Showing 26 - 50 of 85 comments
Note: I still think there must have been two different Westgate Cinemas. THere is no question that GCC built and opened the Westgate Cinemas that I’m familiar with in 1984. I think it’s a very real possibility that the ‘first’ Westgate Cinemas were also located at the same mall and were torn down. Surely someone in Spartanburg will know?
PatriciaNC’s husband was the DM with GCC (my brother’s career in the movie theatre business was short-lived but he was a pretty good popcorn popper!)
Shook Charlton Heston’s hand in the lobby of this theatre as he toured with his forgettable film “The Mountain Men” (1980) – but what a gentleman (and handsome too)! Saw “Jaws” here – blew me away, there had never been a film like that before! (well, at least not for me) Also met David Carradine at the Tryon Mall Theatre but can’t remember the name of the film…must have really been a forgettable one…
Edward Marks was the assistant manager at The Broadway in 1947. I believe at that time it was operated/owned by Wilby-Kincey.
To Beckymae, most likely this was the film always titled “The Kidnappers Foil” by Melton Barker Productions. See some good information at this web site: http://www.meltonbarker.com/index.html
We still don’t know the date this theatre was torn down, however, we do know that it was still standing (closed) in April 1983.
Love the “Die Monster Die” playbill/lobby card! That’s from 1965 – some of my father’s work. The stage show was partly the draw and though it probably did seem to be a strange holiday film, the campy horror films (and even today’s gory ones) were a guaranteed money-maker, particularly in the small towns. “Dr. Evil”, I believe, was Phil Morris, of Morris Costume. If somebody knows different, please correct me!
Very cluttered, wasn’t it?
Mike, Thanks for nice comment about David.
Found an old ticket stub from a young woman’s 1928-30 scrapbook:
Thanks Mike for the info. I did confirm that Edward Marks was gone from Brevard by 1954 – in fact, he was gone by 1953, so those Almanacs were definitely behind. (or they didn’t update them carefully)
In fact, the photos of GCC Theatres at my flickr site belong to David.
MikeRogers – I’ve never heard the story of the manager’s family being murdered but will keep a ‘look-out’ for it and will pass on if I find anything.
A newspaper article appeared in “The Sandhill Citizen” (Aberdeen, NC) on Wednesday, July 23, 1980 (page 3). Headline: Bob Dutton, Theater Man of the Sandhills. Per the article, Dutton had been with the theatre for 40 years, “…started to work with the Sunrise in 1940 has been the theater’s only manager since the theater was built, and is also manager of the Town & Country Cinema in Aberdeen.” So this indicates the Sunrise opened in 1940. Dutton remembered how the cost of a ticket was 9 cents during WWII because of the war tax on tickets over a dime, so most operators kept their admissions at 9 cents.
Stewart & Everett opened The Independence Mall Cinema 1-2-3 on or about April 4, 1980. Phil Pierce was the City Manager in Wilmington for “S & E” at the time. This information comes from Stewart & Everett’s “Showmanship” newsletter dated April 4, 1980 (page 5).
Hello Mike – I believe, though not 100% positive, that Edward Marks would have been gone from Brevard by 1954. Guess the Almanac runs somewhat behind (makes sense considering it would have to be compiled in advance). Cool – didn’t know there were Motion Picture Almanacs.
Eastland Mall to close at end of June 2010.
Edward (or E.M.) Marks was co-owner of the Brevard Drive-In in the early 1950s but if he also owned the Star Drive-In it was not in 1956. By 1956, Marks was in Wilmington, NC overseeing the drive-in theatres there (including the Starway).
On the night of January 7, 1991 two theatre employees of Westgate lost their lives during a robbery. Alex Hopps, a 19-year-old USC student and usher was first forced out of the theatre by David Rocheville and Richard Longworth, former employees of the theatre. Hopps was shot once in the head and left to die. Rocheville & Longworth convinced James Todd Green, 24 years old (I believe the Assistant Manager) to let them back in and then commenced the robbery. After removing cash from the safe they took Green with them, later killing him. An off duty employee, David Hopkins, would later stop by finding films on but no employees. He also recognized Rocheville rummaging through Green’s car. Everything you could possibly want to know about this sad chapter in the history of this theatre can be found at: View link
Renovatus (Church) is still operating out of the theatres according to their web site. View link
A search will eventually land you at their photo gallery and you can choose the one about their first Sunday there in October 2009— offers a very limited glimpse of what’s still there. Looks like they still make use of the concession stand but they have brightened up the walls so that it is not so dark. It also looks like they use their own screens (two smaller ones as opposed to the theatres' screens…)
I could find no current photos at the site.
Cross our fingers and hope things change! If Wadesboro (Ansonia) can do it, maybe we can too!
I don’t know! It has been close to five years since I’ve been to Eastland but I can find out.
The ghost of the Capri…it was said to be haunted by the ghost of the first manager, Ryt Suez (Ryt Hassan “Suez” D'Suesse) who committed suicide at home April 25, 1967. One of the cleaning crew (a husband and wife team) back in the 1970s was down in front of the auditorium (in the wide expanse from the front row to the stage – yes, a real stage!) when she saw a man standing in the doorway at the back as if to start down the aisle. Assuming it was Mr. Brand, the current manager, she waved and called out to him. The figure gave no response and when she started forward, the figure vanished. Another time, just as she entered the lobby she saw a man in a suit cross the lobby to the office. Again, assuming it was Mr. Brand she followed him only to discover she was alone. The cleaning crew, understandably, preferred cleaning in the early morning rather than late at night. More later…
At the time of this 1986 photo it was a four-plex.