'Indescribable': Rives Theatre a huge loss to many in Martinsville

Theater destroyed by fire Sunday night

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MARTINSVILLE, Va. – There was no shortage of people stopping by Rives Theatre Monday morning to look at the burned out building.

"In the '70s and '80s, a lot of people saw the 'Star Wars' movies. I saw every 'Star Wars' movie until we stopped showing first-run movies," Theater manager Rives Coleman said.

Some of the people who showed up at the theater Monday, reminiscing, perhaps, about the building's history, shown in black-and-white photos from local historian Desmond Kendrick.

The theater has been in manager Coleman's family since 1948.

"It has a lot of history to it. For the last 10 years, we've created our new history with the live performances here, as well with the music acts that have come through. It's unbelievable," Coleman said.

For Wayne Barnette, the news of the fire was gut-wrenching.

"It was the first place I went to see a movie at. I've been here several times," Barnette recalled.

The fire is a devastating blow for Bruce Berger's band.