Bluebird Theatre

16 N. Sycamore Street,
Petersburg, VA 23803

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Original Bluebird Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Bluebird Theatre was in operation by 1919, and it closed in 1959. The building is now being used as a beauty salon and beauty supply store.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 25, 2009 at 7:39 pm

This was the Bluebird building in 2005. Here it is in 2007. It looks like the four exterior walls remain but the interior is gone.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 27, 2009 at 5:52 pm

Assuming that there was only one Bluebird Theater in Petersburg, Virginia this theater dates back to at least 1919 when a Wurlitzer organ was installed.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 22, 2009 at 4:49 pm

So the information for this listing is correct but the photos are showing the New Bluebird/Palace Theater. There is a Palace Theater listed in 1955 for Petersburg, VA but the address given is 1113 N. Sycamore Street. The Film Daily could be giving the wrong address for the Palace.

oldtown
oldtown on May 20, 2010 at 2:39 am

hi, just wanted to add a few things on bluebird.
the businesses on north sycamore street seemed to have migrated north,south and back north. so bluebird did move as well as a few others. the newer bluebird 143N. sycamore street was a triple xxx in the 1980s.
the original bluebird was at 16N.sycamore street and was last used as a hair braiding. it was condemned about 5 months ago after the back roof fell in as well as some back structure damage. it has now been bought and the owner said some of the interior was still in tact from the theater. the hair shop walled off the back. and the back roof fell in. original tin on ceiling, 18 foot ceilings covered and lowered.
i have viewed both buildings and hope to take pics soon.
new bluebird at 143N. was palace. new owners found palace sign behind bluebird sign and has both inside on display.
they gutted the inside and have rebuilt it as a live theater used for party’s and events. yellow interior with upper and lower balcony.
beutiful inside. blubird sign outside on markee is not the original.
original is safe inside.
sycamore street had bluebird,rex,palace and century all within a few blocks. most buildings date 1860-1863
i purchased a newer building the only 1 story built 1955. tony's
i can be reached at
their are 2 pictures floating around on bluebird on the web.

oldtown
oldtown on May 20, 2010 at 2:42 am

bluebird at 16N. Sycamore street had been a billards parlor during the early 1900

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 20, 2010 at 2:49 am

Thanks oldtown.

oldtown
oldtown on September 28, 2010 at 1:55 am

16N sycamore street petersburg. old bluebird is up for sale.
great building to restore. great look and style.
if someone wants save a land mark.
roof and floor damage

dsketch
dsketch on November 29, 2010 at 6:20 pm

My grandmother was the manager at the Bluebird during the 70’s and early 80’s. I remember seeing Piranha there and a few spaghetti westerns among others since I was able to get in free. They mostly showed exploitation films, B movies and a lot of black exploitation films during the 70’s (Shaft, Superfly, Blackula etc.) The clientele at that time were largely students from VSU. They may have shown XXX films during the 80’s but I can’t remember since my grandmother left and went to the Walnut Mall theater. It has since been restored but not into a cinema to my knowlege.

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on May 13, 2013 at 11:18 pm

The Bluebird was a long, narrow theatre and it played first-run movies. It had two aisles with three seats on each side section and six across the middle. The fire exit was on the right side at the front of the auditorium and there was a blue neon clock at the back. It had stage curtains, a curved CinemaScope screen in the correct aspect ratio, and a balcony. The concession stand was on the left side of the lobby as you entered. The box office was out in front and not attached. The theater did a very good business, but it closed because Neighborhood Theatres, Inc. lost the lease on the building. The Palace Theatre down the street took over its role as a first-run theatre and was renamed the New Bluebird.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 22, 2013 at 6:17 am

The Bluebird Theatre in Petersburg was designed by architect Fred A. Bishop, according to a partial list of his works that appeared in the October 25, 1930, issue of Exhibitors Herald-World.

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