Rockingham Theatre

105 Gilmer Street,
Reidsville, NC 27320

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Rockingham Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Built in 1929 with a design by Western Electric. The theatre was completed just before the depression. It is partially restored to utilize a lot of the existing design. The balcony is still open. The screen is actually mounted on a stage that has stage lighting where live shows took place. The dressing rooms still exist behind the stage. The projector room still has the fire doors and metal sliding doors from the days of nitrate film. It also still has the orchestra pit. It is privately owned and operated.

Contributed by Mark Daily

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 28, 2008 at 7:13 pm

This is a photo of the Rockingham Theater.

canibfrankwithyou
canibfrankwithyou on September 26, 2011 at 7:26 pm

The theatre was formerly owned and operated by Bill Hendrix who also operated a Drive-In in Reidsville. The theatre was upgraded with xenon lamps, platters, and sound equipment. It was reopened under independent ownership with new seating and other improvements.

raysson
raysson on November 5, 2012 at 5:41 pm

there was also a Reidsville Drive-In that was located off Highways 29 and 158 that is not listed on this site.

As of this writing,the ROCKINGHAM THEATRE remains the only movie theatre in Reidsville and all of Rockingham County,North Carolina.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on August 21, 2013 at 7:40 pm

Both a Grand (without an “e”) and Rockingham were listed in the 1932 Film Daily Year Book, the Grand with 250 seats and the Rockingham with 800, so I doubt that they were the same theatre. The annual also lists a Reedsville Theatre, with 400 seats. The town’s population at the time was reported as 6,851, which suggests that it had more cinemas than needed or could support in those Depressed years.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 26, 2013 at 10:33 pm

The Grand Theatre appears on the 1922 Sanborn map of Reidsville. It had a balcony and a stage, and presented moving pictures and vaudeville.

DocSouth lists C. W. Davis as the manager of the Grand. An item about the opening of the Rockingham Theatre that was published in the January 4, 1930, issue of Motion Picture News (left column) praises C. W. Davis’s promotion of the opening of the Rockingham. It reproduces a small scan of one page of a special newspaper section about the theater. Unfortunately, it doesn’t give the date of the edition.

The Rockingham’s web site says that the theater was designed by Western Electric, but as far as I know that company only designed theater sound systems, and worked with theater architects advising them on ways to get the best acoustics for amplified sound in their theaters. I haven’t been able to discover the actual architect of the Grand or the Rockingham. It might be given in the newspaper section mentioned in the Motion Picture News item.

Mmandarano
Mmandarano on September 26, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Wonder what happened to the beautiful marquee that donned this building in the above picture. Happy to hear it is still in operation though. Has it made the conversion to digital yet I wonder?

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