Friday, February 20

L. O. Davis & The Virginia Theater

L. O. Davis helped turn me into a big movie fan. He was a great fan of the movies himself. He took time to explain to me how the movie house business worked. How he selected and ordered movies for the Virginia Theater in Hazard. When I saw him, occasionally, he would say:"Sonny, guess what we have coming next month!" We thought it was great when he would have "Double Feature" Cowboy movies on Saturday. Two shoot em' ups for the price of one. Saturday was always our favorite day in Hazard. When the Masonic building on Main Street exploded in 1940, it also blew the front off the Family Theater directly across the street. It was closed for repairs for a long time. Besides, the cowboy movie on Saturdays there was also a Serial. (The Lone Ranger, Zorro, Flash Gordon, etc.) Mr. Davis continued the Family Serial by showing it at the Virginia Theater along with the feature there. Cowboys and two Serials for fifteen cents. What a deal that was... I remember, particularly, when all my buddies & I heard that "Tarzan Triumphs"was "coming soon." Tarzan VS the Nazi's in the jungle. WOW! Back then the movie would run uninterrupted through the afternoon and night. We all sat through it twice. Didn't get any better than that. Ed Sonny Watts


  1. When I was around four or five, my parents took me to the Virginia Theater to see Frankenstein. I can still remember what I felt about it. It was scary, but I loved it. It was a rainy day that day.

  2. The only movie I remember seeing at the Virgina was "The Ten Commandments." I was in grade school at the time, don't remember what year. I do remember I was sitting next to a boy by the name of Lonnie Napier. We were pupils at a two room school. Mrs. Ruby Woods and Mr. Custer Brashear were our teachers. They took all the students (whose parents would allow them to go) to see this movie one day. The was 'Logwood' on the left fork of Masons Creek at Viper.

  3. I was born on Big Creek. We use to catch the Greyhound to come to Hazard. We would stop off at the Virginia and see Gene Autry. My mother, Mallie Baker wrote for the paper.

    1. I am a long lost cousin... if you ever read this please contact me at the following email address

  4. One of my favorite movies was 'Incendiary Blond' starring Betty Hutton, and I saw it several times at the Virginia. Going to the movies was a real pleasure in the 1940s. I tried to go once a week and my Mom liked the 'Bank Nights' at the Virginia Theater where you could win dishes, etc. Once in a while there would be stage shows; these were a real delight.