Newmarket Cinemas 1-4

682 and 688 79th Street,
Newport News, VA 23605

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righter40
righter40 on December 25, 2013 at 2:07 am

yes the Rockingchair’s projectors were equipped with 35/70 mm, and after the split in 1984, the projectors were still the same, Simplex I believe, but 70 was never used again.

bufffilmbuff
bufffilmbuff on July 23, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Can anyone confirm if the original one screen Newmarket was equipped for 70mm? If memory serves it did play things like GONE WITH THE WIND and CAMELOT in this format as reserved seat attractions.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 14, 2011 at 11:07 pm

what Stinker to open a theatre “MAME” by sunday we were playing to near empty house; 781 seat theatre.Gone Thursday.And an Indie you say.what kind of Stupid booker did they have,

4DMan
4DMan on April 26, 2010 at 10:52 pm

The round twin theaters did indeed open in the fall of 1974. I was there performing with the Hampton High School band at the big grand opening event. Each band member received free movie passes for the performance. The first films were MAME starring Lucille Ball (an inauspicious start) and an indie, the name of which escapes me. It did, however, feature Ted Cassidy (Lurch) who appeared in person, even though he arrived a little late. And, of course, some of my band mates tried to get him to say “You rang?” (he didn’t) but he was a good sport about it all.

righter40
righter40 on March 27, 2008 at 1:10 am

The original Rockingchair Theatre was opened by manager R.D. Stallings, former manager of the Paramount Theatre in downtown Newport News, I belive he later opened “the twin” in 74 before retiring.
Worked there between 81and 85, managed the Rockingchair twin in 84-85. Have tons of wonderful memories there, not just working, but going there as a kid. I run a beautiful stadium seated complex in Gettysburg Pa, but the Rockingchair will always be my favorite.

righter40
righter40 on March 27, 2008 at 1:04 am

more things : The time capsule idea was big in that time period. Managed a theatre that is actually still open in Charlotte(Park Terrace-is on ct) that has time capsule opening in 6 years.

Newmarket Twin Theatres opened in 74, were called ultravision theatres, with the two round houses with round lobby. Not very good sound, only mono in each house, the Rockingchair had the great sound and picture.

Rockingchair’s last picture to play before it was fatefully twinned in 1984-Footloose.

righter40
righter40 on March 27, 2008 at 1:01 am

Some interesting stuff about the Newmarket Theatres more than just the time capsule:

The original big theatre was called the Rockingchair theatre, Virginia’s first rockingchair theatre
The theatre had 738 seats and a wall-to-wall screen, not sure of the exact dimesions, I would say atleast 40 feet long.
Theatre had a rotating sign on the roof, when I worked there the breaker that controlled it was taped off so not to turn it on bu mistake. We tried it one night in 1982 I believe, screeched very loudly like a rusted old wheel on a bike but much louder.

kseward
kseward on July 17, 2007 at 12:58 pm

This Sickmalls blog entry has a picture of the Cinemas 3 & 4 concession stand:

View link

kseward
kseward on July 11, 2007 at 9:04 pm

Glitch alert: for some reason the address for the Newmarket Cinemas is not what I entered.

The correct street address is 688 79th St. Newport News VA for the older Cinemas 1 & 2 building.

The Cinemas 3 & 4 address is 682 79th St. Newport News VA.

Possibly these freestanding cinemas behind the Newmarket Square shopping center have been confused with the mall cineplex that used to exist inside what was Newmarket North Mall.

kseward
kseward on July 11, 2007 at 8:47 pm

Um, also my info is hardly complete or error-proof. Please submit anything you know about the Newmarket Cinemas (the one behind the old Newmarket Shopping Center, not the cineplex in the Newmarket North Mall).

Also, more subjective, “I saw this movie here” stories are welcome.

To start the ball rolling:

If I recall correctly, it was here that I saw The Man Who Would Be King (starring Sean Connery and Micheal Caine) on my 13th birthday.

kseward
kseward on July 11, 2007 at 8:39 pm

In lieu of posting photos on Cinema Treasures, here’s a blog entry with pictures I took in 2000:

View link