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I saw Thoroughly Modern Millie during one of its re-releases in 1970 at Durham’s Northgate Theatre. And the last time I saw it was on television. It had its only reserved seat engagement run in the Carolinas at Charlotte’s Capri Theater in September of 1967. Flower Drum Song opened as a reserved seat engagement in larger cities like New York and Los Angeles. Here in the Carolinas,it opened as a general release.
See the digital bits website for the retrospective article on the 45th Anniversary of “Funny Girl”.
“Sweet Charity”(1969) was one of two movie musicals that Universal put out during the 1960’s that was presented in its original roadshow format. The other two movie musicals were “Flower Drum Song”(1961),and “Thoroughly Modern Millie”(1967),both were released by Universal Pictures. These movies were reserved seat engagements with reduced admission.
While “Flower Drum Song” was a boxoffice smash during its theatrical run the other two movie musicals like “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and “Sweet Charity” were not as successful even though they had big musical productions and Hollywood star power. In the case of “Thoroughly Modern Millie” it had the star studded casting of Julie Andrews(fresh off the phenomenon hit that was “The Sound of Music”),Stockard Channing and Mary Tyler Moore. “Sweet Charity” also a musical had the star power of Shirley MacLaine, Ricardo Montalban,and Sammy Davis, Jr. with the direction of Bob Fosse that was impressive but was not a commercial success upon its theatrical run. It was a huge theatrical flop. A big disappointment for Universal.
BTW: “Sweet Charity” was shown recently……
Not only Encore showed its restored version that was remixed in Dobly Surround Sound,but Turner Classic Movies shows this film from time to time in its original roadshow format complete with entrance and overture introduction, intermission,and exit music.
They also recently did the same thing for “Thoroughly Modern Millie” that was shown on both Encore and Turner Classic Movies.
On the marquee for the re-opening of the Tryon Mall Theatres I & II on December 21,1974……
TRYON MALL CINEMA I-“EARTHQUAKE!”-Rated “PG”
TRYON MALL CINEMA II-“FREEBIE AND THE BEAN”-Rated “R”
FYI: Charlotte was absent from the state of the art format SENSURROUND system for the Tryon Mall 1 & 2 showing of the film “EARTHQUAKE!” that originally opened on December 21,1974.
The SENSURROUND system was in two theatre in the state of North Carolina that had it for it’s showing of the film EARTHQUAKE!
**Charlotte was absent from getting SENSURROUND since it was only available in select cities.
The CINEMA in Greensboro was one of two theatres in the state of North Carolina that was equipped with SENSURROUND stereo for it’s December 21,1974 showing of “EARTHQUAKE!”. The other theatre was at Raleigh’s State Theatre.
Also to point out that the STATE THEATRE got a lot of the Warner Bros. product as well showing classic films as “My Fair Lady”, “The Wild Bunch”,not to mention brought in record crowds for its showing of the 1972 thriller “Deliverance”.
“TROIS” starred Blair Underwood and Kenya Moore.
“THE WHITE GIRL” was filmed on location in Durham and surrounding areas that was directed by media correspondent and talk show host Tony Brown. The film starred Troy Beyer and Tony Terry. Christopher Williams made his movie debut in this film(a year before New Jack City)..the world premiere was at Durham’s Willowdaile Cinema in 1990.
Also played here first-run at Willowdaile Cinemas….
“WAITING TO EXHALE”
“HOW STELLA GOT HER GROOVE BACK”
“WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT”
“DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN”-Tyler Perry
and so much more……
In fact, Charlotte-based Stewart and Everett operated two moviehouses in the greater Henderson/Vance County area…one was the EMBASSY THEATRE located Downtown,and the other was THE CINEMA 1 & 2 at Henderson Mall.
THE EMBASSY THEATRE was the last of the Downtown moviehouses in Henderson,and it closed under Stewart and Everett in 1985,when it came a discount dollar house. And this was before Carmike took over Stewart and Everett.
The only theatre that Carmike operated after the acquisition of S & E was the CINEMA 1 & 2,and it was renamed THE CINEMA TWIN.
It upgraded to digital projection by 2009.
The Marketplace opened in 1990 as a quad cinema that replaced the Cinema Twin Theatres at Henderson Mall. By the mid-1990’s it added on two more screens becoming a 6-screener and by the early to mid 2000’s added on an addition two screens becoming the town’s first ever multiplex cinema. The Marketplace Cinemas is Vance County’s only multiplex theatre surrounding the areas of Henderson, Warrenton, Oxford, Norlina, and Southeastern Virginia.
THE WARREN THEATRE was Warrenton’s only cinema in town.
It opened in 1941 and the movies that played here were a mixture of first-run films, “B” movies and the like. It continued playing a variety of movies throughout the 1970’s until it close its doors in 1980.
THE NEW CAROLINA THEATRE opened on October 15,1942 as Chapel Hill’s newest and most modern design theatre with a seating capacity of 1,145.
NOW SHOWING at Chapel Hill’s NEW CAROLINA THEATRE:
It’s Ginger Rogers along with Ray Milland in
“THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR”
The coming attractions…….
