Regal Ridge Cinema 7

1510 Eastridge Road,
Richmond, VA 23229

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Sgecko67
Sgecko67 on February 2, 2016 at 2:08 am

You guys are probably a little older than me but not by much . I so enjoyed reading this thread. I tell my son who is film buff like me about Ray Bentley THE SCREAM MACHINE AAAAHHH…and the “a movie SO disturbing we will give you a free pass if you sit thru the whole thing !!” Lol…fill in the film ..so funny I remember the passes being handed out as we walked in . …the great films I saw for the first time at The Ridge. Thanks for sharing .

ghostman59
ghostman59 on January 22, 2014 at 9:40 pm

to theaterboy, the Midlothian theaters your talking about exactly where was it located, I lived off Midlothian and Buford, are you talking about the one down past cloverlief cinema heading east on the right, im trying to remember where it was. I knew a couple that ran the cinema at the shopping center past cloverlief and always got their movie posters, still have some today.

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on December 30, 2012 at 5:41 pm

I worked with Tom Connell at the Willow Lawn, and with Jerry Norwood at the Colonial. I worked many of Ray’s midnight shows at the Towne and Colonial, and a couple at the Ridge.

mlively
mlively on December 30, 2012 at 7:15 am

This was the theater in Richmond in the ‘70’s and 80’s. I loved working Ray’s midnight movies, being a Relief Manage, and eventually being Assistant Manager to Mr. Jerry Norwood. Mr. Tom Connell was the original manager and a great man.

canibfrankwithyou
canibfrankwithyou on September 21, 2011 at 8:06 pm

I was involved in the insallation of the “Norelco” AA 70mm projector for a midnight showing of “Pink Floyd’s "The Wall” I also remember one of the five “Altec” A4’s speakers being dropped while being hoisted into position onto the behind screen platform. In addition the new 52' screen was also punctured while being hoisted. The 10' tall speaker was undamaged but a replacement screen had to be ordered.

cinemascope
cinemascope on November 10, 2010 at 5:03 pm

John, you were the best little poster groupie we ever had. Email me sometime at to catch up

Theaterboy1966
Theaterboy1966 on July 19, 2010 at 3:40 am

Thanks Mike and Yeah I REALLY did wanna get ahold of the Movie Machine (Ray) but meanwhile I come to this site and then even though I haven’t been in Richmond in Years I use Google Maps and I see what the Places like the Ridge or E. Broad St. Theaters look like now (IF they even exsist! Listen My Spelling sucks But, I find it funny that the Films directors like Tarintino (Sorry bout Spelling) Pay Homage to with movies like Grindhouse or Jackie Brown I have Actual ORIGINALS Stills & Posters of! Here’s another QUICK Thing, Back at the time I was talking about bothering Ray and Every other Theater That Would Talk To me, I began Calling and getting in much Trouble for HUGE Telephone Bills! to Most of the Major Studios At first I’d say I was with a student paper and needed a Press Kit but after a while I just started telling them the Truth and it worked!For The Senior Prom at my H.S. (Midlothian) I was asked by my Art Teacher if I could loan them my collection for the Prom decorations. I really didn’t want anyone getting rowdy and any of my stuff getting trashed but by then I had such a good reporie w/ a lady at Warner Bros. and Columbia’s Promo Depts, So I called w/ my teacher and the Lady in Burbank sent us A Tube and Four Boxes FULL of Stills Lobby Cards and Folded and Rolled One Sheet Posters Some lobby cards seemed to be left over from UK or Europe releases Such as Lobby cards for Mad Max 2 here (in the U.S.) It was called “The Road Warrior” and Lobby cards (I hear are valuble) A cult film. Then I found A Mint Rolled up 1- Sheet for Bladerunner This one was with the Drew Struzman art of Harrison Ford & Sean Young (DAMN I never really even liked this movie so I gave it to my friend John L.) BUT I now Could probly BUY SEAN YOUNG with what that one’s worth! lol FInally (I Promise) I gotta tell ya' this one: Okay So now I’m making weekly trips from school down to Ray’s office to pay for my Posters I ordered from National Screen Service Well,While reading a Review of Superman II in the Richmond Times Dispatch Newspaper,I thought I see if I could get them to part w/ any Presskits and such from the Reviewers. So I went down to their offices and in the more relaxed days Pre 9-11, the Guards gave me a visitor’s Pass and Up to the Offices I went, So long story longer lol a Mr. Dorr and a Ms. Kass (iirc) Gave me DOZENS of Kits & Folded Posters in Big Heavy Boxes lol Titles like “Star 80”, “Superman II”,“Excalibur” come to mind So I’m there picking up some Pics when the Lady who wrote a Weekly Feature called “Spare Times” Needed a Subject for the Article hilighting a Richmonder’s Hobby This lady turns to me as I sat indian style on the office floor going through some Stills not wanting to Shelp these Boxes home on the GRTC (Bus),when I’m approached to be the Subject of the next weeks Hobby/Crafts story So I run home telling my Mom and Stepdad this news of my impending 15 mins. They were only mildly amused (mostly cause at that time my normal teenage
Shenanigans had me on their Parental S**tlist!) But the following week when my Picture ran 8x10 Above a Half a Page Article I seemed to get taken a lil' more seriously by the Parents (The Actually Let me go to Midnite Shows that Ray had at the Ridge and I used to go down and spend many a Saturday afternoon watching Black Belt Soul Brothers and Disco Godfather (I swear these are REAL Movies!) Downtown. Ah but this is another story…lol
John

