Walnut Mall Theatre

2083 S. Crater Road,
Petersburg, VA 23805

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Walnut Mall Opening as a Single-Screener

Opened by Neighborhood Theatres on February 9, 1967 with Shirley MacLaine in “Gambit”. It was a single screen theatre. By the late-1970’s it was twinned. Cineplex Odeon took over operations of the theatre in 1986 until it closed in 1990.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

lawdawg51 on February 24, 2013 at 10:03 am

My wife remembers this theater being built at approximately 57 Walnut Blvd at an earlier date, 1965-1966, as she lived behind the shopping center across the street. Maybe it was remodeled in 1969? This theater is showing a wrong address of S. Crater Rd; it is on Walnut Blvd. It appears empty on Google Maps. She can remember sitting through multiple showings of Sat afternoon matinees on one ticket. She also remembers the movie “Alfie” playing here in 1966 and being told that she could not see it as it was for adults only! The name “Alfie” was on the marquee and she thought it sounded like something for kids and it was also the first time her mother explained the difference in “movies for adults” and “movies for children”. This was the first “modern” theater she remembers attending as a child (newly built and not an art deco type from the 20s/30s). She lived on Ft. Lee Army Post from 1964 – 1965, then Woodmere Apts on Woodmere Blvd (1965 – 1966), then back to Ft. Lee from 1966-1967.

lawdawg51 on February 24, 2013 at 8:53 pm

We updated the Google view to the correct view of the theater! Someone also responded to another post on the Century Theater and said that after this, the Walnut Mall Theater closed, it became a church, which it is to this day.

bufffilmbuff on May 13, 2013 at 7:25 pm

This opened about the same time that Walnut Mall did, I think sometime in 1966. Rode up from Wakefield, Va many times to see movies at this theatre. Some of the movies I saw here included GAMBIT, GUESS WHOSE COMING TO DINNER, CASINO ROYALE (1967 VERSION), PLANET OF THE APES, GONE WITH THE WIND, 2001, FITZWILLY, THE LOVE BUG, ANNE OF A THOUSAND DAYS, IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD, and WHAT’S UP DOC. It was twinned in a very sloppy way which screwed up the sightlines. Before that it was a plain but well equipped theatre with a huge screen and excellent projection.

dwhitejr34 on April 8, 2015 at 8:25 am

Walnut Mall Theater opened on February 9, 1967. This advertisement is from the local Petersburg newspaper, The Progress Index on that day.

Mike Richardson
Mike Richardson on November 27, 2015 at 2:06 am

The building at 53 or 55 Walnut RD looks strikingly like the building in the ad (those frames in the walls look like poster case frames too) and looks to match the directions in the map in the ad. From the Google Earth view, it looks like the electrical trough for the channel letters of the original sign in the ad may still be there. Actually, if you scroll in on the street view, you can see the trough with the PK housings the Neon, backlighting the channel letters, penetrated through.

DavidZornig on August 29, 2018 at 8:33 pm

1967 photo added via Titania Tink Sterling.

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