Ballou Park 4

150 Tunstall Road,
Danville, VA 24541

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Carmike Cinemas, Martin Theatres, Schneider-Merl

Functions: Church

Previous Names: Park Theatre, Ballou Park Twin

Nearby Theaters

Ballou Park 4

This theatre opened as a single screen theatre on May 16, 1969, with Theodore Bickel in “My Side of the Mountain”. It had 637-seats. It later became a twin, and then a quad during the 1980’s. In its last years, it operated as a second-run house, owing to competition from a newer multiplex close by. It closed in 2008 and became home to a church in 2011.

Contributed by Christopher Walczak

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

Coate on February 18, 2011 at 1:25 pm

<<< “This theater opened as a twin” >>>

No, it didn’t! It opened as a single.

<<< Ballou Park 4 (Also known as Ballou Park Twin) >>>

Actually, its original name was, simply, Park. (The “Ballou Park” name may have been what was used in recent years or perhaps what locals called it in conversation since it was located in the Ballou Park section of town.)

<<< “This theater opened…around 1970” >>>

A more precise opening date is May 16, 1969. And, for those who care about such details, the debut feature was “My Side of the Mountain.”

Source: The Danville Register, various issues.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on February 18, 2011 at 4:38 pm

I saw “MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN”.A great film for a kid.Would have thought they might have booked something rated “M”.Thanks Michael.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on February 19, 2011 at 8:16 am

SEATS: 600

2 screens early 1980’s.

4 screens by 1998.

Closed March 2008.

More info and more photos always welcome.

raysson on February 21, 2011 at 1:24 pm

Wait a minute….MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN was rated M?
I thought it was a family film so the MPAA rating on this was G for General Audiences. It was a kids movie.

M was for Mature Audiences-Parental Guidance Suggested
OR Parental Discretion is Strongly Advised

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on February 27, 2011 at 5:50 pm

I guess you misunderstood.“My Side” is G rated,I meant for more business you think they would have booked a more adult film,but in those days I guess the “G” rating did not carry the kiss of death.

hsc on April 19, 2013 at 10:20 am

The Park was next to the Ballou Park Shopping Center, though not actually attached to it. I think most patrons just entered through the shopping center entrance and turned between two blocks of building into the theater’s adjacent lot, rather than use the theater’s actual entrance.

As a result, a lot of Danvillians tended to call it the “Ballou Park” rather than the “Park”.

It was definitely a twin by the ‘80s, but I don’t think it became a quad until the mid-'90s. The last film I recall seeing there was “Silence of the Lambs,” and I’m pretty sure that it was still only a twin at that point.

By this point, they actually had a video rental club set up in the lobby of the theater, indicative of the hard times theaters were facing in town after the onslaught of VCRs and cable.

raysson on December 6, 2013 at 1:06 pm


1969-1975 Schneider-Merl Corporation

1975-1982 Martin Theatres

1982-2008 Carmike Cinemas

rivest266 on June 28, 2023 at 12:14 pm

Two screens on April 17th, 1984.

50sSNIPES on June 28, 2023 at 12:44 pm

The Park Theatre originally opened as a single-screen theater with a capacity of 637 seats (with installations of “Whistler’s Mother” rocking seats), 52x24ft curved screen, ultravision projection, and a stereophonic sound system, owned by Charles Abercrombie Sr. and was managed by his brother Charles Abercrombie Jr. The senior Abercrombie was also the owners of their own Abercrombie Oil Company, Durham, North Carolina’s Carolina Theatre, and his farming business near Milton, North Carolina. In his role, he selects what’s best for the Park to pick up and keeps the ratings appropriately enough for the audience (G, M and R).

Charles Sr., a native of Alabama who graduated from both Georgia Military Academy and had an attendance at the University of Alabama, the senior Abercrombie during his university years would later began managing theaters in the Triangle (both Greensboro and Winston-Salem) until moving to Danville in 1935 and soon thereafter married Rosalind Lea.

Charles Jr., at the time of the Park Theatre opening is a 26-year-old man who previously served as the 1st Lieutenant for the U.S. Army and was later employed at Burlington Mills as a textile supervisor in Raeford, North Carolina. At one time, he worked at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company for only a year. He also owns and pilots three airplanes but was currently concentrating his energies on raising cattle on a farm in Milton. At the time of the theater’s opening, he worked as manager for his father’s Abercrombie Oil Company.

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