Carver Movie House and the Carver Spot

Historical Significance

In March of 1940, the Cape Charles Theatre Corporation was formed with three trustees, William H. Tabb, William Carrow, and W.A. Dickinson. A week later the Corporation purchased two lots on the southside of Jefferson Avenue in the African-American section of Cape Charles from W. A. and Naomi Dickinson.

The primary goal of the Cape Charles Theatre Corporation was to open a movie house for African Americans in Cape Charles. This would become the only movie theater for blacks in all of lower Northampton County. When the corporation held a contest to determine the theater's name, Bessie Trower of lower Northampton County won by suggesting "Carver" in honor of George Washington Carver, a noted black scientist of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. The Carver opened on Saturday May 24, 1940. 

Seven years later the Carver Spot, a soda fountain/restaurant, opened on a lot adjoining the theater. Both buildings have since been demolished.

Physical Description

The theater and the soda fountain/restaurant were constructed out of cinder block.  The theater had a seating capacity of 400 and the adjoining restaurant measured 36 feet square. Neither building is still standing.

Geographical and Contact Information

Jefferson Avenue
Cape Charles, Virginia
23310
Phone: 804-271-0488

Cite this Page:

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, “Carver Movie House and the Carver Spot,” African American Historic Sites Database, accessed February 22, 2017, http://www.aahistoricsitesva.org/items/show/77.
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