speaking with you. Please call 757-434-3316. Be sure to leave a message and we will be in touch.

paulnelson on November 8, 2013 at 5:49 pm

Marquee is stylish and like the letering and neon.

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