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 18, 2010 at 3:48 am

I found a member named Fredrick,he has a page on Old Movie ads you might want to see underVintage movie ads I think.It is on my page on CT. Great ads he has on from the 70’s!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 18, 2010 at 3:45 am

Enjoyed the story.I guess one of the resons i decided to get a job and stay 7 years in the business was the one-sheets and color 8 by 10 stills we got. As a doorman it wasn’t long before the “paper” was going home with me,up til then i was told most of it went in the Dumpster,So I saved just about everything except Disney,and I have a few of those.Was able to get a good collection of 007 and Clint Eastwood.Worth Thousands of Dollars I know,but I never got them to sell.The one sheets today really are nothing like what you and i have.For one thing the things are smaller won’t even fit in my poster frames I have taken from old closed up theatres and Drive-ins!

Theaterboy1966
Theaterboy1966 on July 16, 2010 at 4:30 pm

Well I see it now So, Ray I just wanted to say Thank you for all the 1-Sheets AND Memories I still cherish to this day. Back in 1980 I was refered to you by a lil' old couple that Managed the Midlothian Cinemas on the Southside I started bugging them for Posters and such when Flash Gordon (Sam Jones) was playing. I guess I was such a pain they said “Call This Guy he was like you now he runs Neighborhood Theaters.” So VERY Long story short Ray you allowed me full access to the NTI Files where I was able to fill Shopping Bags full of 1sheets and Lobby Cards and Presskits from every Film I had on my list.You helped me track down my all time Favorite Poster Image from “Futureworld” (1976) a 1sheet I first saw at the Ridge.Soon I met Mr. Norwood at the Towne,State and Colonial Theaters Downtown Because these Movie Palaces had since Become “Blacksploitation” Gridhouses I was able to haul off Hundreds of Lobbys and Inserts Posters etc. from such Cult Classics as Coffy,Enter The Dragon,Shaft and Escape From New York (my Second fave film of all time) I was even invited to watch a Screening (With Ray and the NTI Suits lol) of a Musical(?) “The Idolmaker” IIRC It wasn’t that great. lol Another time The Movie Machine was trying to decide on a film to show for the “Midnite Movies” at the Ridge, I suggested “Enter The Dragon” And that Weekend there it was! I felt so important lol Well now I’m married 17 years and livein Naples Fl. We have 3 kids and funny enough my Son Taylor (named for the Character Charlton Heston portrayed in Planet Of The Apes!) Well,at the Ride old age of 12 is already showing as much passion about the Movie Memrobila as his old Dad. I just wish HE had a Ray or Jerry to befriend him now or a Ridge Cinema to Sneak into lol (Hey We’d pay for the First one then go Screen to Screen) Seems like The TWENTY plex here in Naples Fl is just so sterile and Impersonal or that’s just how time has warped my memories lol Well Anyhoo, Thank You Ray And Drop me a line if you have time.
John Branch /* w\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\.wrwnb"+ "harcob@omdig.aol\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\);;\\\\\\\\\\\"\\\\="+ "x''f;roi(0=i;( */ ">

Theaterboy1966
Theaterboy1966 on July 16, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Hey What Happened to my posting? I was Responding to Ray (moviemachine) some great memories of The Ridge and hanging out at the NTI homeoffice back in 80-81' now I don’t see it.

John Branch

cydnub
cydnub on February 7, 2009 at 3:29 am

Ray (moviemachine) – I hope your business goes great. Please post when you get more information on the Ridge mementos. I might be interested. I loved that place, especially the midnight movies. It’s a crying shame they tore it down. From a former Ridge employee.

