Idle Hour Theatre

36008 Belle Haven Road,
Belle Haven, VA 23306

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Idle Hour Theatre

My father purchased this theatre about 1962 and we have run it as a family operation since then. As a child he attended the original Idle Hour Theatre, a wooden structure in the lot to the north of the current building, where Tex Ritter once appeared on-stage with his horse, Champ.

My children are the 4th generation of our family to work in the Idle Hour. We struggle to keep it going, but so far we are hanging in! Our website is a fledgling creature, but there is a link to an article on our town which includes some theatre history.

Contributed by Elizabeth Pase

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

longislandmovies on August 10, 2006 at 5:21 pm

Elizabeth,there are things that are worth much more than money like keeping history alive.How proud your family must be in keeping this tradition going.Let us know when the 5th generation starts……….

papibear on August 11, 2006 at 10:45 pm

God bless you folks for carrying on such a beautiful tradition! I’m down in Texas, but I hope one day to visit Virginia, and if I do, I will make sure your theatre is on my list of places to visit. It sounds WONDERFUL.

jeffconn on May 8, 2008 at 6:31 am

Current website for the Idle Hour (link needs to be updated):

walker1894 on January 10, 2009 at 10:53 am

Do you have any past history that you can share? And pictures of the orginial theater? My great-grandfather was Charles Walker of Hacksneck, I have heard family stories he used to run the movie house. This was probably before 1920. I would love to know more. please e-mail me at Thanks so much.

CharlesPM on July 19, 2009 at 1:30 pm

I have enjoyed with friends, many first run movies at The Idle Hour Theater. It is family run and fun to be a part of. A volunteer campaign formed in the revitalizing of this cinema, would give others and the community of Belle Haven a true sense of pride in the restoration of this unique gem on Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Let the multi screens stay in Salisbury and Virginia Beach where they belong. I will sign up to volunteer in the revitalization of The Idle Hour Theatre and suggest the theatre ownership begin a campaign to attract other interested patrons.

SchineHistorian on December 2, 2009 at 7:38 pm

I visited the Idle Hour on Sunday night and while this is no “palace” in the traditional sense, it is a theater with a lot of heart! The owner is very proud of his theater, the staff are all family and friends, the patrons are extremely loyal! Kudos to Robert Pase for keeping this theater a place where families feel welcome and rowdy patrons are decidedly UN-welcome!

johndereszewski on February 16, 2010 at 6:00 am

I just discovered this page and have enjoyed reading about the management’s efforts to keep the place running. Keep up the good work.

I came across this page while searching for another Idle Hour Theatre in the Queens section of NYC. At the time, I thought no other theater would have so distinct a name. But, low and behold, fully ten Idle Hour Theaters were identified. All of them had their origin early in the last century – and this is the only one that is still operating.

Thanks for keeping the old name and best of luck in the future.

By the way, where exactly is Belle Haven in Virginia?

CharlesPM on February 16, 2010 at 7:21 am

Belle Haven, Virginia zip code 23306 / Lat. 37.55404 / Lon. -75.81974.
Via Route 13, 304 mi. from Times Square / 193 from DC.

SchineHistorian on February 16, 2010 at 7:45 am

I was THERE and i’m not quite sure where it is! : ) I do know that we were pretty close to Maryland when we were there. Definitely a rural area.

TLSLOEWS on February 19, 2010 at 2:23 pm

Good luck hope they can keep it going,nice old school marquee.

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