Chesterfield Mall Cinemas
11500 Midlothian Turnpike,
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Previous Names: Chesterfield Mall Cinemas 1, 2 & 3
The original three-screener at the Chesterfield Towne Center mall opened on December 25, 1975 under the ownership of Neighborhood Theatres, was acquired by Northeast Theatres in 1980, and finally was a Cineplex Odeon location from 1985 until its closure on March 16, 1989.
This was the first theatre to show a movie on more than one screen at a time in the Richmond area when it opened with George C. Scott in “The Hindenburg” on two of its three 350-seat screens.
The theatre was built into a pre-existing mall space and had to accommodate steel supports and an awkward configuration. A Richmond Times-Dispatch article on its closure notes that patrons compared the long, rectangular auditoriums to “seeing movies in a bowling alley” with “poor sightlines” and a suboptimal angling of the seats.
In 1988, the mall announced the leasing of space in a new extension of the building to a nine-screen United Artists multiplex which opened in January 1989 (it has its own page on Cinema Treasures). After a brief legal dispute found that Odeon’s lease did not include a non-compete clause for other cinemas at the mall, the decision was made to close the venue.
The films which showed on the last day of operation were “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” “Hellbound: Hellraiser II” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” The space was reconfigured and is still used for mall retail tenants today.
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