Showing 26 - 46 of 46 comments
The “JANUS” was independently owned by a Burlington, N.C. physician. Of note, when the theatre opened ,twin siblings were hired as ushers and dressed in the theatre colors. In the early 70’s an attached restaurant was converted to auditoriums 3&4. The seating capacity was 214 each for #1&2, and 193&176 for 3&4. Later in the 70’s a ladies apparel shop on an addjacent property was converted to three additional screens. Soon thereafter an addtional screen was added on a second level to become “The Penthouse Screening Room”. This was accompanied by “The Cinebar Lounge” which also had among the first “Advent” Videobeam front projectors. Early X&K Band Satellite Reception was available, Sports etc. Upscale food, and spirits were served. The screening room had a very luxurious and intimate feel as the seating was love seats and swivel lounges. The auditorium was fully carpeted on three levels of six inch risers. The ceiling height was only 9' therefor rear screen projection was implemented.
If my memory serves me this theatre was opened by an independent owner of a local grocery store chain. At that time I think it was a twin screen, early 80’s. The owner was a very successful and interesting fellow who’s name escapes me at the time. He also operated a Drive-In next to one of his grocery stores on Hwy.70. On one of my service calls here a customer passed during the presentation of “Carrie”. After the owner passed the company changed hands to Southeast Cinemas.
During the 60’s and 70’s the “Paramount” was operated as a single screen under the Stewart&Everett banner.
I was involved in the installation of the projection & sound equipment of the new “Mall Cinema” single screen also owned by Stewart&Everett chain. (1969) Don’t remember the seating capacity but the building was of similar style as the Pitt Plaza Cinema in Greenville, N.C. This was also my first installation as an apprentice technician.
This theatre was my first out of town emergency service call in the 60’s as I would later go into a lifetime career in projection & sound equipment.
In the 70’s a major renovation was undertaken to update the theatre to the trend of the day. The building interior was removed down to ground level. The only thing still remaining were the exterior walls and the roof. A very 70’s looking facade replaced the original exterior front end. A new upper floor replaced the original balcony,creating space for office, storage, and projection booth. The original wood floor was replaced with terrazo floor in the lobby and sloped concrete in the single auditorium. Xenon Lighting now would allow for use of a single projector which was mounted with one of the original “Century” C projectors onto a “Unicinema” Reel to Reel transport. This device allowed the entire movie to be assembled on a single reel. An average length movie consisted of six 20 minute reels spliced together. This device was so large and heavy the unit was placed with a crane and the construction done around it. After the renovation the theatre name changed from the “STATE THEATRE” to the “PARK”. The “Unicinema” device was one of only a few ever manufactured. The development of the platter system gained favor as it did'nt require rewind of the film.
During the 60’s the boxoffice was a single window enclosed booth located in the center of the entrance stairs leading up to a very small lobby and concession stand. Popcorn was popped in a dressing room benneth the stage. This was originaly a vaudeville house.Soft drink syrups were packaged in one gallon waxed paper cartons. Popcorn was sold in boxes $0.10ea Posters and banners were much larger than the one sheets used today. I remember selling out to capacity crowds for “Dr. Zhivago”.
This was my first job in my lifetime career in the movie theatre business. I ushersd and popped corn in one of the dressing rooms below the stage. I later became a projectionist in the booth consisting of two “Century” C projectors with 2000' enclosed film magazines. The booth was quite compact as it was designed for nitrate film. The toliet was directly ajacent to the sound rack. The “Strong” 1KW carbon lamps would require constant attention to maintain proper light levels. The tungar bulb rectifiers sat directly benneth the 5 Point pedestals. The booth was extremely hot in the summer. Salvation from the heat was rendered by a window looking out over the covered overhang. The theatre also featured the vertical “STATE THEATRE” logo with the chasing lights. I can remember running cartoons,and travelogues prefeature,also running the national anthem at the days conclution. Cutain calls were a standard of the day as well.Intermission mucic was rendered by phonograph records. The days prior to xenon lighting, automation, and film platters were quite busy, all for $0.75Hr.
I was the first projectionist & aprentice equipment installation technician when this theatre opened. The auditorium had 530 seats of which several rows of seating on rear left & right were equiped with ash trays. This was a prolific tobacco growing region. The projection room was equiped with dual “Century” 35mm projectors, “Westrex” 4 Track magnetic sound system. 2000' film magazines and “Strong” Futura I Angular trim carbon arc lamps. If my memory serves me, we opened with “The Odd Couple” I also remember running serveral 4 track prints such as “How The West Was Won”, “Woodstock”, “War And Peace”. Can also remember the interesting smells during the “Woodstock” engagement,don’t think it was tobacco!
I performed projection & sound equipment service here for several years. I remember receiving a call about a fire in one the auditoriums where they had been running “Rocky Horror Picture Show” for over a year. Several rows of seating toward the front of the room were burned, ceiling tiles above burned out,and screen melted. Smoke damage in projection room but all was restored and reopened. Don’t remember the outcome of the investigation.
Theatre was formerly owned and operated by Rives Brown Realty. The original layout also utilized an upstairs enclosed CRY ROOM.
I was involved in twining this theatre in the early 80’s. Front/Back disection acommplished by adding an inside enclosed tunnel leading from the lobby to the auditorium in the back. Coresponding tunnel upstairs leads to new projection booth. “Tivoli” style lighting was just coming into vogue at this time creating interesting time tunnel effects and light chasing.
I was involved in adding “DOLBY” CP-50 sound upgrades in the early 80’s, also adding projection and sound eguipment for new additions when theatre was purchased by Neiborhood Theatres.
I was involved in the insallation of projection & sound equipment in the early 80’s The balcony was twined using the existing booth while a new booth was created downstairs for the main screen which was moved forward of the procenium arch. The auditorium details were'nt changed except for loss of back row seating to create new projection booth. Two additional auditoriums were stacked in the fly loft area one atop the other with a private enclosed viewing room at the rear of the lower theatre. The projection booth for these two screens were located in the upper theatre using two mirrors to project the image to the lower theatre! Access to the rear theatres was acheived by adding an enclosed tunnel otside the building from the lobby to the rear of the building. The theatre at that time was owned by an architect that had his offices in the theatre building.
I was again involved in adding “DOLBY” CP-50 processors to the existing stereo system also including CAT 160 Card with the addition of the “KINTEK KT-90 Subwoofer! Additional "DOLBY” systems were added under new ownership.
I was involved in the original projection & sound equipment installation consisting of 3 sets of dual projector “Ballantyne Pro35 VIP’s with 6000' Magazines. Cinema 1 was equiped with 35mm magnetic sound. Cinema 2&3 were Ballantyne Tube Mono Pat 50’s
I was involved in the installation of the projection & sound equipment for the third screen addition in 1983. The theatre was indepently owned by Duerson Theatres
Remember Court St. being closed to allow the helicopter hoist of the HVAC Roof top units. Stationary crane did not have adequate reach!
I was involved in providing the updated projection & sound equipment for the two previous owners. Once when the 1300 seat theatre was trisected & once again after the popcorn machine fire! Installed “DOLBY” Digital Audio in Balcony Screening Room.
Viewed “2001 A SPACE ODDESSEY” 70mm in 1969 prior to flying away for short Navy career!
Worked at this theatre as an usher then later as projectionist in 1966. Theatre was originaly “The White Theatre”, later to be renamed the “STATE THEATRE”. Theatre was gutted and remodeled to become the “PARK THEATRE” in the early 70’s.