Stargate Twin update
I stumbled upon your website tonight and I’ve found it very interesting. It’s nice to know that some of these old theaters are being preserved, if not physically, at least through memories. I have some unfortunate news about the Stargate Twin Theater in Rapid City, SD.
I have lived in Rapid City all of my life so I can give you a brief history of the theater for you to post on your site, but before I do I must tell you that the theater has been closed since January 1st. The signs have disappeared and the windows have been covered with white paper. I read an article in our local newspaper that the company that owns the Stargate could not come to an agreement with the people who lease them the theater. Apparently they wanted a lot more then what the Stargate could afford.
Apparently before they closed up they took out everything including all of the seats in both theaters. The theater will probably be torn out as easily as possible (considering it’s located in a shopping center which will not be torn down) and replaced with a retail store.
Status: Closed 2006
Screens: Single Screen
Style: Generic (1970’s)
Function: second run movies
Seats: 500 ??
Chain: Former United Artists
This theater opened in the brand new Northgate Shopping Center in Rapid City, SD back in the early 1970’s. It premiered as the Northgate Twin Theater under the United Artists flag. The screens were average size and each auditorium could hold up to 250 people. There wasn’t a lot special about the inside of the theater, however the outside signs were fairly impressive with lots of yellow flashing bulb lights and arrows in what seemed like a drive-in movie theater type style.
In the early 1990’s the theater dropped the United Artists affiliation and became a second run movie theater owned and managed by the same people who own the much more historic and impressive Elks Theater in downtown Rapid City. In the mid 90’s the theater got a face lift with replacements to just about everything including the seats and the screens. Gone was the baby blue curtains replaced with black curtains.
After the remodel the old Northgate Theater signs were taken down and replaced with Stargate Theater signs. For the rest of its life the theater saw favorable crowds, especially on Thursday Nights. That night was called B.Y.O.B. (Bring Your Own Bag) night for two free scoops of popcorn. Unfortunately in 2006 the Stargate closed forever. Apparently the owners couldn’t come to a favorable lease agreement with the company that owns the shopping center. Not only have all of the seats been taken out, but also the signs are completely gone.
This theater will not be missed so much for its style, but for its addition to the Elks and the two Carmikes In Rapid City. It was nice to have another option. Personally I have memories as a child shopping at the attached Kmart in the mid ‘80’s with my family before going to the movies next door. The Stargate will be missed!
Please let me know if you have any other questions and when you post this. I can also take a picture of the former site of the theater to post on your site as well if you like. Thanks, and I look forward to your reply.