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I remember also seeing Kevin Costner’s Oscar winning epic “Dances With Wolves” in the early 1990’s…..
The seating was horrible,but the movie drew large crowds with it played here. The auditorium looked like a classroom setting instead of movie theatre.
As of June 26, 2009……
The Varsity Theatre has closed its doors forever,marking the only movie theatre in Downtown Chapel Hill for more than 80 years.
The last two picture shows that played here were:
“The Hangover” and “The Brothers Bloom”.
See this website:
Features a section of Chapel Hill Road and also the construction of the Lakewood Shopping Center which opened its doors to the public in early 1963. Notice the main anchoring stores: Winn-Dixie(Grocery);
W.T. Grants(Department Store), Woolworth’s(Department Store), Kerr Discount Drugs(Pharmacy and Restaurant),
Also the construction of the Center Theatre from mid-1966 when it was just a single screen theatre. The cinema opened in December of that year.
“Urban renewal” during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s resulted in the destruction of the entire block where the cinema once stood. The Rialto closed its doors in 1969. The Criterion Theatre,located on Church Street closed its doors in 1974. The destruction of several buildings were demolished during the early to mid 1970’s between 1970 and 1976.
The Durham County Judicial Building open its doors to the public in 1978 where the Rialto Theatre once stood.
The main entrance to the Durham County Courthouse is facing Main Street(across from the old courthouse),while the backside entrance to the building is on Parrish Street right at the intersection of Church Street and South Roxboro Street.
The only operating moviehouse in town that serves the areas of Person County,Northern Durham County,Granville County and Southeastern Virginia.
The theatre does have a excellent bargain matinee policy which is fairly good.
Was this part of the General Cinema Theatres chain?
Wasn’t this theatre part of the Civil Rights Movement since the Alabama at the time was segregated at the time Birmingham was catching hell during the 1950’s and early 1960’s.
Photo of the Pleasant Valley Cinemas is on this site from 1992….
The photo contains the only General Cinema Theatre operating in the Triangle area(Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill)
Other photos of General Cinema Theatres in North Carolina.
Photos of General Cinema Theatres operating in North Carolina.
Includes the marquee for the Charlottetown Mall Cinemas from either 1981 or 1982.
Other General Cinema Theatres located in North Carolina.
Excellent history of General Cinema Theatres operating here in the state of North Carolina,including some photos of several GC Theatres located in the Triad Area. One of them was the Four Seasons Mall Cinemas and the other looks like the Hanes Mall Cinemas IV.
Photo taken of a General Cinema Theatre located in Greensboro that has the marquee showing for Four Seasons Mall Cinemas off High Point Road.
See the photo at this site:
Excellent history of General Cinema Theatres operating in North Carolina,including some photos of one cinema here in Winston-Salem(GC Hanes Mall Cinema IV).
Excellent history site of General Cinema Theatres which also includes the marquee for the showings for Four Seasons Mall Cinemas IV off High Point Road,which was the first GC theatre to operated in the Greensboro area.
The site is at:
Excellent history of General Cinema Theatres located in the greater Charlotte area..which includes the Southpark Mall Cinemas I-II-III along with the Eastland Mall Cinemas,Charlottetown Mall Cinemas,and Tower Place Cinemas.
Here is the website:
I remember when they used to have all-night shock features at the local drive-in theatre here in Durham. The Forest Drive-In Theatre on Wake Forest Highway (State Highway NC 98) did this once around Halloween week. Long time ago.
There were two theatres in Roanoke Rapids during the mid-to-late 1970’s. One was the Peoples Theatre that was located in Downtown Roanoke Rapids. The other was the Cinema,located on East 10th Street.
The Peoples Theatre at the time the Cinema opened in the 1970’s was the only operating movie theatre in town. The Cinema changed all that and during the late-1970’s and the early 1980’s The Peoples Theatre and the Cinema were the only two moviehouses in town until the Peoples Theatre closed its doors in 1985,leaving only the Cinema 1 & 2 the only operating theatre in town and all of Halifax County.
Also known as the original Carolina Theatre.
The Peoples Theatre closed in the late 1980’s when it was under the Carmike Cinemas chain. The only operating moviehouse in Roanoke Rapids is the Cinema 1 & 2 which was once under Carmike’s operations,but it is now run by an independent chain.
The Ram Triple was also a “grindhouse” theatre that basically showed a LOT of first-run features,independent films,and at one time showed adult films(when it was originally The Movies 1-2-3) before Martin Theatres took over operations in the mid-1970’s.
I highly remember the Ram Triple Theatres late shows every Friday and Saturday nights between 11:30pm and Midnight. The late show favorites were “Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles” and “Young Frankenstein"
along with "Wizards”,“The Last Picture Show”,“Harold and Maude”,and the all-time favorite at the Ram: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” which played one night to capacity crowds. They even showed as a late night venue one evening the X-rated version of “Fritz The Cat”.
Wasn’t this the only theatre that permitted African-Americans in Chapel Hill? I read somewhere that this was the “colored” theatre in town between Chapel Hill and Carrboro.
Closing of the Varsity Theatre in Chapel Hill
The theatre was a single screen theatre during the late 1940’s all the way through the mid-to-late 1970’s when it was the Cameron Village Theatre. The auditorium at that time was HUGE and it seated over 800 people.
Somewhere in the late-1970’s or early 1980’s,the original auditorium was split in two,making it a twin cinema renamed the Village Twin Theatre,and it remained that way until it closed in the early 1990’s.