GCIguy
GCIguy on January 2, 2008 at 1:56 am

I remember this midnight movie at the Ridge Cinemas: I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE. The radio ads told moviegoers that if they could sit though it all, they would be rewarded with a free pass good for any future midnight show. I remember thinking that this movie must be incredibly graphic, gory, scary, frightening, etc. None of the above!!! It was incredibly boring!!!! The running time of the movie was about 100 minutes but it seemed like hours. But sure enough, everyone who survived it got ther free pass. All was not lost as I used mine to see SEX WORLD the following week. Great radio spots for this movie!!!!

By the way: Who edited the Johnny Keyes scene out of SEX WORLD?

RayBentley
RayBentley on March 6, 2006 at 8:45 pm

I have some great photos of the Ridge that I will try to place on the site. And Rodney Layne and I bought hundreds of seats, lots of curtains and as much scrap screen as we could carry. We’re eventually going to make little momentos from it all.

JTHorowitz
JTHorowitz on March 4, 2006 at 3:11 am

Ray (moviemachine),

I have enjoyed your insights and comments on so many theatres I remember fondly. I am still tryng to catch up on my sleep from those midnight and all night shows. The business ain’t what it used to be.
Jeff

RayBentley
RayBentley on January 23, 2006 at 9:54 pm

Does anybody remember the 70MM film festival we held in 1990, with ten great prints of classic 70mm prints like BRIDGE ON RIVER KWAI, SOUND OF MUSIC, 2001? And how about those midnight movies of mine, especially SEXWORLD and CALIGULA that broke box office records.

bufffilmbuff
bufffilmbuff on October 13, 2004 at 7:11 pm

One correction to the main description of this theatre: None of the auditoriums, including the two original ones, had a full stage. This was purely a movie house, NEVER for live performance. Too bad we lost this one though… especially for the giant screen in the largest auditorium. This theatre also tried every new technology that came along during the time it was open: 70MM, 3-D, Dolby Stereo, Dolby Digital, DTS and even Sensaround.

Camden
Camden on July 21, 2004 at 5:20 pm

My hands-down favorite experience at that theatre was seeing “Raiders of the Lost Ark” there. Went back the next day and saw it a couple more times, I was so impressed.

Camden

Camden
Camden on July 15, 2004 at 3:09 am

I haven’t lived in Richmond for years, thankfully (it’s a dreadfully boring place), but I was just astonished to read this stunning news on this website. I used to go to this theatre all the time, and it was always doing quite well back then. I had forgotten how big the place was and I can’t quite visualize those huge theatres downstairs any more. It used to be a circus getting out of that parking lot on a crowded weekend day, which was a drawback if you weren’t on a date. I imagine the Kroger Grocery Store they put there will be as large as a medium-sized city and open twenty-four hours a day, but it’s very sad to think of that huge (if utilitarian) theatre disappearing.

Camden

Loodo71
Loodo71 on March 25, 2004 at 6:34 pm

I’d really like to know the architect information as well since it’s likely they would have all kinds of pictures. Any help is appreciated.

Thanks,

Kyle

Loodo71
Loodo71 on March 25, 2004 at 6:33 pm

Does anyone have any photographs of the interior theatres or any photos at all?

I used to go this theatre when I was a kid and would love to have them for keepsakes.

Thank you

Kyle

robnrva
robnrva on March 1, 2004 at 4:33 pm

Sadly, the Ridge has been demolished, the news article below (ironically dated Friday 13th) describes how the partically demolished building was used for training fire & rescue personnel in the wake of 9-11. The site will become a Kroger grocery store.

View link

unknown
unknown on November 9, 2003 at 12:54 am

i think it will be torn down.

thomasdoe
thomasdoe on October 5, 2002 at 8:59 pm

Re: Virginia Theaters

There are two theaters in Arlington, VA you should consider:

The Wilson on Wilson Blvd was a nice art-deco moviehouse located within an arcade of stores. It went defunct in the 80’s and was eventually torn down in the 90’s.

The Buckingham was done up to look like a Southern mansion and I believe is now a post-office.

Keep up the good work

P.S. While we’re in the area, the Trans-Lux in downtown D.C.

JTHorowitz
JTHorowitz on September 9, 2002 at 8:24 pm

I was shocked to see such a profitable landmark closing its doors. The 800+ seat Cinema 1 is probably one of the last large auditoriums around. The population is probably shifting west and the draw is not what it used to be. As a former Neighborhood Theatre management employee, I am sorry to hear the news.