Warwick Theater
3317-19 Washington Avenue, Newport News, VA 23607
The Rialto - 1910 Renamed The Warwick - 1932


  This site courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64)
 of VA - 03/11/03
 Thanks, Dave!
Courtesy of Dave Spriggs ('64)
of VA - 11/14/03
Thanks, Dave!

When I was about ten years old my friends and I would go to the Warwick Theater every Saturday to a program
called "The Riders Club"...there were two full length movies, usually westerns, plus lots of cartoons.  It only cost a
quarter, bus fare was ten cents each way, and if you were lucky enough to have fifty cents you could get a snack. 
If you were lucky enough to have a dollar bill you could feed all your friends!  A nickel would buy you a big candy
bar or a soft drink.  I think popcorn was ten cents.  Ice cream bars were a nickel...and so on!  We thought our parents
were great for "letting us go"...It never occurred to me that they want TO GET RID OF US FOR A FEW HOURS! 
- Jean Poole Burton ('64) of RI - 02/25/05
GIGGLES!  Thanks, Jean!

Hi, Carol,
I had to write and tell you that my brother, Johnnie ('68 - of VA), and I really enjoyed reading Jean Poole Burton's ('64 - of RI)
comments about the Warwick Theatre. I doubt that you or many people know that our father, was the manager of the Warwick
Theatre from the year I was born (1947) up until the late 50s or early 60s. When I read Jean's recollections, I called Johnnie
to make sure he'd seen the newsletter. We both remember the Riders Club, as our father used to get us up on the stage
on Saturday mornings. As our parents were divorced, we were only with him every other weekend. Johnnie actually has a
better memory of it than I do. He said that some of the tickets were pink and they were for the kids that got on the stage and that
about once a month, our dad would make sure we got one of the pink tickets. Also, the snacks and drinks were even cheaper
for us! Our dad would allow us each to have a drink and pick out one snack each after the show. I'm sure there were a lot
of children that later became friends of ours that attended the movies on Saturday. When our father died last September, one
of the things that Johnnie really was hoping to find at my dad's apartment was a "gold" statue of Roy Rogers' horse Trigger, but
he didn't find it. I remember our dad had an autographed, framed picture of Roy Rogers that he used to keep on his desk in his
office. Our dad left the area for a year or two around 1960 and came back to the theatre when I was in the 10th or 11th grade.
At that time, he also opened a hamburger place (I think the name might have been Wilder Burger)  next to the theatre and had
an ad in THE BEACON, which would feature a male and a female upperclassman eating hamburgers. For various reasons, we
didn't know our father was back in town, and he called the school and arranged for me to be in one of the ads so he could see me
(I think Darrell Boland - '64 might have been in the picture with me!). I'm not sure, but I don't think Johnnie was in high school yet.
I had the picture for a long time, but don't think it's around any more. Our dad left the area about 1963 or 1964, moving to Ft.
Pierce, FL and living there until his death. He tried his hand at a lot of other business adventures (or misadventures) but don't
think he was ever as happy as he was at the Warwick Theatre.

Carol, because of you and your website, we're all able to share our past memories, that are sometimes triggered by someone
else's memories! Keep up the wonderful service you do for us!!! TYPHOONS FOREVER!!!

 - Sandi Bateman Chestnut ('65) of VA - 03/01/05
WOWZERS, Sandi!  Thanks so much!

Here's a story on the Warwick Theatre that might stimulate some old memories.  When I was a little tyke, my dad,
John "Jack" Miller ('28) used to take me to the Warwick Theatre, religiously, every Saturday morning for a
discount Cowboy movie, plus cartoon, plus one, or two serials.  This would have been in the early to mid 50's. 
"Flash Gordon" and "The Rocket Man" (commando Cody?) were two of my favorite "serials".  The serials always
left the hero in some impossible situation, when they ended, so you had to come back to find how they got out of the
jam they were in, the following week.  The cowboy movies were great, except for the singing cowboys and all that
"lovey-dovey stuff", as I used to call it.
Here's the best part:  the movie cost 15 cents, each.  Two popcorns and two cokes were 5 cents each, so my dad and
I both got in for 50 cents, total!  (The cost of two McDonalds, a fry and a coke!)  Such a deal!

- Craig Miller ('63) of FL - 03/08/05
COOL!  Thanks, Craig!


I came across this picture recently of my dad and thought you might want to use it on the Warwick Theater page.  If so, you have John's (Bateman - '68 - of VA) and my permission
to do so.  We think it was taken sometime in the early 60s. 

- Sandi Bateman Chestnut ('65) of VA - 03/18/05
OHHH!  Thank you so much for sharing this, Sandi!

John Bateman      

I hope this will be of interest. In 1958 I was 15 years old and had my mom sign a permission slip to get a job
working in the old Warwick Theater. I started work at 14 cents an hour. I worked 12 hours a week - eight hours
on Saturdays and the rest during the week. I worked there one year and went to the James Theater. I started
there at 65 cents an hour.  Max Pollard ('62) and I were the best of pals, and worked there for 3 years. They
played the first Brigitte Bardot movie there. Max and I could not buy a ticket, but we worked the whole week
it showed. WOW! Those were the days. Some of the tales I could tell. But with Max gone, they remain my
memories of days long gone, but not forgotten......

- Jerry Blanchard ('62) of VA - 11/08/05
Thanks, Jerry!


Hi Carol -

A true story from my mis-spent youth. Some may remember those Saturday double-features at The Warwick.

A dog named Bullet ...

When I was nine, living on Galax Street near Copeland Park, with my parents help I entered a contest to name Roy Roger's new animal, a German Shepherd dog. The dog was to be in all future Roy Rogers movies. I love dogs!

