Lee Theatre

117 S. Main Street,
Farmville, VA 23901

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Situated in central Virginia, the Lee Theatre was Farmville’s only competition to the State Theatre until a drive-in arrived in the 1950s, changing the town’s moviegoing habits forever. The State is now a performing arts center called Crute Stage, and the drive-in has been demolished. The Lee Theatre met a similar fate.

Contributed by Warren G. Harris

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

kencmcintyre on July 20, 2007 at 10:03 pm

I’m having trouble locating this city. Are you sure it’s Fairville?

marcw on November 3, 2007 at 2:49 pm

The Lee Theatre was demolished many years ago; I believe in the 1980’s. Although I don’t know its origins, it became the moviegoing alternative for African-Americans during the 50’s-70’s in the segregated town of Farmville, VA. I should note that the Crute (aka State) Theatre no longer exists, either — it burned to the ground. Again, I’m not sure of the date, but recollection tells me that it was in the early 90’s. All that remains is the back wall of the theater and the screen. I will attach a photo the listing for the Crute.

merryoaks on March 7, 2010 at 12:59 pm

I have all the remains of the Lee Theatre, the oak double front doors. It was only three years ago the Lee was demolished; it is now a park. However it hasn’t been a theatre since the early 70’s. It became a segregated theatre on August 12th, 1958, the Whites went to the State, which collapsed from the weight of a snowstorm in the late 90’s, not a fire. Also the screen that can now be seen on the Downtown Stage is new and was put up by the town, it is not original. I have gathered almost a complete history of the Lee Theatre and am willing to share my information with anyone interested.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 7, 2021 at 7:25 am

Here is an item from the July 11, 1940 issue of The Film Daily:

Neighborhood Theaters Gets Farmville Houses

“Farmville, Va. — William Rippard, manager and partner in the Eaco and Lee Theaters, has announced that Neighborhood Theaters, Inc., with home office in Richmond, will take over the two theaters Aug. 1. Russell Williams, of Pulaski, will be resident manager for the circuit.”

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