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Threatened: Oceanfront, VA – Roland Court Theater

Historic Oceanfront theater to face wrecking ball

By Aaron Applegate

The Virginian-Pilot

© April 22, 2010

The owner of a historic but long vacant and deteriorating Oceanfront building must tear it down or have the city do it.

Last month, bricks fell off the Roland Court Theater on 17th St., creating a safety hazard, city officials said. Owner Paul Dugas of San Diego said he plans to tear all or part of the building down before the city’s early May deadline. City officials sent Dugas a letter Friday telling him to demolish it.

Preservationists lament the impending loss of the funky U-shaped building, which opened as a movie theater in 1925 and was later a playhouse and then a series of bars, most recently Ocean 17. The building, which resembles the Alamo, was built in the mission revival style with arched windows and doors.

“I’m so sad about it,” said Mac Rawls, chairman of the city’s historic preservation commission. “If it were restored it would be a beautiful building and quite quaint, and quaint is something we don’t have much of at the Oceanfront.”

via Historic Oceanfront theater to face wrecking ball | HamptonRoads.com | PilotOnline.com.

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