Comments from raysson

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raysson commented about Carolina Theatre on Jul 25, 2010 at 9:15 pm

For the record: the Carolina Theatre was also showed first-run films that became the outlet for Universal too. A lot of films that played at the Carolina were huge crowd pleasers among them were “Airport”,
“Day of the Jackal”,“American Graffiti”,“The Sting”,and “Earthquake!"
to name a few. And just like the Bond films that played at the Carolina,Universal also re-released their features on double bills and the Carolina had those as well. All that would change by 1975 when film booking practices changed the landscape,and all hell broke loose when all of the Universal films would change outlets ending a long relationship with the Carolina Theatre.

FYI: All of the Clint Eastwood films that were released under Universal Pictures also ran as first-run features at the Carolina Theatre as well,among them were “Play Misty For Me”,“Two Mules For Sister Sara”,“High Plains Drifter” to name a few as well as some of the Clint Eastwood films that were released under United Artists,namely “Hang Em' High”,and “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot”,and his earlier works “A Fistful of Dollars”,“The Good,The Bad,and the Ugly” ran also as first-run features that were colossal boxoffice hits,of course UA re-released them on double bills,and the Carolina had those too.

raysson commented about Carolina Theatre on Jul 23, 2010 at 10:02 am

Carolina Theatre bids farewell to Campanero. Read the full feature story at:

raysson commented about Carolina Theatre on Jul 23, 2010 at 10:00 am

and DR.NO and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE not to mention
a double bill of GOLDFINGER too. All of the Bond films starring Sean Connery did huge business at the Carolina. I do recall back in early 1971 or 1972 where DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER was on the double bill with either YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE or GOLDFINGER at the Carolina too.

Lazenby). The only Bond films that played at the Carolina starring Roger Moore were LIVE AND LET DIE and
THE MAN WITH THE GOLDEN GUN,which were on a double bill with either DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER or GOLDFINGER.

raysson commented about State Theatre on Jul 23, 2010 at 9:52 am

definition of the term “roadshow"

Questions? E-Mail me at

raysson on Jul 19, 2010 at 2:13 pm

The headquarters for the CNN Network and Turner Broadcasting are still there.

raysson on Jul 19, 2010 at 2:12 pm

You’re right J.B.

This was formerly the Omni Cinemas that was located in the same facility as the CNN Center and part of the headquarters for Turner Broadcasting. The cinema and the CNN Center was built on the same area where the Omni Arena used to be. Right in the heart of Downtown Atlanta,and not far from the shopping destinations which were within walking distance of Marietta Street and nearby Peachtree Center.

I was invited back in 1991 to attend a special sneak preview of Eddie Murphy’s “Boomerang” when it premiere at the CNN Cinema Six for its exclusive Atlanta showing with did very well with a capacity crowds that attended. I met one of the ushers that worked at that theatre too named Chris,who also worked not only as a usher at the CNN Cinemas but as a DJ for a Atlanta nightclub. This was back in 1991,and I haven’t been in Atlanta in years…The CNN Cinemas and the old Omni Arena are long gone. Was it replaced for the construction of a 78,000 seat dome coliseum that became the new home of the Atlanta falcons?

raysson commented about Drive-In Theater documentary segment on YouTube on Jul 13, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Cool. I too remember the drive-in as a kid.

raysson commented about Happy 10th anniversary, "Star Wars: Episode I"!!! on Jul 13, 2010 at 4:07 pm

I saw this opening night in Raleigh at the Mission Valley Cinemas. Before the 7:00 show,the lines were snaked around the cinema and it sold-out in almost 10 minutes. When the audience’s reaction got noticed to how REALLY bad this movie was,half of the audience walked out the theatre in total disappointment(seating capacity showed this in Mission Valley’s largest auditorium that had a seating capacity of over 780,in widescreen and THX Dobly). What a waste since I had purchase my ticket for the matinee show,but got in on the student price(the matinee ticket was $3.50 while regular admission was $8.00-9.00!,so I got in on the matinee ticket that could be used for the evening show).

In agreement with Justin Fencsak, Episode III WAS AWESOME!!!…While Episodes I and II were nothing but hype up special effects with the rest of the material looking like a science fiction version of a prime time teenage soap opera and a lame as hell TV series.

raysson commented about "Back To The Future"...Happy 25th! on Jul 9, 2010 at 12:14 pm

The network television premiere of BACK TO THE FUTURE premiered on ABC in 1990.

raysson commented about Happy 30th, "Empire" on Jul 9, 2010 at 12:06 pm

The network television premiere of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK was broadcast on NBC-TV on Thanksgiving Night(November 27,1987). It was the first theatrical broadcast of a major motion picture to air without limited commercial interruption. The television premiere of EMPIRE was a huge hit for NBC that Thanksgiving night in 1987,racking in the largest audience ever for a single movie event.

