Movie: Old King Theater, Oak Hill, West Virginia

One of my all-time favorite movies to see in a theater was Jaws.  I saw it with my sister Donna in 1978. It was a replay of the movie to welcome summer. We saw it right before heading to Daytona Beach.  We were terrified at first of going into the ocean for fear of the shark!  WHAT was my Dad thinking letting a 10 and 15 year old go to see this on their own??  To this day, STILL one of my favorites.  It terrified me and thrilled me and I loved every second of it.

I begged Ma to take me to see The Empire Strikes Back on opening night.  She agreed. I was so excited.  I had my favorite 4″ tall Luke Skywalker action figure in my pocket (complete with moving light saber that retracted into his arm with a little lever).  I paced as she got ready.  I explained to her that we needed to leave a full hour before the movie started.  She did not listen.  We left with enough time to get to the theater ten minutes before the movie started. Of course the theater was packed and there were no two seats together.  The closest we could sit together was like five rows apart.  It was the first time I watched a movie in a theater without a relative or friend sitting next to me.

It. Was. Heaven.

Those are just two of the more memorable times I saw movies at the Old King Theater in Oak Hill, WV.  My friend’s uncle either owned it or managed it or something of an important capacity. He let us take tickets and sell popcorn a couple of times to “pay” our way into the movies.

There are so many great memories from that place.

An American Werewolf In London

The Fog

The Howling

All of the great horror movies of the late 70s and up till like 1980/2.

OOOHHHH E.T. – I remember watching E.T. there!  And later, maybe the Gremlins too?

When I got my license around 1984 I started driving to see the movies in Beckley.

I cannot even remember when they stopped showing the movies at the King Theater.  I had been looking for a picture of the old theater and it was not until I joined a Friends of Fayette County Facebook page that I found someone who had pictures of the theater as it was being torn down.  So the pictures are not from the golden era of the theater but I can see a shadow of a memory of a place that held a lot of joy for me.

The Old King Theater, Oak Hill, Fayette County, West Virginia

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