Well, seeing as how Roy's horse 'Trigger' (for those that have been living under a rock) was named after a gun part, I thought it was way clever of me to come up with, (are you ready for this?) 'Bullet', to be the dog! Yup, Bullet the dog and Trigger the horse, get it? Cool, huh? Mind now that I was only nine. What a prodigy!

Anyhow, I sent in my contest entry in great anticipation of winning first place, which was a free trip to stay with Roy and Dale at their California ranch, and eat with all the cowpokes in the bunkhouse and get to ride Trigger and pet 'Bullet.' I was certain to win!! "Hey Mom - you need to buy me a suitcase. Oh, and cowboy boots too! I don't suppose you would consider a real six-shooter would'ya?"

Well, several weeks went by as I ran to the mail box each day, only to be disappointed yet again - alas, no word from Roy.

Finally one day it happened! Breathlessly I retrieved a penny postal card. Joy upon joy, it had Roy and Trigger's picture on it with Trigger rearing up the way he always did at the end of each movie! It was all so exciting!

The card said something like; 'Thanks for your contest entry little Buckaroo! (so cool - Roy calling me 'little Buckaroo!) Your very good suggestion is now being considered by Roy and his ranch-hands. The winner will be announced shortly, and we sure wish you GOOD LUCK! In the meantime, be sure to obey your mom and dad at all times, and always eat Quaker Oats or Mother's Oats for breakfast!'

Well it wasn't the news that I had won, but still, it had a great picture on it, and it was SIGNED BY ROY ROGERS!

But then several more weeks went by with no news from the ranch. I was losing all hope. Just forget the whole thing, Roy!

Now every Saturday of course was Cowboy Movies at The Warwick Theatre in Newport News; double features, Three Stooges, lotsa cartoons and a 'Serial'. Remember that? Well it was at Roy's newest picture that the other shoe dropped.


This can't be!! Surely I had to be the real winner. No one else could have come up with the same name I did, could they? Especially some stupid kid from Kansas?!??

Well, I tell ya, I was way beyond consolation! No trip to the ranch, no suitcase or boots, no real six-shooter, nothin! Just this cheap post card. My parents tried to explain how it could happen, but I was angry, real angry. Pithed, you might say! For weeks!


Years, maybe!

Well, I'm not one to ever hold a grudge or anything, but to this very day; my favorite cowboy is Lash Larue, I, nor any of my children or grand-children will ever eat that krappy cereal, and I'm hoping that 'Trigger' has moths!

There, I feel much better now!


- (Reformed) Little Buckaroo - John London (Warwick HS - '57) of VA - 07/11/06

   WOWZERONI-RINI-ROONI!!!  What a story!!!

   Thanks, John!



Dear Carol,

As usual I have been enjoying the newsletters and was thrilled to see the story about Roy and Bullet. I have a Roy Rogers story myself.  A few years ago ... late 1994 ... I was out in California at the National Training Center (Army job) ... On my way back to the airport from my assignment, I noticed I would go through the little town that was the home of the "Roy Rogers Museum." Well, having been absolutely crazy about everything RR when I was a child, I made time to stop. I enjoyed the morning immensely (Trigger is actually there ... stuffed, along with Bullet and the famous Nellybelle!)

  As I was leaving, there stood a familiar man with a cowboy hat and I completely lost it!! He was SOOOOO gracious, gave me a big hug and had his assistant take this picture of us. I totally regressed to being six years old and was DELIGHTED!

Thought you might like to have this picture and say "Happy Trails to all my TYPHOON friends! ... until we meet again!"

   - Alice Fowler Edwards ('64) of VA - 07/28/06



What an incredible story! 
And I'm so delighted that you have an image to record this - for you
as well as for us!  What a treasure! 

   Thanks so much for sharing this with us, Alice!


The following link will bring back a lot of memories to many of your readers; especially those who frequently paid 14 cents to get
into the Warwick Theater. I was amazed, when viewing this clip, that so many B movie stars rode the range on the back lots
of Hollywood when we were very young.  


FYI, there is specific permission given at the end of this presentation, allowing reuse, but only by link.

- Bill Lee (Warwick HS - '54) of NC - 09/09/08
WOW! Thanks so much, Bill!

As usual, Carol, your articles have brought tears to my eyes.

The article on the Warwick Theater also brought back memories of years ago.  My family lived on the 500 block of Thirtieth Street in the late forties.  I would cut the grass with a push mower on Saturdays, get a quarter for the labor.  I would walk downtown to the Warwick Theater by myself, crossing over Thirty-Fourth Street Bridge.  Buy admission for 14 cents, a box of Good and Plenty for a nickel and a box of Caramel Cremes for a nickel.  The penny left over would buy one caramel creme.  I'd see westerns and all the serials, such as Buck Rodgers, Rocket Man, Gabby Hayes, Little Beaver, Roy Rogers, Johnny Mac Brown, what a time. When the shows were over, walk back home.  Those were innocent safe days.

- Norris Perry (Warwick HS - '59) of VA - 09/10/08
Oh, WOW! That seems unimaginable nowadays, doesn't it? Thanks for sharing that, Norris!



The stories about the Warwick Theater do bring back a load of memories for me. The Warwick Theater was my first job. I had to get
a work permit signed by my mom so I could work. The price to get in was 14 cents, and I started out making 14 cents an hour.
I could only work 18 hours a week. What a time.

- Jerry Blanchard ('62) of VA - 09/11/08
WOW - and wasn't that only yesterday?!? Thanks, Jerry!

Sparkling Theater Lights clip art courtesy of http://gifsnow.com/ - 05/22/05

20th Century Fox theme song midi courtesy of http://www.moviethemes.org/midis/midisa-f/20thcenturyfox.mid
 at the suggestion of Dave Spriggs ('64) of VA - 07/09/03
 Thanks, Dave!

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