The Palace
3114 Washington Avenue, Newport News, VA 23607

This site courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 03/11/03
Thanks, Dave!

1940s   1956 Anchor, p.142 1957 Anchor, p.157 1958 Anchor, p.157
     More than likely taken from atop Leggett's Department Store

Linda Pleet

Jesse Kersey ('58), Becky Marshall ('58), and Larry Crickenberger ('58)

 Courtesy of
  04/20/04 10/28/03 04/20/04
    March 2002 Tuesday, November 4, 2003
I happened to be there on the very day that they began demolition of the old 'Palace Theatre', and I talked my way inside. (Here is) a somewhat moody shot of the interior from the stage facing the seating area.....      
Image by John London (WHS - '57) of VA - 03/12/06
WOWZERONI-RINI!!!  Thanks so much, John!
  Courtesy of
Image by Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA -11/04/03 - not posted until 04/20/04 - Thanks, Dave!  Sorry for the oversight!!!

...The Palace is the only one that retains a semblance of it's old self. The outline is the same.
That's as good as it's going to get.

Regarding the Palace, while still at Jackson, probably my last year at that wonderful institution, a group of my
North End hoodlum friends and I went there with the sole purpose of doing absolutely nothing, other than
to see what mischief we could get done without being caught. At the movie that day were a number of girls
from North End that we knew, although no matter how hard I try, I cannot remember their names.
I do remember that the "bouffant" hair style for girls was popular at the time.

The importance of that is, with it being "teased" to the max and then shellacked with hair spray, it was VERY
flammable!  Believe me!! The girls were sitting in the balcony TRYING to watch the movie. I have absolutely
no idea as to why, but some of my friends thought that it would be really "neat" to strike matches
and throw at them! Try as I may, to this day I can still find no good reason for that. 

Needless to say, they were not pleased with that situation. Finally, they tired of that "fun" and approached us
as we stood in the hallway leading from the second floor seating and rest room area to the seats in the balcony.
They expressed their opinion regarding our "play", informed us if we didn't stop, that they would have us thrown out
of the theater or worse. They then turned their backs to us and headed back to their seats. One of the gentlemen
within our group said something to the effect: "Fine, take this with you", and threw a lighted match in their direction. 

That's when the "fun" really began! The lighted match landed on the hair of the girl with the "bouffant" style!
You guessed it! It caught on fire!! My "friends" took off running away from her as fast as possible and I ran to her.
With an open hand, I began beating out the fire. How that poor girl remained conscious is beyond me. Whaling away
with that open hand, beating upon her head, I succeeded in putting out the fire. With the exception of a little burned
edges I saved the rest of it and inflicted no permanent damage to her head!

My "heroic" effort did nothing to tame the anger they then felt! (I wonder why?). Before they could get management
to kill us, like Elvis, we had left the building.

This is but a sample of the limitless boundaries of our stupidity! For some reason, after that, I avoided the girl
at all possible effort that I could bring forth. I don't know why she was upset with me.  I didn't throw the match.
All I did was nearly beat her unconscious saving her hair.

Come think about it, I do have an idea why she wasn't pleased with me.

There are other, not so dangerous, stories regarding the Warwick and James Theaters.
They'll come later.

- Wayne Stokes of VA - 11/18/03
YOW!  Thanks, Wayne!

I moved away from the Peninsula in August of 1968, and didn't really return even for touring purposes until October of 2000. So many of my memories are flawed, scrambled, and completely missing, but seeing that interior wall just restored an entire segment of delightful old memories to me. Thanks so very much, John!

- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 03/17/06

That picture of the inside of the Palace Theater was really great ... I'd forgotten the murals on the walls ... WOW!

Thanks, Alice

- Alice Fowler Edwards ('64) of VA - 03/17/05
Isn't that a marvelous treasure?!?  Thanks, Alice!

The Mystery of Taras Bulba - Solved!

.....And speaking of love stories, I have a question.  The other day Taras Bulba (1962) **** came on television, and I suddenly had a returned memory - well, almost.  I wondered if one of y'all might be able to help.

Those of y'all with total recall (as I myself used to enjoy before my brain decided it would be more interesting to shuffle, scramble, fracture, and rearrange everything in my head), might not be able to comprehend my feelings of joy at this return of memory - even a partial memory.

This Oscar nominated movie about the 16th century Cossack fight for independence (but with a Romeo and Juliet sub-plot), starring   Tony Curtis and Yul Brynner, has always been a favorite of mine. 

Taras Bulba

I think it must have played at the Palace rather than the Paramount, as it was an MGM production, released in the USA on Wednesday, Dec. 19, 1962.  I remember waiting in line with my date in the cold to enter the theater.  I couldn't tell you the exact date - or even when it hit Newport News  - other than it wasn't on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, but I really think that we saw it on Friday, December 21, 1962.

So what I'd like to know is - does anyone else remember seeing this movie when it opened?  Was it indeed the Palace Theater, or could it have been some other?  Could this in fact be the correct date, or were movies delayed in reaching Newport News?

And why is this so important, you may wonder??  Because it's for my Creative Memories scrapbooked albums.  Therefore it's uber-critical for the date and the place to be pinpointed!

Thanks!!! (I really am serious, ya know...)

- Carol Buckley Harty ('65) of NC - 02/28/08

Dear Carol,

When I read your request about the movie "Taras Bulba", I really had no recollection of it.  But I am kind of a "record keeper" nut, and for a few years I kept a dairy of sorts with dates of things I did.  In my dairy I wrote that I saw this movie on Feb. 1, 1963.  Sorry to say, I did not write down what movie theater it was in, and I cannot be sure if this was when the movie first came out.  But I am sure it was on the Peninsula that I saw it.  Hope that someone else can give you more information.....

- June Veneris Collie (Hampton HS - '62) of VA - 02/29/08
June, you are my hero!!! Thank you so very much for that information! It means a great deal to me!

The film had an advance preview showing at 2330, 31 December 1962 (New Year's Eve) at the Palace.

It did not appear again in the DP until Sunday, 27 Jan 63. It was scheduled to open at the Palace on Wednesday, 30 Jan 63.

And, sure enough, it DID open at the Palace on Wednesday, 30 Jan 63.

As for when you saw it ... well it could have been the New Year's Eve sneak preview.

Hope this jogged your memory.

Sunday, December 30, 1962 issue
of the Daily Press
Sunday, January 27, 1963 issue
of the Daily Press
Wednesday, January 30, 1963 issue
of the Daily Press

- Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 03/01/08
WOWZERONI-RINI-ROONI!!! Thanks so very much, Dave! 

At 15, I definitely would not have been allowed to go to that New Year's Eve midnight showing, but February 1, 1963 was a Friday night.
I do believe that June and I were standing in that very same line on that cold February night. Our small world strikes again,
and a memory I have been trying in earnest to recall for over eight years has been returned to me! I love you guys!

20th Century Fox theme song midi courtesy of,
at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 07/09/03
Thanks, Dave!

Animated Sparkling Theater Lights clip art courtesy of - 05/22/03

Image of Taras Bulba Movie Poster courtesy of - 03/02/08

Tony Curtis' Movie Star Collector's Card from Webmistress' Collection

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