It was so successful that NBC reaired it again as a special movie event in July of 1991,the same year that NBC would also have the network television premiere of THE RETURN OF THE JEDI.

raysson commented about "Back To The Future"...Happy 25th! on Jul 7, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Other theatres didn’t get BACK TO THE FUTURE until later on that month. Here are two of the theatres in North Carolina that didn’t played it until mid-July and early August.

-Carolina Blue and White Twin (Plitt Southern Theatres)

-College Road Cinema 6 (United Artists Theatres)

OTHERS: Didn’t open in these North Carolina cities until mid-July or August of 1985

-Imperial Cinema IV (United Artists Theatres)

-Town and Country Cinema 1 & 2 (Stewart and Everett Theatres)

-Cinema 1 & 2 (Eastern Federal Theatres)

-Eastgate Cinema 1 & 2 (Eastern Federal Theatres)

raysson commented about "Back To The Future"...Happy 25th! on Jul 7, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Saw this when it was released on July 5, 1985 in Durham, North Carolina. However,it played on the other side on town at Northgate Mall at the Northgate Twin Theatres. The opening night this film played was sold out to capacity crowds that went to see it where the lines snaked from the side of Sears Department Store all the way towards the inside part of the mall all the way towards Roses Discount Store. “Back To The Future” came out when Michael J. Fox was at the peak of his career when at the time he was a bonafide TV star playing Alex Keaton on the 1980’s television series Family Ties.
Not to mention this film had one of the biggest hits of 1985…who remembers that theme song from Huey Lewis and the News Grammy winning song “Going Back In Time”…………….

“BACK TO THE FUTURE”-Played in Screen One

The other monster hit of 1985? “RAMBO:FIRST BLOOD PART II”-On Screen Two that also played at the Northgate to capacity crowds.

raysson commented about Ritz Theatre on Jun 30, 2010 at 9:16 am

I saw an ad featured the Ritz Theatre in Wilmington showing “Carmen Jones”,and it was basically the only theatre in Wilmington and all of New Hanover County that showed this feature to African-American audiences. Other movies that played here were basically catered to black audiences when no other theatres in Wilmington would booked them……at the time the Downtown Wilmington theatres like the Bailey,the Manor,and the Colony were segregated.

The Ritz also played “Porgy and Bess”,“The World,The Flesh and the Devil”,“Sargeant Rutledge”,and “Nothing But A Man”,not to mention “Black Like Me” to name a few.

raysson commented about Asheville Pizza & Brewing Co. on Jun 30, 2010 at 8:48 am

Was that the animated Disney feature ROBIN HOOD that was the opening attraction at the Merrimon in 1973? Showing in two auditoriums?

raysson commented about Highway 85 Drive-In on Jun 30, 2010 at 8:45 am

Isn’t Fayetteville Georgia part of suburban Atlanta?

I heard there were two drive-in theatres in Atlanta:

  1. Was the Highway 85 Drive-In Theatre

  2. The other was the I-85 North Twin Drive-In Theatre near Gwinnett.

raysson commented about Northgate Twin Theatres on Jun 24, 2010 at 11:58 am

1985…the summer of some great movies playing on 2 screens at the Northgate Twin Theatres at Northgate Mall in Durham.


WHO REMEMBERS….. seeing in long lines and capacity crowds…..
“Superman:The Movie”, “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, “Star Trek II”,
“Saturday Night Fever”, “E.T.”, and all of the Disney releases playing at this theatre?

raysson commented about Remembering "Scarface", "Sudden Impact", and Chestnut Station on Jun 24, 2010 at 11:52 am

In NORTH CAROLINA: The Raleigh-Durham area………….
“SUDDEN IMPACT” played at these theatres
Raleigh: Mission Valley (Litchfeld Theatres)
Durham: Center I-II-III (Plitt)
Chapel Hill: Village Plaza I-II-III (Eastern Federal)

“SCARFACE” played at these theatres when it was released in December,1983.
Raleigh: Cardinal Theatres I & II (Plitt)
Durham: Northgate Twin Theatres (Carmike)
Chapel Hill: Carolina Blue and White Theatres (Plitt)

**SCARFACE when it ended its run in mid-January of 1984 in Durham continously played until April of that year at the Riverview Cinema.

raysson commented about Green Hills Theatre on Jun 21, 2010 at 3:42 pm

Steven Spielburg’s 1975 hit JAWS played at the Green Hills Theatre during its official run enagement on June 20, 1975.

raysson commented about Mall 1 and 2 Theatres on Jun 21, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Was this called Asheville Mall 1 & 2 aka Mall 1 & 2 Theatres at Asheville Mall?

raysson commented about Tryon Mall 4 on Jun 18, 2010 at 12:22 pm

JAWS was one of the several theatres in North Carolina that released the film during its initial release on June 20, 1975.

It did played here at the Tryon Mall Cinema when it a twin theatre.

