Riverside Theatre

3250 Riverside Drive,
Danville, VA 24541

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Riverside Theatre

The Riverside Theatre had two screens in the 1980’s. At a later date it became a Carmike theater, but no longer appears on the Carmike website.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

raysson on May 18, 2012 at 10:38 am

Any indication on the status of the Riverside Theater.

Did this opened as a single screen cinema?

What year did the Riverside opened? 1967? 1968?

raysson on May 18, 2012 at 10:41 am


On the marquee from December of 1984,indicating that this was a twin cinema..aka The Riverside Twin.

Screen 1: Roy Schneider and John Lithgow in “ 2010”

Screen 2: Goldie Hawn in “Protocol”.

By 1984,this theater was under Carmike Cinemas.

raysson on May 18, 2012 at 10:43 am

“2010” was the unsuccessful sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 science-fiction masterpiece “ 2001”. It was no wonder that Kubrick was furious with MGM after what they did to his beloved film. Kubrick was set to direct the sequel,but was cut in favor of director Peter Hyams.

hsc on April 19, 2013 at 9:56 am

I can’t remember the exact year it opened, but the Riverside opened in the mid-sixties as a single theater, and was “twinned” years later when the Riverside 2 was built onto the side.

It was located in the Riverside Shopping Center, and marked the shift of the hardtop theaters from along Main St. row (except for the drive-ins, the theaters in town were actually all along one continuous stretch that went from the North to the Schoolfield) to the shopping centers.

The Riverside had a wider auditorium and larger lobby than the other theaters, and the other selling points were “rocking chair” seating and “UltraVision”, which I suppose meant that the screen was wider and curved slightly.

The screen had curtains that closed before each showing, then opened to the appropriate width; if they opened wider than usual, you knew you were in for a treat. I remember seeing “Deliverance” there in first-run, and the wide-screen format was exceptional in this setting. The “Dueling Banjos” scene also kicked into surround sound, as did the whitewater scenes.

Another memorable Riverside experience was the re-release of Disney’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”. Not only did the movie look great, but the opening and end shots of the film feature curtains opening and closing, to which the opening and closing of the actual theater curtains added an extra dimension.

The Riverside 2 was added to accommodate more films running in Danville; by this point, Danville only had three hardtops— the Riverside, the Park, and the Plaza— and all three became twins.

The Riverside 2 was a smaller, “no frills” theater, though I believe it also had “rocking chair” seating, which was pretty commonplace by then. It tended to get the less-“visual” features that would play the Riverside.

(Oh, yeah, I actually saw “2010” there, but not “Protocol”.)

raysson on December 6, 2013 at 1:11 pm


1968-1971 Wilby Kincey Theatres

1971-1978 ABC Southeastern Theatres

1978-1987 Plitt Southern Theatres

1987-1991 Cineplex Odeon/Plitt Southern Theatres

1991-2000 Carmike Cinemas

raysson on December 29, 2013 at 10:05 pm

Oh yes,there was also a six screen theatre that is NOT listed here on Cinema Treasures that was located at Danville’s Piedmont Mall that was under Cineplex Odeon.

cc44 on December 29, 2013 at 11:06 pm

raysson, why not list it then?

dbatman on February 12, 2016 at 9:59 pm

The six screen theatre never came to Danville at the mall. There was announcements about it being built on the upper level of the mall just above Hills Dept store. But with the movie business taking a slump in the 90’s due to videos and then later DVDs rentals, plans were cancelled by the company that was planning on coming here. It was just to risky at the time.

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