Virginia Theatre

601 First Street,
Alexandria, VA 22314

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Virginia Theatre - Alexandria VA

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The Virginia Theatre opened May 22, 1947, with Dick Haymes in “Carnival in Costa Rica”. Designed by architect John Eberson, the theatre claimed it had the largest stage and screen in the Washington area.

Inside the auditorium, the side-walls had a mural by the Maragliotti Studio in New York, of exotic birds painted in luminescent paints and activated by ultraviolet lights.

Operated by the Alexandria Amusement Company, the Virginia Theatre was completely refurbished and redecorated in the fall of 1966. In 1975, live shows were staged, as well as film presentations continuing. A Grand Barton theatre organ was installed in the Virginia Theatre. It was said to have been originally built in 1931, and was the last Barton organ to be manufactured. Organist Jean Lautzenheiser played the organ on Thursday nights during 1975.

The Virginia Theatre closed in summer of 1976 and was demolished.

Contributed by Graeme McBain, Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

pbgvdad
pbgvdad on December 2, 2011 at 5:38 pm

If this was the same wonderful venue I think it was, my wife, friends, and I went to many fantastic rock concerts there in the 1970s, including Roy Buchanan, Nils Lofgren, Hot Tuna, etc. Very informal setting. I particularly remember one amazing concert where Hot Tuna played until nearly dawn. Around 1 am Jorma Kaukonen announced that they would take a short break, then play everything they knew in the key of “E”! GREAT memories!!

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on July 2, 2012 at 9:04 pm

The auditorium was featured in this 1949 trade ad: boxofficemagazine

Nick DiMaggio
Nick DiMaggio on July 2, 2012 at 10:08 pm

Thanks Tinseltoes for the photo link to the auditorium which looks just as I remembered. While staying with friends in 1974 in the apartments just around the corner from the theatre I saw two films here: “The Paper Chase” and “The Heartbreak Kid.” The Virginia had a wide spacious and comfortable auditorium. Sad to hear it was demolished.

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