The Big TECHNICOLOR musical event of 1942
“SPRINGTIME IN THE ROCKIES” Starring Betty Grable
“MY SISTER EILEEN” with Rosalind Russell & Brian Ahern
“THE GLASS KEY” with Veronica Lake & Brian Donlevy
“WAKE OF THE RED WITCH” with John Wayne
The world premiere of BRIGHT LEAF made its U.S. event showing at Raleigh’s Ambassador Theatre on May 31,1950.
It was the second motion picture to make its U.S. southeastern premiere engagement(after “Gone With The Wind”),and the first-ever Carolina exclusive premiere to be shown at the Ambassador Theatre.
Among the celebrities who were present at the world premiere were Gary Cooper, Lauren Becall,with Patricia Neal,along with British actor Donald Crisp and director Michael Curtiz.
It opened as the CAROLINA THEATRE in Downtown Chapel Hill under the Publix Theatres chain on September 23,1927 with the opening features “Cheating Cheaters”,
and “The Way of All Flesh”.
The coming attraction was “Hula” starring Clara Bow.
From 1927 until 1942 it was the CAROLINA THEATRE.
On October 15,1942, a new CAROLINA THEATRE in Downtown Chapel Hill opened across the street that seated 1,145 patrons. The cinema went under new management as it was renamed the VILLAGE THEATRE. It remained the VILLAGE THEATRE Downtown from 1942 until 1951.
On May 4,1951 the theatre was under new management and the name changed from the VILLAGE THEATRE to the VARSITY THEATRE. Under this new change upgraded additions were featured that included an expanded lobby section and a larger auditorium with super widescreen projection. By late-1954,more features were added to the VARSITY including the latest stereophonic sound and was equipped to show films in Cinema Scope projection.
This theatre was owner and operated under H.B. Meiselmen/Eastern Federal Corporation from 1951 until 1982 as a single screener with 703 seats.
By November of 1982,the theatre underwent another renovation with the original auditorium of 703 seats were split into two sections and renamed the VARSITY 1 & 2 under Burlington/Greensboro, NC based Janus Theatres. Auditorium 1 seated 350. Auditorium 2 seated 205,bringing the total seating capacity to 555 seats. The theatre also changed formats from showing first-run movies to showing independent and foreign releases where it remained from 1982 until 2009.
This theatre got a lot of the United Artists product with such films as “A Hard Days Night”,and “The Pink Panther”,not to mention the Bond films ranging from “Dr. No” to “Diamonds Are Forever” got first-run billing.
This theatre got a lot of the Universal product too.
It’s run of “Airport” brought in record crowds,along with “The Sting”,and “American Graffiti” not to mention its showing of “To Kill A Mockingbird” and a lot of the “B” movie stuff too for Raleigh’s State Theatre.
Opened on January 15,1924.
Closed on September 12,1976 under Martin Theatres.
Cinemascope projection was installed in 1954 when the State Theatre was remodeled with new features and updated Stereosound system.
The State Theatre was one of two theatres in the state of North Carolina to be equipped with SENSURROUND sound systems for its December 21,1974 opening of the film “Earthquake!”
On the marquee on April 5,1974….Exclusive Engagement
“BLAZING SADDLES” when the Manor was a single screener under Eastern Federal Corporation.
It was the first theatre in the state to also have the showing of THIS IS CINERAMA on December 22,1961.
Not to mention..“CINERAMA ADVENTURE”…..
The CAROLINA THEATRE opened on March 7,1927.
Closed its doors on November 27,1978.
It was also the first theatre in the state to have full CINEMASCOPE projection for its showing of THE ROBE on October 29,1953. It was the only showing of the film in the two Carolinas.
Among the roadshow engagements in 70mm at the CAROLINA:
“RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN’S OKLAHOMA”
“RISE AND FALL OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE”
“THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK”
“THE ALAMO”-John Wayne
“THE KING AND I”-Yul Brenner
“LAWRENCE OF ARABIA”
“PAINT YOUR WAGON”
“THE SOUND OF MUSIC”
THE CAROLINA THEATRE was the only theatre in the state of North Carolina that showed movies in CINERAMA……
Among the CINERAMA Engagements….
“HOW THE WEST WAS WON”
“THE WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM”
“ICE STATION ZEBRA”
“KRAKATOA:EAST OF JAVA”
“2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY”
I have one of the advertisement from the Marion, NC Newspaper that had a showing of “E.T.” back in 1982.
If you need to see this ad,please contact me at
This theatre opened in early-1980 as the McDowell Cinema 1 & 2 under Charlotte based Stewart and Everett.
Carmike Cinemas took over in 1986 and renamed it the McDowell Twin Theatres. By the mid-2000’s it was owned and operated under an Independent company until January of 2014.
Should be renamed the TOWNE TWIN THEATRES.
Closed in 1994 by Carmike Cinemas as a second-run cinema.
I have the original ads for the grand opening of the Merrimon Twin Theatre from December 21,1973.