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This building was built in 1888 by J.A. Smith, the then publisher of the Chatsworth Plaindealer.
The office for the paper was upstairs and Beach and Co. Dry Goods was housed in the downstairs.
After housing a theater for many years, under Kaisers , Showmakers , McKinleys and Durantes, it later housed The Flower Cart under Carol Dawson, a wood -working shop and store under David Brand and a gift shop under Kathy Houser.
Photo was contributed to the "cimematour.com" website by Bob McKinley
Found this little bit of history of the old Virginia Theater on this web site, however, to my recollection it has not been demolished. It now houses an
apartment only as of 2008.
The Virginia Theatre on Locust St. contained 330 seats. It opened in the early 1930s and closed in the late 1970s.
After having been dark for about three years, Dave and Bob McKinley reopened it as a weekend operation in 1969. Both of them had been projectionists there while in high school and rented in on a lark to prove small towns would support their theaters. The opened it with the ad slogan "Support your local theater by seeing James Garner staring in Support Your Local Sheriff." The brothers ran it for a year and a half and never lost a dime.
The last owners were the Durantes who moved from Chicago. They were the owners of th Biograph Theatre (where Dillinger wa shot) prior to moving to Chatsworth. They brought a lot of the memorabilia from the Biograph to Chatsworth and opened an antique shop across from the Virginia Theatre where many of the towns people bought some great souvenirs. It was demolished in the 1990's.
The original theater burned in 1946 when it was Kaiser's Theater. It was however restored and was operated by several other families.
CHATSWORTH HISTORY >