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Francis Ford Coppula’s THE GODFATHER was one of two Triangle area theatres that booked the film’s original opening on March 22,1972 when the Yorktowne Theatre was a 780 seat single screen cinema.
“THE GODFATHER PART II” also played here as well as
“CHINATOWN”, “LADY SINGS THE BLUES”, “LENNY”
The Yorktowne Theatre also played first-run on July 1, 1977 the original STAR WARS movie not to mention had the privilege to booked on December 7, 1979 the original STAR TREK movie.
The Chapel Hill run of WEST SIDE STORY was a general release that played first-run at the Varsity Theatre for two weeks running from January 3, 1963 until January 17, 1963.(Source:The Chapel Hill Public Library Archives and the Wilson Library Microfilm Section at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
The Dilworth Theatre in Charlotte on June 21, 1962 was the only Exclusive Engagement Showing within both North and South Carolina where WEST SIDE STORY played first-run. Other cities within the Carolinas didn’t get the film until July or August of 1962(Durham, Asheville,
Greensboro and Winston-Salem didn’t get WEST SIDE STORY until mid-October of 1962,while Chapel Hill didn’t get WEST SIDE STORY until early January of 1963.
In North Carolina:
Only Exclusive Engagement in the Carolinas where WEST SIDE STORY played first-run was at the Dilworth Theatre in Charlotte on June 21, 1962. It was NOT a roadshow presentation.
The rest were general releases in order:
Asheville: Plaza (7-6-1962)
Durham: Carolina (7-18-1962)
Raleigh: State (7-20-1962)
Fayetteville: Carolina (7-25-1962)
Wilmington: Bailey (8-1962)
Greensboro: Center (10-1962)
Winston-Salem: Winston (10-1962)
Chapel Hill: Varsity (1-3-1963)
**These are just the large cities within North Carolina,and not the small town venues.
You said that Michael Coate’s comment was posted on October 19,2011. I don’t see it anywhere and was isn’t on here?
I typed in the website and its telling me that it doesn’t exist.
October 18, 1961 was the original opening release that was only shown in select cinemas when it first opened as reserved seat engagements(New York, Los Angeles were the roadshow openings).
COMING SOON TO CINEMA TREASURES:
There will be a complete listing of the film’s original roadshow engagement bookings as well as where the film was showed first-run. October 18 will mark the film’s golden anniversary. Not to mention additional information about film and its cast.
A lot of great movies played at the Terrace.
George Lucas' STAR WARS played here when it was still a single screen operation in 1977. Other movies like
“Close Encounters”,and “E.T.” also played here when it was still just a single screen theatre. It wasn’t twinned until the mid-to-late 1980’s(this will be updated!).
I have the ads for the showing of WEST SIDE STORY at the Dilworth Theatre in June of 1962. I also had the pleasure of finding the ads for the roadshow engagement of CLEOPATRA too. I will post them later.
A lot of great movies played here at the CENTER….
Not only did the “The Sound of Music” played here during its exclusive engagement,but films like “PATTON”,“THE FRENCH CONNECTION”,“DIRTY HARRY”,“THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK”,“THE RETURN OF THE JEDI”,“GANDHI”,“REDS”,and the re-releases of “BEN-HUR”,“MY FAIR LADY”,“LAWRENCE OF ARABIA”,and “DOCTOR ZHIVAGO” brought in record crowds.I got to see “THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE”,and “THE TOWERING INFERNO” where it played at the CENTER. A lot of blaxploitation flicks played here as well…from “COFFY”,to “SLAUGHTER”,and even “SUPER FLY” and to the others like “NEW JACK CITY”,and “BOYZ IN THE HOOD” brought in massive crowds. Its best films played during the 1970’s in its largest auditorium until the 1983,when the theatre was split down the middle giving it a really bad impression to a once great cinema showplace.
The only STAR WARS film that ever played at the Carolina was THE RETURN OF THE JEDI that opened to capacity crowds on May 25, 1983.
As far as the STAR TREK movies went,only the Carolina had “STAR TREK:THE MOTION PICTURE”, “STAR TREK II:THE WRATH OF KHAN”,“STAR TREK III:THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK”.
These were the only STAR TREK films that ever played here at the Carolina Theatre in Chapel Hill.
FYI: If I had the “ad” from the Durham Morning Herald….
A lot of Disney re-releases(most of them Disney cartoons) played here at the South Square Mall Cinemas during the 1980’s and 1990’s
“Lady and the Tramp”
“The Sword In The Stone”
“Song Of The South”–(yes,and it played there for a week in 1986,when their were protests outside the cinema telling people NOT to see this movie and to boycott it!!! Only in Durham and at the height if the X-Mas Season! And this was a Disney flick that they re-released in theatres during the Holidays)
There will a photo of this theatre posted soon. The theatre is still standing,and it looks great in its condition.
The theatre opened as a 800 seat single screen theatre on November 24, 1966(aka The Lakewood Center Theatre)
Expanded a second building in 1971 when it was a twin cinema(aka,The Center I and Center II) the second auditorium opened on October 24, 1971
Became a three screen cinema in 1983,when the original 800 seat auditorium was split down the middle,making two shoebox screens,keeping the second auditorium in tact until 1986.
