Roland Courts Theater demolished

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by Joe Flanagan

WVEC.com

Posted on May 19, 2010 at 6:39 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 19 at 7:06 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- The old Roland Courts Theater building was torn down Wednesday. 

It was built in 1926 by the Laskin Brothers. These days it has been owned by Paul Dugas who lives on the West Coast. 

Neither Dugas nor the city of Virginia Beach could find someone to revive the former movie house/residence/retail stores.

"A number of mission-style theaters were built around a courtyard and called Court Theaters. Most of them were out in California.  This is probably the last of three that are still existing out here on the East Coast," said C. Mac Rawls, chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission for Virginia Beach.

Efforts were made to keep the property going. Rawls' commission extended the life by about a year working to preserve it. But, when the bricks started falling on the sidewalk below, it was time to bring the building down.

"Our commission has spent a lot of time trying to develop a historical theme for this block.  And I think we're going to have to go back and see if there is a plan B, something else that we could do here to preserve at least the nature of the history," said Rawls. 

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