Ashland Theatre

203 England Street,
Ashland, VA 23005

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Ashland Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Ashland Theatre, which was built in 1940, sits directly on Route 54 (England Street) in a ‘Mayberry-like’ town. Its facade has a distinct Art Moderne tower with glass block. In a small adjoining building was a cafe.

Rumor has it that two of the four doors on the side of the cafe were originally African-American-only restrooms. Operated as a second-run movie house until about 1998, when it still had its old Century projectors in place. Saw some ocassional use once again from 2005 until 2007 with film screenings and live events. It was reopened in late-2014.

Contributed by Ed Worthington

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

snoqualmie7
snoqualmie7 on February 25, 2005 at 7:57 am

I haven’t been up to see it yet, but the Ashland is apparently open and operating. The Hanover Humane Society is regularly (every weekend in Feb/Mar 2005) scheduling second-run films at the Ashland as benefits.
The latest schedule is posted here: View link
There is a phone number for movie info on that site.

ghamilton
ghamilton on October 16, 2005 at 4:32 am

There seems to be a film showing here almost every weekend for fund raising purposes for different worthy causes.It is great that this venue did not die off completely,as was the plan of some.

jeffconn
jeffconn on December 9, 2007 at 4:41 pm

More info and photos of the Ashland here:
http://www.hanoverhumanesociety.org/theater.htm
The theater is “currently CLOSED due to repairs.”

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on March 5, 2008 at 9:18 pm

theater for sale …loopnet

longislandmovies
longislandmovies on June 14, 2008 at 10:45 pm

I HATE LISTINGS WITH NO PRICE……….NO I AM NOT CALLING TO FIND OUT………………CRAZY…. FOR SALE BUT WE WONT TELL YOU THE PRICE!

chris_flash
chris_flash on June 24, 2011 at 4:12 pm

My buddy was interested in buying this place about 3 years ago, but when we inspected, we found that asbestos needs to be removed from the heating + cooling system. The seller refused to adjust his price to allow for the removal, so the deal fell through.

The interior lobby and bathrooms are in nice shape, but the projection area needs updating and there is no real concession area, due to there being a café adjoining the theater back when it was built.

Outside, on the eastern side of the theater, there are remnants of old washrooms, like the kind you see at gas stations, so the story about “colored only” bathrooms may be true.

It’s a great old theater, but it needs at least $50-100k to get it right, and that doesn’t include the asbestos removal.

Robert L. Bradley
Robert L. Bradley on August 24, 2013 at 1:14 pm

I worked at the Ashland in the late eighties as a projectionist when it was a dollar theatre. They had Brenkert projectors with 6000-foot reels and Brenkert arc lamps that had been converted to xenon. The screen was curved. There was no curtain and the masking was opened and closed manually. The flat picture (1.85:1) was beautiful, but the scope picture was barely wider than the flat picture and a lot was cut off on both sides. Getting a sharp focus was impossible. The house lights along the upper side walls didn’t work, so a couple of amber spotlights on the back wall lit the theater. The reason it closed is that the landlord raised the rent to where the theater couldn’t be profitable. The outside front of the building was beautiful at night when the colored neon inside the glass bricks was turned on.

Itstheme30
Itstheme30 on December 14, 2014 at 2:58 am

This theater is showing movies and having events again. Just saw a movie there last night and seeing another next weekend. I went here as a kid to see matinee showings of Disney and others children’s films. I saw The Lion King, when it was first released here in 1994. It was and is a great theater.

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