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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.
Speaking of the 25th Anniversary of the 1986 blockbuster hit TOP GUN, The Mission Valley Cinemas in Raleigh was the only theatre in the Carolinas that was given the showing in 70MM and 6 Track Dobly Stereo. It opened in general release on May 16, 1986.
**Source: The Friday May 16, 1986 edition of the Raleigh News and Observer.
TOP GUN opened in general release in theatres on Friday May 16,1986. It is my ALL TIME favorite film….the one movie that cemented Tom Cruise as an action star,and launched the careers of Anthony Edwards and Val Kilmer,and brought Hollywood one of the greatest actresses ever Kelly McGillis.
I saw it NINE times in the theater where it played at in North Carolina. Twice at the Mission Valley in Raleigh where it was given its only North Carolina Engagement showing in 70MM!
George Lucas' STAR WARS played here when it the Plaza was a twin cinema. It played here on July 8, 1977 and it played here for an astounding six weeks,aka The Plaza Cinema 1 & 2.
REGAL has stripped to the bone all of its megaplexes. Not to mention CARMIKE.
There is also a Kannapolis,North Carolina just outside Concord and about a good 20 minutes from Charlotte and about two hours from Greensboro.
This one is spelled Kanopolis. Never heard of it until now.
The IMAX Experience at Southpoint Mall Cinemas will open on Friday May 20, 2011 with the opening attraction of “Pirates of the Caribbean:On Stranger Tides” with Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz.
***NEVER AGAIN WILL YOU HAVE TO GO TO RALEIGH OR CARY TO SEE MOVIE IN IMAX….ITS COMING TO DURHAM AND CHAPEL HILL. FINALLY THE IMAX EXPERIENCE AT SOUTHPOINT!
A lot of blaxploitation films played here during the 1970’s and early 1980’s when the Riverview Cinema was still a single screen theatre. I remember seeing a lot of movies that played here “MANDINGO”,“FOXY BROWN” &
“COFFY”(basically all of the Pam Grier flicks played here including “FRIDAY FOSTER”,and “SHEBA BABY”),not to mention all of the Fred Williamson flicks also played at capacity crowds. I remember them showing the 1979 Leon Issac Kennedy flick “PENTITENTARY” and its three sequels. For those who may not remember coming to this theatre back in the day..who remembers them playing their all-night marathon of classic blaxploitation films including “SHAFT”,“SUPER FLY”,and
“THE MACK”,& “WILLIE DYNAMITE” all on the same bill.
Not to mention their marathon of martial-arts movies too that were shown during their all-night sessions.
They would played ANYTHING starring Bruce Lee,Bruce Li,
and Sonny Chiba(“THE REVENGE OF THE STREET FIGHTER”)to name a few. Who remembers the Riverview Cinema?
“Booker-T” was a chain of movie houses in North Carolina that catered to African Americans from the 1930’s until the mid-1960’s. Some of these theatres closed during the mid-1950’s,but some remained opened until the mid-1960’s when North Carolina was segregated and where blacks couldn’t go at that time.
The “Booker T” chain also operated area Drive-In’s too that catered to African Americans and other minorities.
“JAWS”-played here in 1975
“STAR WARS”-played here in July of 1977
When the Taylor was a single screen theatre.
It wasn’t until the late-1970’s(probably 1978 or 1979)
when the Taylor became a twin cinema.
Segregated Theatres as well as Drive-In’s were outlawed in North Carolina by 1964,the same year President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law The Civil Rights Act,which prohibited discrimination against minorities in public places. But you still had the ugly head of Jim Crow turning up in other parts of the state,especially in small towns where segregation still lingered…..during the year of 1964.
To DFC’s comment:
By 1964 with the signing of the Civil Rights Act,a lot of these theatres were desegregated,but at the same time there were a lot of places in North Carolina and in several towns in the South that were still under the scrunity of Jim Crow which continued onward into the early 1970’s,when some Southern towns were still under the influence of not letting people of color enter into some facilities,six years after the signing of the Civil Rights Act. The state outlawed segregated theatres in most of the larger cities in North Carolina,which went into effect until 1963 in some cases until early 1964. But in the small towns like Rocky Mount,it didn’t come until 1964,the same year The “Booker-T” closed its doors.
