Smithfield Theatre

231 Main Street,
Smithfield, VA 23430

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Smithfield Theatre

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Replacing the towns' earlier Jamestown Theater which closed in 1931. The new Smithfield Theatre had twice the seating capacity of the older theatre and was located in an existing building on the 200 block of Main Street adjacent to the Delk Department Store. Captain Scott opened the new 300-seat Smithfield Theatre in May 1932. An adjoining building was purchased enabling the Smithfield Theatre to be enlarged and it reopened October 22, 1937 give a 60% increase in the seating capacity.

In 1940 it was purchased by the Pitts-Roth chain and in July 1940 it was remodeled with seating provided for 400 on the main floor and 150 in the balcony for African-Americans. Restrooms were assed for both races. Pitt-Roth owned the theatre until 1955 when they sold it to local resident Roy Richardson. It was closed March 9, 1961. The building was ‘For Sale’ in March 1962.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 5, 2007 at 5:56 pm

Here is an undated photo when the theater caught fire:
http://tinyurl.com/v3ypo

kseward
kseward on July 12, 2007 at 2:20 pm

Thanks for adding the Smithfield Theatre and posting the picture.

If I recall correctly, this was one of the first movie theatres my mom went to. I think she saw the movie Kentucky (starring Loretta Young) there.

wsasser
wsasser on December 11, 2016 at 5:27 pm

The local historical society sent me the following message:

The Smithfield theatre was located at 229 Main Street

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 12, 2016 at 3:40 am

I believe the address 229 is obsolete. If the Smithfield Theatre was built next door to the Jamestown Theatre, then it had to have been in what is now the 100 block of Main Street, between Mason Street and Church Street. See my comment on the Jamestown Theatre page for more detail.

wsasser
wsasser on December 12, 2016 at 10:42 am

I do not think that it was built next to the Jamestown based on what I have seen on-line. Just my opinion. The Historical Society said that the address was 229 and is now occupied by a lawyer – would think that they would be in the know

wsasser
wsasser on December 12, 2016 at 6:44 pm

Just added two photos of the theater – one with the fire in 1946

wsasser
wsasser on December 21, 2016 at 10:34 am

I talked to the Editor of the local newspaper this a.m. He grew up in Smithfield. The Smithfield Theater did not open next to the Jamestown Theater which was in the 100 block of Main Street. The Smithfield opened next to Delk’s Department Store at 229 Main Street and was open at that location until it closed. Both the Delk building and the Theatre building remain in place being used for office and retail space.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 21, 2016 at 6:47 pm

Ah, yes, I see that the latticework brick parapet on the former department store building has survived intact.

wsasser
wsasser on December 23, 2016 at 6:24 pm

I think that I have put the issue of location to bed.

The first Smithfield Theater – The Jamestown was located in the 100 block of Main Street and closed in April 1931.

In April 1932, Captain Scott opened the Smithfield in a building next to the Delk Department Store located in the 200 Block of Main. He leased the building from Mr. Delk.

In 1937, Jesse Scott, now the owner, purchased the theater building and an adjoining building from Mr. Delk and remodeled the Smithfield into a theater that sat about 60% more.

In May 1940, Pitts-Roth Chain purchased Theatre and in July, the Theatre was remodeled.. Seating of 400 on main floor and 150 in the balcony for the black community.

Added restrooms for both races.

Pitts-Roth owned the Theatre until 1955 when they sold to a local resident, Roy Richardson.

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