Willow Lawn Theatre

1601 Willow Lawn Drive,
Richmond, VA 23230

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Additional Info

Architects: A.O. Budina

Firms: Freeman Morgan Associates

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

Willow Lawn Theatre

The Willow Lawn Theatre opened on November 15, 1956, and was located in the Willow Lawn Shopping Center. It was designed by the architectural firm Budina & Freeman (today Freeman Morgan Associates).

The theatre was Richmond’s first to be equipped for 70mm presentation and was the area’s main roadshow house during the 1950’s & 1960’s. Movies to play here included “Cleopatra”, “Dr. Dolittle” and “Mary Poppins”. The most successful booking in the venue’s history was an 86-week engagement of "The Sound Of Music".

The Willow Lawn Theatre was closed in 1989, and was demolished.

The new 4-screen Regal Willow Lawn Cinemas was built on the site, opening on February 9, 1990, but this closed in 2001.

Contributed by Ken Roe, Michael Coate

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

cinemascope on November 10, 2010 at 9:17 am

When the Willow Lawn opened THE SOUND OF MUSIC in March of 1965, it held the Virginia state premiere, and one of the kids from the cast came for the benefit opening. It played for more than a year and one little nun came every Saturday to see it. We she didn’t, Tom Connell, the manager, would call the rectory to make sure she was OK

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 27, 2010 at 9:33 am

Hope you guys let her in Free.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 13, 2012 at 11:59 am

The article Tinseltoes linked to credits the design of the Willow Lawn Theatre to the firm of Budina & Freeman. The firm is still in operation as Freeman Morgan Architects. Their web site says that the firm was founded in 1955, and that A. O. Budina retired in 1972.

Sgecko67 on February 1, 2016 at 5:53 pm

So wonderful to have found this piece. My earliest memory of the Willow Lawn is 2001:A Space Odyssey. I was 3 and only remember flashes of my parents taking me. But there were many others thru the years ..True Grit , The Cowboys , The Pink Panther , Road Warrior Hamburger Hill, Stir Crazy …and more …One of the main Cinemas of my childhood.

MSC77 on December 31, 2021 at 12:13 pm

Here’s a new 4-page 50th anniversary FIDDLER ON THE ROOF retrospective featuring a roadshow playdate chronology and historian Q&A. The Willow Lawn’s run is mentioned in the piece.

rivest266 on September 25, 2022 at 7:52 pm

Opened on November 15th, 1956. Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266 on September 26, 2022 at 3:32 pm

Closed in 1989 and rebuilt with 4 screens on February 9th, 1990. Cineplex Odeon grand opening ad posted.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.