Charlottesville Loses Something Hugely Valuable

Vinegar Hill Theatre

And something many might not have even known about. I’m sure (and hopeful) that there will be homages to the Vinegar Hill Theatre in the coming days and weeks, but let me put forth my two cents – It. Was. Awesome.

Vinegar Hill had only one screen, and they did what they did well – and even had great popcorn.

From their website:

The theatre is equipped with two Century 35mm projectors. Films are shown the old-fashioned way, with the projectionist smoothly “changing over” from one reel to another with the aid of visual cue marks on the film. It is the only theater in Charlottesville using this system, which results in less wear and dirt on the film print. It is also the only commercial theater in Charlottesville to have one projectionist for one auditorium, resulting in the fewest projection problems in town.

Its presence added value to CharlAlbemarle. Knowing that something this cool, this cultural, this idiosyncratic in today’s multiplex, shoot-em-up, homogenous world was here, in Charlottesville, was cool, cultural and enormously valuable.

I saw only a few films there over the years, most memorably Life is Beautiful with my now wife, when they unfairly turned the lights on as soon as the credits started to roll – and we all had somehow gotten something in our eyes.

I’ll miss the Vinegar Hill Theatre, and I’m sorry that I didn’t take full advantage of it.

So, if you’re around this week(end) for the Virginia Film Festival, catch a film at Vinegar Hill.

Update 29 October 2008: Courteney Stuart has the story that Vinegar Hill Theatre will in fact, be re-opening under new management. Now I can procrastinate even more …

(Visited 115 times, 1 visits today)


  1. downtownenvy October 29, 2008 at 06:05

    This is such sad news! This is our favorite “date night” theatre. Sometimes, if you go to the late show after dinner you can actually take your cocktail in with you. They always have that one film showing that you can’t seem to find playing anywhere else. So sorry to hear this. We unfortunately didn’t go as often as we would like either. Maybe we need a theatre with this kind of ambience, and a staffed, kids play room:) Oh well.

  2. Larry Huffman October 29, 2008 at 06:57

    Sad. Vinegar Hill was my hideaway during grad school in the mid-80s. I owe my interest in foreign film to them. Thanks guys.

  3. Pingback: cVillain » Blog Archive » Sign of Our Times Part 3: Vinegar Hill Theatre Closes

  4. Kelly October 29, 2008 at 09:50

    Thank you for the update, even though it is sad news. I’ll make sure to take advantage of seeing a movie there during the film festival.

  5. michael guthrie October 29, 2008 at 15:47

    I am glad it will open under new management because it is a neat place to catch a movie.


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *