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Opened in either 1953 or 1956 as the Highway 70 East Drive-In Theatre and it was a single screen outdoor drive-in with a car capacity of 390. At the time of it’s opening it was the largest outdoor drive-in in all of Alamance County and surrounding areas. It wasn’t twinned until 1969 when the name changed to the Twin 70 Drive-In Theatre until it closed in 1980.
The Church Street Twin Cinemas was never demolished. The theatre closed in the 1990’s as a discount theatre. The building is still there but it has been converted into a mega-church that basically took up that section where it was a shopping center that was anchored by a Zayre Department Store and a Winn-Dixie grocer.
This theatre was once the Trans-Lux In Flight Cinema that opened on March 23,1970. It was renamed the Janus Theatre by 1973 and was twinned by 1976 renamed the Janus 1 & 2. By 1983,it became the Blue Moon Adult Theatre that specialized in showing hardcore XXX-rated films until the late-1980’s or early-to-mid 1990’s. By the 1990’s it became a discount movie house under Janus Theatres and was renamed the Church Street Twin Cinemas until it closed in the late-1990’s. It reopened as a Spanish Language cinema that specialized in showing Spanish films for the huge Latino crowd. By either 2000 or 2001 it closed for good. It was converted into a church by either 2003 or 2004 that is still in business.
RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK played here at the Janus Twin first-run in 1981.
Not only did THE GOLDEN CHILD played on two screens at the Willowdaile,but it also did BIG BUSINESS playing in it’s largest auditorium in DOBLY STEREO with a seating capacity of 500. It made have been a flop,but anything with Eddie Murphy drew in huge crowds on December 12, 1986.
OTHER MOVIES THAT PLAYED HERE:
“Beverly Hills Cop II”, “Beverly Hills Cop III”,
“Another 48 Hours”, “Hook”, “Rocky IV”, “Rocky V”,
“The Polar Express”, “All the James Bond 007 films with Timothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan played here from "The Living Daylights” to “Die Another Day”.
“Home Alone II”, and more………
Durhamites: What were your best memories of going to the Willowdaile Cinema and what was your favorite?
THE OPENING ATTRACTIONS FOR THE WILLOWDAILE CINEMAS:
From it’s grand opening on December 12, 1986.
-Showing on Two Screens: Chevy Chase and Dan Ackroydwith Martin Short starring in “THE THREE AMIGOS”
-Showing on Two Screens: Eddie Murphy in DOBLY STEREO starring in “THE GOLDEN CHILD”
“JUMPIN JACK FLASH”-Whoopi Goldberg
“PEGGY SUE GOT MARRIED”-Kathleen Turner
“HEARTBREAK RIDGE”– Clint Eastwood
“TOP GUN”-Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer
“NOTHING IN COMMON”-Tom Hanks and Jackie Gleason
COMING SOON MORE BLOCKBUSTERS TO THE WILLOWDAILE 8:
“STAR TREK IV”-William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy
“ENEMY MINE”– Louis Gossett,Jr. and Dennis Quaid
Disney’s “THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE”
The Willowdaile Cinema 8 was located on the Northern end of the city at the corner of Guess and Horton Roads,and it was the first multiplex theatre operating under Carmike Cinemas. The theatre was in operation from 1986 until 2005(spanning 19 years). This theatre got the first-run blockbusters and it was also the first to show exclusive engagements not to mention this theatre got to show in 1990 the first-ever “NC-17” flick “Henry and June” to play at this theatre. It also got the exclusive engagement showing to several films that made there world premiere showings ever in North Carolina at the Willowdaile…..Tony Brown’s “The White Girl” played here first-run as well as the erotic thriller “Trois”.
Other movies that were crowd pleasers..“School Daze”,
“Toy Story”, “Home Alone”, “Titanic”, “Coming To America”, “Lethal Weapons II, III, IV”, “Die Hard I”,
“Die Hard II”, “Die Hard III”, “Spider-Man”, “X-Men”,
“Star Wars:The Phantom Menace”, “Attack of the Clones”, “Toy Story II”, “The Passion of the Christ”,and many more. The theatre closed on June 2, 2005 after more than 19 years and was demolished in early 2006 to make room for a 52,000 square foot Harris Teeter grocer that opened in November of 2009 where the movie theatre once stood.
Very sad news here. I read this too and heard it on the radio from both National Public Radio and the BBC News. A 9-year old girl remains in critical condition at a local hospital while a 3-month old infant is on life support at the same hospital where the little girl is. This has gotten crazy. Where was the security when this broke out? Anyone who went to the screening should have noticed something suspicious about a crazy individual seconds before he did the unthinkable. They should have called the police THEN!!! And police officers should have been there to beef up and increase security at this theatre. It doesn’t make sense!!!
I love the drive-in’s!!!! You’re right Roger. It’s not a revival,but a bloodbath! Don’t you get sick and tired of these megaplexes? I’ll take the drive-in circuit any day of the week just to save MONEY!!! I saw THE DARK KNIGHT RISES at the local drive-in theatre as of last night for just $5.00 a car load!!! Refreshments were dirt-cheap but it was a great alternative to these moneygrabbing bloodsucking megaplexes that are killing the industry!!!
When this theatre was formerly THE COLONY…..
By the mid-1970’s this theatre became a showplace for a lot of “B” movies and blaxploitation flicks that were great crowd pleasers.
I saw Issac Hayes in TRUCK TURNER first-run in 1974.
Saw CAR WASH with Richard Pryor first-run in 1976.
When this theatre was formerly THE COLONY…….
A lot of Roadshow Attractions played here that were Eastern North Carolina Reserved Seat Engagement Showings:
“FUNNY GIRL”–[70MM]– Played here on October 1, 1969.
“PAINT YOUR WAGON”–[70MM]-Played here on February 20,1970
“FIDDLER ON THE ROOF”-Played here on May 24,1972.
“MAN OF LA MANCHA”-Played here on June 15, 1973.
THE SOUND OF MUSIC played here as a Reserved Seat Engagement on August 11, 1965 where it played to capacity crowds for an astounding 61 weeks. Not only THE SOUND OF MUSIC played here but also…..
“THE TEN COMMANDMENTS”
“HOW THE WEST WAS WON”
“THE AGONY AND THE ECSTASY”
“THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF THE BROTHERS GRIMM”
“WAR AND PEACE”
“ALFRED HITCHCOCK’S PSYCHO”
I have the original ads for BEN HUR where it played in Raleigh and Charlotte in 1960.
PREMIERE ATTRACTION AT THE SOUTH HILLS TWIN CINEMA:
Showing in two auditoriums on July 20, 1973.Cinema I: 2:00, 4:15, 7:00, 9:15Cinema 2: 2:30, 4:45, 7:30, 9:45
Other cities in North Carolina such as Greensboro, Durham, Wilmington, Winston-Salem, Asheville wouldn’t get the film BEN-HUR until either December of 1960 OR February or March of 1961 as a General Release.
Charlotte was it’s only Reserved Seat Engagement
Raleigh was it’s only Eastern N.C. Exclusive Showing.
The ONLY RESERVED SEAT ENGAGEMENT IN NORTH CAROLINA:The Plaza Theatre in Charlotte on June 10, 1960.
THE EXCLUSIVE EASTERN ENGAGEMENT IN NORTH CAROLINA:The Village Theatre in Raleigh on August 19,1960,aka as the Cameron Village Theatre. The Raleigh Premiere was a Eastern North Carolina Engagement Showing. It was not a Reserved Seat Engagement.
Other theatres such as Greensboro, Durham, Wilmington,Fayetteville and Winston-Salem wouldn’t get the film until December of 1960 OR February of 1961,even though it was released in 1959.
BTW: I have the original ads to where BEN-HUR played first run in both Charlotte and Raleigh. If you need more information,please feel free to e-mail me at
This was formerly the Imperial Cinemas that opened on December 23,1977. It was the town’s first multiplex cinema under Fairlane-Litchfeld Theatres. United Artists took over the operations of the Imperial Cinemas(at the time was a four screen cinema)during the 1980’s when a major renovation added two new auditoriums making it the Imperial Cinemas 6 under the UA banner. United Artists closed this theatre in 2000. New York based Madstone Theatres bought this theatre in 2002(renamed it the Madstone 6) which by the way folded in 2004,with Galaxy Cinemas took over in 2004 and change the format as a first-run arthouse/indie cinema that specializes in Bollywood and vintage Hollywood classics. Set to closed in 2013.
It did very well during the mid-1980’s and early 1990’s as a discount cinema under Carmike. I saw THE COLOR PURPLE here in 1987.
STAR WARS was one of the theatres that got the exclusive engagement showing during it’s re-release on July 21,1978 and was on several theatres that was given the full DOBLY STEREO sound system exclusive when this theater was the Regency Theatres 1 & 2.
GODSPELL was the grand opening attraction of the South Hills Twin Cinemas on July 20,1973. It was shown on two screens.
This theater operated under Consolidated Theatres from 1973(when it changed it’s name to the Regency Theatres 1 & 2 in 1975) until 1978. Martin Theatres owned it(when the name was changed to the South Hills Twin)until 1984. Carmike Cinemas took over in 1984 when they bought Martin Theatres(All of the moviehouses that were under Martin Theatres in Raleigh were the Valley Twin,the Village Twin,the Terrace Twin,and the Falls Village Twin Theatres);when the Carmike name was first used in the greater Triangle market in 1985. The South Hills Twin was closed in 1994 when the Blue Ridge Cinemas opened
(which Carmike also shuttered the Terrace Twin and the Falls Twin theatres in Raleigh at the same time which were discount houses….The Valley Twin closed in 1988,and the Village Twin closed in 1991);leaving the Blue Ridge Cinemas(over at Blue Ridge Road near the State Fairgrounds at Western Blvd.)to become the only discount movie house not only in Wake County,but
eventually the only discount theater East of Raleigh.
Opened on July 20,1973 with GODSPELL.
Nighthawk1 is right:
S&E had two movie theatres in Fayetteville. The other was the Carolina Theatre Downtown Fayetteville on Hay Street that closed on October 19,1978, a year before this theatre opened. The Westwood Cinemas was the last venue in Fayetteville under Stewart and Everett before Carmike bought S&E out in 1986.
1979-1986 Stewart and Everett Corporation
1986-1995 Carmike Cinemas
The was formerly the Westwood 6 Cinemas that opened in 1979 and was closed in 1995. The former theatre was demolished in early 1995 and in it’s place Carmike Cinemas built a huge 12-screen plex that opened on October 4, 1996.