Richmond Theatre

207 E. Washington Street,
Rockingham, NC 28379

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Wilby-Kincey

Architects: Charles C. Wilson

Previous Names: Rockingham Opera House, Garden Theatre

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Originally opened in 1908 as the Rockingham Opera House. In the early 1920’s it was renamed Garden Theatre wand became a full-time movie theatre. On December 16, 1929 following a remodel it was renamed Richmond Theatre, screening “Movietone Follies of 1929” starring John Breeden. In 1935 it was remodeled in an Art Deco style and was operated by Wilby-Kincey. It was still open in 1955, but had closed by 1956. It had been demolished by 1983,

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 31, 2021 at 4:49 pm

The Rockingham Opera House opened in 1908. Items in Manufacturers Record from early that year and late 1907 say that the house was designed by Columbia, South Carolina architect Charles C. Wilson. The listing of the Opera House in the 1909 Cahn guide says it was a ground floor theater seating 550 with a stage 50x20 featuring a 24 foot wide proscenium. A 1918 Sanborn insurance map shows a long, narrow entrance hall leading to an almost square auditorium with a horseshoe balcony.

The Opera House was not listed in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory, unless it was using one of the two names that were listed, the Lyric Theatre or the Wonderland Theatre. The local historical society says that the Opera House was operating as a movie house under the name Garden Theatre in the early 1920s, and that in late 1929 it was renamed the Rockingham Theatre.

A major rebuilding was undertaken in 1935, giving the house a modernized auditorium with increased seating capacity, a wider entrance, and an Art Deco fa├žade with a new marquee. Historic aerial photos show that the building was still standing in 1956, but had been demolished by 1983.

robboehm
robboehm on January 1, 2022 at 12:17 pm

The theatre was listed in the 1957 Rockingham City Directory.

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