In North Carolina,there were several black-owned movie houses that had the name “Booker-T”,that catered to African American audiences. There were “Booker-T” theatres all over the state and in cities like Durham,
Rocky Mount,Goldsboro,Raleigh,Charlotte and Winston-Salem just to name a few. During the era of segregation,not only you saw movie theaters that catered to blacks,but also you had drive-in theatres that were also segregated as well. It’s not mentioned here,but blacks in North Carolina had there own drive-in theatres within the state,and there were several that were in Durham,Goldsboro,Gastonia,and Greensboro to name a few that catered to black audiences at the height of the Jim Crow South between the 1930’s all the way up to the mid-to-late 1960’s.
I remember this theatre located on the Northern end of Durham off Highway 501 back in the day.
A lot of blaxploitation and anything that was under the sun when it came to “B” movies,kung-fu,and the like. I remember seeing THANK GOD ITS FRIDAY playing here in August of 1979.
Brynn Marr opened in 1975 as a twin cinema operated by Charlotte based Stewart and Everett Theatres. By 1986,Carmike Cinemas took over the operations of the Brynn Marr(when it was still a twin cinema),and around that time construction began on a third auditorium. What they did was take the auditorium in Screen 1 and split in down the middle,adding shoebox size auditoriums with smaller screens,making it a three screen cinema. The Brynn Marr continue onward during the late-1980’s and early 1990’s showing first-run films. By the mid-1990’s it became Jacksonville’s only discount movie house,showing second run films at bargain prices.
It remained that way,until the cinema’s closing in June of 2003 when it was last operated by Carmike Cinemas.
Durham had two theatres in the area that catered to “black-oriented” films,and I know cause I used to attend them.
The Riverview Cinema(aka The Riverview Twin)which is listed on the “cinema treasures” site catered to blaxploitation and kung-fu flicks as well as second-run films and the occasional “B” movies that played here. I remember this theatre had a triple feature,I mean three BIG BAD movies on one show with special admission…this theatre played not only the “SHAFT” films,but all of the “SLAUGHTER” films too….All the Pam Grier films,and All the Fred Williamson films too when it was a single screen theatre from 1970 until 1987.
By 1987,the original auditorium was split in two creating two shoeboxed auditoriums with smaller screens until its closing in 1995.
The Carmike 7 catered to some of these movies and more. I do remember seeing “MENACE II SOCIETY”, “JASON’S LYRIC”, “LIFE”,
“IT’S THIN LINE BETWEEN LOVE AND HATE”, “DEAD PRESIDENTS”,
“THE NUTTY PROFESSOR”(Eddie Murphy),“MONSTER’S BALL” (Halle Berry),
“STATE PROPERTY”(Beanie Siegel),“BELLY”(Nas and DMX),“DIE HARD III”,
“THE PLAYER’S BALL”(Ice Cube),“ROMEO MUST DIE”(Jet Li and DMX),and so many more. The Carmike 7 was also the exclusive engagement of its showing of “ASUNDER”,and “TROIS:CHAPTER II”. The theatre closed its doors in 2004.
“Star Wars” during its North Carolina engagement,did not play at the Cardinal Theatre in 1977. “Star Wars” however played during its engagement at the Cross Creek Mall Cinemas in June,1977 . Cross Creek Mall was part of General Cinema Theatres. In June of 1977,“Star Wars” played as an exclusive engagement in these North Carolina cities of Fayetteville,Greensboro,Asheville and Winston-Salem. Repeat: It did not play at the Cardinal Theatre.
“The Empire Strikes Back” and “The Return of the Jedi”,did not play at the Cardinal. Both movies during their theatrical run,played at the Bordeaux Cinemas during their Fayetteville engagement.
All that would change during the early 1970’s,when the Terrace added on a second auditorium,making it a twin cinema.
Located behind Sears in the back of the shopping center off Independence Boulevard at Oleander Drive.