The second auditorium(that was opened in 1971) was also split down the middle in 1986,making two shoebox auditoriums until its closing in 2001,after more than 35 years serving Durham and Chapel Hill.
Steven Spielburg’s 1981 blockbuster RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK opened at the Four Seasons Mall Cinemas on June 12, 1981.
Complete information is on the Cinema Treasures site….“typed”
RAIDERS in the search box and it give you the complete information of where RAIDERS played first-run in North Carolina. Believe me,I contribute to some of the research along with Michael Coate.
“Hardcore” was Rated “R” and was released by Columbia Pictures.
In 1979,there was no “NC-17”. The MPAA Rating from “X” to “NC-17” came in 1990. I do remember this movie playing in Durham as well at the South Square Mall Cinemas(which was under Cinema National Theatres not General Cinema),which didn’t do well with the audience.Maybe in Greensboro,but not in Durham.
That maybe the Borders where you are at,but here in Chapel Hill,North Carolina,the Borders Bookstore is permanently closed….Borders also had a Borders Express in Chapel Hill’s University Mall,has closed too. There is talks of putting a multiplex there or eother
A movie theater on the site of where Border’s used to be. Interesting. Near 15-501. The nearest multiplexes in all of Chapel Hill are either South of 15-501 in Southern Village(The Lumina),OR on the Northern end of the city off MLK Blvd.(Airport Road)at the Timberlyne Cinemas 6 or The Chelsea 3(which shows independent and foreign films) But another multiplex?
The last theatre that was on that side of Chapel Hill closed in 2003 which was The Village Plaza Cinemas.
But we’ll see.
Chapel Hill,North Carolina
Chapel Hill is also about to take in that concept as well. Carmike Cinemas is in talks of putting a ten-plex on the site of the former Border’s Bookstore at the Intersection of Page Road and Fordham Boulevard(U.S. 15-501)next door to Lowe’s Home Improvement and across from Performance Chevrolet.
I think either Regal Theatres or Galaxy Cinemas Group is also interested in the project as well,since it will be the first on that side of Chapel Hill since the Village Plaza closed in 2003 and was demolished in 2007.
A lot of blaxploitation movies played at the ANSONIA too during the early to mid-1970’s. I fondly remember seeing “DOLEMITE” on the same triple bill as “COOLEY HIGH”,and “CORNBREAD,EARL AND ME”. The following week in July of 1975,the ANSONIA played another double bill
with “THREE THE HARD WAY” and “TRUCK TURNER”.
I was a teenager in 1981 when RAIDERS opened on June 12,1981. But I got the chance to see it during a bargain matinee at Durham’s Northgate Twin Theatre.
Capacity crowds and every seat was filled during the screening of the matinee show. I was blown away!!!
My cousin at the time wanted to see Gary Coleman’s 1981 flop “On The Right Track”,which played on Screen Two. But when it came to RAIDERS,it brought in more crowds at the Northgate than any movie ever!!! When the show was over,and before we got outside…the lines were snaked around the cinema and around the other side of mall. The lines went to one section of the Northgate Mall,to the side of Sears' Department Store. And this was during the matinee!!!! Never seen anything liked it. The last time I saw lines that went out the door and circled the mall were during the screenings of….
“THE OUTLAW JOSEY WALES”,“SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER”,
“SUPERMAN:THE MOVIE”,“E.T.”,“STAR TREK II”,“SCARFACE”,
“BACK TO THE FUTURE”,and “RAMBO:FIRST BLOOD PART II”
all of these movies played at the Northgate Twin Theatres in Durham.
The Summer of 1981…..
“RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK”,was the overall boxoffice champ that summer. You had also another boxoffice draw that summer of 1981 with…………
“CLASH OF THE TITANS”,“SUPERMAN II”,“ARTHUR”,
“FOR YOUR EYES ONLY”,“HISTORY OF THE WORLD:PART ONE”,
and the Bill Murray comedy “STRIPES”.
There was an ad in the Gastonia newspaper about the showing of Steven Spielburg’s 1982 hit “E.T.” which played here first-run on Friday June 11, 1982. In fact, it also played first-run at the Gaston Mall Theatre so it played in two venues in the Gastonia area.
I remember seeing “E.T.” on the Blue Side,and on the White Side showed “Star Trek II:The Wrath of Khan” on June 11, 1982 when the Carolina was a twin cinema with its original lobby entrance.
It was also known as the Fitzgeralds as well(aka The Falls Twin) Opened on Wednesday December 21, 1977 as a twin cinema with the premiere attractions:
SCREEN ONE: “Another Man,Another Chance” with James Caan (Rated PG)
SCREEN TWO: “Semi-Tough” with Burt Reynolds (Rated R)
**Source: The Wednesday December 21, 1977 edition of the Raleigh News and Observer
I saw TOP GUN here at the Park Terrace when it was a Plitt Theatre. The lines the weekend it opened snaked around the corner.
MikeRogers: Tim Mason was also the manager when RETURN OF THE JEDI played here during its run.