It was however re-released later on that year at either the Capri or the Park Terrace or maybe the Charlottetown in late-1975 or early-1976.

raysson commented about "Jaws"... Happy 35th! on Jun 18, 2010 at 10:36 am

Again Michael,great article.

I remember seeing JAWS about three weeks into its first-run at the Yorktowne Theatre in Durham in June of 1975. I do remember that the theatre had a 7:00 evening show and it was on a Sunday night,and it was sold-out within the first twenty minutes. The lines snaked all the way around the cinema(which at the time was still a single screen theatre with a seating capacity of 800)since the parking lot was already full…folks had to either park in the lot of the Hutton Building at the corner of Bedford Street and Chapel Hill Boulevard or some folks just parked their cars alongside Chapel Hill Boulevard which stretch from on end of the street to the other. Some folks like my parents had to park in the Shrimp Boats parking lot and take a risk crossing a dangerous street like Chapel Hill Boulevard to get to the theatre[Parking has always been a problem at this theatre too]

The 7:00 evening show was sold-out and every seat was packed to capacity including some folks who had to stand in the aisle or alongside the curtains of the auditorium or sit on the floor because there was no more seats available which was a problem for those who brought tickets earlier on. I mean capacity crowds for a Sunday evening show. The place went nuts during the boat sequence with Roy Scheider,Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss facing the sheer terror of the shark. In all a great movie,but where this played at was even bigger than the management of the Yorktowne even thought of.

JAWS played at the Yorktowne for a mere 21 weeks from June through mid-September of 1975,and it for the first two months it played to capacity crowds. However,construction was already started on the second auditorium too that opened in mid-June of 1975 for the showing of FRENCH CONNECTION II that had a 545 seat capacity to even boost bigger business for both films.

raysson commented about "Jaws"... Happy 35th! on Jun 18, 2010 at 10:20 am

Great article,Michael. You have outdone yourself again this time around. Glad that you mentioned the theatres in North Carolina.

JAWS here in North Carolina only played in selected cities during its initial opening run on June 20,1975(Raleigh,Durham,Greensboro,
Wilmington,Charlotte,Asheville,Fayetteville,and Winston-Salem).

Other cities didn’t get it until July of 1975 or later till August.

Chapel Hill: Carolina Theatre
Burlington: Terrace 1 & 2
Southern Pines/Aberdeen: Town and Country 1 & 2
Jacksonville: Cardinal Theatre
Rockingham: Cinema 1 & 2 aka Richmond Plaza Cinema
Henderson: Embassy Theatre
Roxboro: Person Drive-In Theatre
Dunn: Plaza 1 & 2

Other cities in North Carolina didn’t get the film until late that year somewhere between September of October of 1975 and into early 1976.

raysson commented about Century Center closes on Jun 10, 2010 at 12:10 pm

A Walgreens Drug Store opened in 2009 that was put in the original building where the Carolina Theatre used to be. The same location was also a retail store The Gap which closed in mid-2007.

The Ram Theatres closed in 2000 as a discount theatre.
It was transformed into a nightclub in 2002 and that closed in 2008. The building where the Ram was located and the nightclub used to be is now vacant or someone else has brought the property.

raysson commented about Century Center closes on Jun 6, 2010 at 4:37 pm

It was the only movie theatre in the town that specialize in a variety of films,some short subjects,documentaries,independent and foreign films from different cultures and genres and showings of classic films.

There are only 4 movie theatres in Chapel Hill:

  1. The Lumina(In Southern Village off Highway 15-501 on the Southern end of Chapel Hill just before the entrance toward the Chatham-Orange County Line which is a five-screen theatre that shows mainstream films and some independent features)

  2. The Movies at Timberlyne(Located on the Northern end of Chapel Hill at Timberlyne Village off Weaver Dairy Road that is a six-screen cinema that showcases mainstream films and family features of interest. Owned and Operated by Regal Cinemas which was formerly part of Charlotte-based Eastern Federal Corporation[that also operated the now closed/demolished Village Plaza Theatres]).

  3. The Chelsea(Also located in Timberlyne Village off Weaver Dairy Road is a three-screen cinema that showcases independent and foreign films and mainstream features).

  4. The Varsity(is the only movie theatre that remains in Downtown Chapel Hill on Franklin Street that now operates as a discount theatre showing film classics and second run features. It was at one time showing foreign films and independent features before it closed in June of 2009 and reopened later that year.

At one time there were three movie theatres in Downtown Chapel Hill:
-The Carolina Theatre [closed in 2005]
-The Ram Triple Theatres [closed in 2000 as a discount theatre]
-The Varsity Theatre[the only movie theatre still in operation]

raysson commented about Beverly Center Cinemas Closing Tonight on Jun 3, 2010 at 12:42 pm

Is the Universal City Cinemas still opened? I heard it is the largest megaplex theatre in the United States.