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I’m assuming that the great details of the lobby are long gone – the tile work, etc. It was the most beautiful theater of the 60s, that I can remember. We’re lucky, in San Antonio, to have the older restored theaters (MAJESTIC, EMPIRE, AZTEC), but none of the 60s theaters survived. But we had NOTHING like this one (that I know, since I grew up in Miami, as a kid).
Better view than the mapping that I mentioned in March of 2009 – Google, at the time, only had a street view, I think.
I spoke with my friend who attended “The Empire Strikes Back” premiere back in May of 1980, at the Paramount, and he agrees that it was a single screen at that time. Also, there WAS some 60s uniqueness to its design, and it had a great sign.
Unfortunately, the city powers-that-be STILL love to tear things down. They actually envision making half of downtown a PARK of some sort, demolishing further structures. Amazing. The Capri and Majestic should have been saved. The Capri was covered with one of those horrible plastic/aluminum false fronts, so popular in the 60s, for its final two decades.
Yep, we had Sensurround. I did check with some still-locals, and it was indeed built as a twin, with the larger auditorium constructed on the side, around 76/77.
The address is 114 East Court Street. The building still exists as the DeLoach Shoe Store. When my family lived in Dyersburg from 74 – 83, it had already been closed for a few years. The Martin Twin went up in the early 70s, and resulted in the Frances being closed.
I’m assuming it was at the corner of Main AVENUE and Market Streets, on the downtown square. The 122 address no longer exists, but it is obvious that a building on the downtown square is “missing” (replaced in the 60s, I assume, with a one-story structure). The more current structure on the corner has the address of 120, and has a much smaller “footprint” than the old theater would have.
Did the “Patio” have a separate entrance? I finally saw that “Lovers and Other Strangers” on TCM – hated it. Would probably be a PG13 today.
This will bomb, as well. Parking is an issue with the locals, and they should never base a concept on what is presumed to be the taste of the average tourist. While SA gets a lot of blue-collar families, it also attracts upper-end business conventioneers who are not going to be caught dead in the place. Plus, kids will be bored by the shows. SA isn’t Branson, or Nashville. I’m thrilled that the theater has been restored, but finding the proper usage of the space will be difficult.
My last movie here was “Fright Night” (1985) – the place was in horrible shape by then.
Well, I started going there soon after it opened, and never cared for it. A sister lived in town, so I only went a few times a year. By the early 90s, I refused to see films there at all. I do remember that the building seemed “bad” from the outset. The Carolina had been horribly butchered by twinning. My regional favorite was the lost Ultra-Vision Mall Theatre behind the Asheville Mall – oval theaters, great design. (Most of its life, was called The Mall Twin Theater, I believe.)
Fondest theater memory from childhood was in 60s/70s Florida – the Sunny Isle Twin in Miami. It also had oval theaters – with spectacular tile work in the lobby, and two different color themes for the auditoriums….Aquamarine,(blue) and Driftwood (orange……rocking plush chairs….wow.
Actually, they might have added the largest auditorium (seen to the right in the above photos)AFTER the building housing the twins was first constructed in 72. The first film that I remember seeing in the large auditorium was “Star Wars” in 1977, and “Close Encounters” (1977). “Earthquake” (1974) was definitely in one of the twins in the main building, as was “The Towering Inferno” (1974).
The balcony was made into two other screens, I believe.
AA, thanks for the heads up. I just Google-mapped it, with Street View, and it is indeed the theater where I saw “The Exorcist” in Nov. 1982, while a UM student. Why I went to a Spanish-subtitled theater, I’m not sure. Probably, because I had never seen the film on the large screen. Strange that I would eventually move only a few blocks south of it, my senior year, but not remember it. (As a UM film school student, I went to a lot of the theaters in the Gables area.)
That MUST be it! I was at UM at the time I saw the film, but a year later, moved just three blocks south of this theater, on Douglas. Never went back again. It’s very possible I saw a Spanish-subtitled version of the film, and the reason I never returned. It’s the NW corner, and I remember parking behind the auditorium, with the screen at the west end. Thanks for the suggestion – makes total sense.
I seem to remember it being near the big gray Florida Power & Light (??) building, that was once lighted in bright colors. Whatever the intersection, it was on the NW corner.
Unrelated to this theater, but I remember a theater in the area of Flagler and Le Jeune. I saw a special rerelease of “The Exorcist” around 1982. I could be wrong about the intersection. It was an older theater with a nice marquee. It showed special releases by the 80s, I think, and was a bit run down.
I guess I can get confused – a Coral Gables, a Coral, and possibly two Gables Theaters? (Not two mention the newer Twin Gables – or whatever it was called – on Coral Way.)
Yep, remember “Oliver!” there. Again, we never went to Miami Beach/Bay Harbor. “The Bible: In the Beginning” had a big rerelease showing at Dadeland – I know it wasn’t the initial 1966 release – wasn’t in Miami then. In 83, I stood in line five hours for “Return of the Jedi” – number five in line. Unfortunately, it was with a bunch of sci-fi nerds in costume – I hid from the news cameras.
I’ll Google Map it with a street view. I’m curious if it’s the same structure. Yep, it’s ScanDesign – the building is still very distinct. AA let me know that I saw the roadshow of “Chitty” there, and not 163rd Street, in 1968. I remember the place seeming so exotic to a six year-old. If only theaters could, these days, put a little bit of the whimsy back into their structures.
I attended a few roadshows at Dadeland Twin in the late 60s. I’ll check out Sunny Isles – to a mere six year-old, all I remember was 163rd Street – it was Siberia to a kid who rarely traversed north of the airport (except Westland). In college, though, it was indeed the 163rd Street Theater where I say “Eddie…”
I went to the grand reopening in 2006, and it was terrible. The pre-show in the lobby was dull, and the special film was completely out of focus, and also boring. I told my friend it wouldn’t last the year, and it didn’t. At one point, they were going to replace the IMAX-ish film, with some kind of rotating country-western show, like the Grand Old Opry. I think the economy may have slowed that down.
I had scouted the old theater for a movie, back in the early 90s, and it was creepy, but cool – pre-restoration.
Saw many films there, when on vacation visiting my grandmother – 60s/70s. Specifically, I remember “Willy Wonka”.
No, it was demolished to make way for the BUS station. People were pushing for it to be torn down, due to its final years as a porn house. The Presbyterian church across the street was probably glad to see it go, although I attended church there at the time, and was sick to see that wonderful old building come down.
I only went here twice, as we lived down in the Fairlawn area (Flagler & Red), and it was too far. My family saw the roadshow engagement of “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” (with Intermission) in 68, then while attending UM, I caught “Eddie and the Cruisers” in 1983. It was definitely a triple by then.