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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.
Finally! Found a photo among my father’s stuff!
A little about the Eastland Mall Theatre “back-in-the-day”: It was always a dark theatre, with the dark blue walls and dark blue carpet and it’s narrow layout. Being on the lower level was not a plus. Heavy rains (or even just an all day steady rain) usually caused backups into the theatre since apparently it was the lowest point of the mall. What a headache for the management! Fun things: The midnight movies were a great success at Eastland, the pairing with the old 95Q rock station worked well and the atmosphere during these was always like a bit of a ‘party’.
Worth – I remember you – my father, Edward Marks, was always impressed with your talent with horror make-up and effects.
By the way, in the opening history of this theatre at top of page I notice the writer describes the seats as rocking chair seats – I do not remember the seats as such. The only theatre in Charlotte that I knew of with rocking chair seats was the Park Terrace.
Friday/Saturday nights at the Capri – still boggles my mind that during The Exorcist (1974) we’d sell out (can you imagine selling 900+ tickets for one show these days?) – the crowd at the concession stand could get a bit impatient but once you got a rhythm going back there it would go pretty smooth (well, most of the time anyway).
Oops – can’t revise comments? And I see I’ve now misspelled his last name in above post. Alright, 100 times, Erle Stillwell…anyway, do check out the architectural drawings – great stuff – all of them!
Sorry about misspelling Stilwell’s first name. Will correct! You’ll find many of his architectural drawings at UNC-Chapel Hill’s “Going to the Show”. Here is link to one for The Center at Monroe, NC. http://docsouth.unc.edu/gtts/content/2868/
I was wrong! My mother insisted that The Bailey was never owned by Stewart & Everett and she was right in that it was never owned by them when she lived in Wilmington. At some point, I do not know when, The Bailey was operated (but probably not owned) by Stewart & Everett as I have seen it listed in some promotional literature for the managers of this chain from the 1970s.
Sorry, I see I’m still putting that “e” on the end of Everett! Gotta stop that!
Posted image of marquee from the 1967 newspaper ad at flickr:
Visited Wilmington last spring (2008). It looked like The Manor was still there. “Hill’s Wilmington (New Hanover County, NC) City Directory 1958” shows The Manor at 208 Market St. The business at 208 Market Street in 2008 was “The Rox” – some sort of entertainment venue. The facade looks different but it appears to be the same building that housed The Manor.
Also, The Manor would have been one of four downtown movie houses in 1958 per that city directory with the other three being The Bailey, The Colony and The Ritz (810 N. 4th St).
My two cents: Stewart & Everett never owned The Bailey. Stellings & Gossett owned four drive-ins (Starway, North 17, Wrightsville Rd. & Skyland) and The Manor in Wilmington. I don’t know who owned The Colony but when Stewart & Everett bought Stellings & Gossett they also purchased (or possibly leased) The Colony about 1960-61. Per Beverly Tetterton’s book “Wilmington: Lost But Not Forgotten” the three names of this theatre beginning in 1913: Victoria, Carolina, Colony. However, Beverly gets the year wrong as to when Stewart & Everett came into The Colony’s history. Mr. Roe – kiddy shows were a huge draw and Daddy (Edward Marks) played those up big! (He painted all the banners & did many of the cut-out letters on the marquee) They gave away nice prizes at some of the kids shows (like a bicycle, record player, camera) and often tied in with local soft-drink bottlers/distributers for discount (or free) admission (like bring 6 Royal Crown bottle caps & get in free). I have so many pictures (mostly of the marquee) from this time period. I hope to scan at least a few more & get them to my flickr site soon.
Consolidated Theatres owned the Union Village Shopping Center theatres. As far as I know they also built the Union Square Cinemas.
I’m confused. As far as I know, General Cinema Corporation opened the Westgate Cinemas in February 1984. Six screens. See three photos of this Westgate that I refer to at my flckr site: View link
The theatre was sold to Litchfield in September of 1989. After that I do not know. Perhaps there was another earlier theatre at this same mall? I’ve always heard it called “Litchfield Theatres” but this might not be the correct name of that chain.
Here is link to photo of marquee (1968):
Photo of Southpark Cinemas from 1985 at my flickr site:
It was part of a small row of buildings & this was typical of Eastern Federal – building a theatre as well as some other store fronts to rent out. The theatre did have a second story where the manager’s office and restrooms were & I would guess a balcony too. It was often plagued with flooding problems due to its neighbor, Little Sugar Creek. I do have a photo of my father counting the money in the manager’s office. Will try to post it to my flickr account sometime within the next week. Thanks for the info about the architect!
Note – I keep putting an “e” on the end of Stewart & Everett – my apologies as that is not correct!
The Paramount, Carolina, and Alamance were owned by North Carolina Theatres, Inc. per ad in the 1940 “Doe Wah Jack”, Burlington High School annual.
Here is another photo, undated, of The Drake. Probably mid-late 1960s. View link