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I saw THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK in Durham on June 18, 1980 where it played at Durham’s Lakewood Center I & II. On opening day,the lines were snaked up and around the shopping center and folks were in line to crowd capacity around 10AM for the Noon show,and tickets were sold FAST within the first half-hour since the boxoffice didn’t open until 11:30AM that morning. It played in the biggest auditorium that had a 800 seat capacity where every seat was filled and seeing it on the huge widescreen was incredible and in DOBLY STEREO.
The Center Theatre in Durham was the only cinema in Durham that played both THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and THE RETURN OF THE JEDI,on the same huge auditorium!!!
I saw JEDI with several of my buddies during senior skip day when I was in high school and when we got there for the 11:30AM show,the lines were snaked around the theatre and also snaked all the way up the shopping center from the Kroger Grocer that is right next to the cinema all the way towards Kerr Drugs.
“The Empire Strikes Back” also played in theatres that had the widescreen but was shown in 35MM format and in Dobly Stereo. The theatres that shown it in the Durham and Chapel Hill Area & as far as Wilmington.
Center 1 & 2-(Plitt Southern Theatres)[Released On May 21, 1980]
Village Plaza I-II-III-(Eastern Federal)[DOBLY STEREO][June,1980]
Terrace 1 & 2-(Plitt Southern Theatres)
Plaza 1 & 2-(Martin Theatres)
Oleander Theatres I-II-III-(Stewart and Everett)–[DOBLY STEREO]
Henderson Mall Cinema-(Martin Theatres)
Town and Country Cinema 1 & 2-(Stewart and Everett)–[DOBLY STEREO]
The official opening of the Movies 1-2-3 was on October 3, 1975.
The opening attractions were:
Screen One: “The Master Gunfighter” starring Tom Laughlin
Screen Two: “Give'em Hell Harry” with James Whitmore/Robert Vaughn
Screen Three: “Bugs Bunny:Superstar”, an animated cartoon feature
The Coming Attractions that came to the Movies 1-2-3 were
“Three Days of The Condor”, “Mahogany”, “Cooley High”,
“Take a Hard Ride”,and a adult X-rated feature title “Fossie”
Carmike 7 sat in the haven of Northern Durham known as Bluefield and nearby Braggtown and Oxford Commons. Just off I-85 and Avondale Drive.
This theatre was also a haven for crime activity too.
Especially for that side of town as well,where police force were constantly hanging around the theatre to see if any suspicious activity was about to happen and usually it does. The Carmike 7 was also the scene of numerous indications with large crowds(mostly teenagers and rival street gangs)that were mostly a problem during the weekend showings of films. I attended a screening of “Menace II Society” one evening at the Carmike 7,when a brawl broke out during the movie with a capacity crowd in the larger auditorium. Cops were called to brake up the melee.
Sometimes you had to watch your back at this theatre since you’re going to see a movie on that section of town,never knowing what may happen and the unexpected does. The same incident also occured during a screening of “State Property” too. A lot of black oriented movies played here at the Carmike 7 when no one else didn’t want to show them.
The theatre opened in mid-1971 as a single screen theatre. This will be upgraded later.
I would see it in full 70MM-6 Track Dobly Stereo….One theatre in North Carolina will show it Thursday at Midnight with DLP Digital in the greater Raleigh-Durham area. Probably better go to Mission Valley to see it since it has the huge auditorium and super widescreen for this movie too.
I wouldn’t see it in IMAX….and pay $13.00???? that’s whack!!!
fondling a theatre girl….these days that would be sexual harassment and statutory rape of a minor. serious charges here.
this sorry bastard of a manager deserved to be arrested too!!!
this also happened to a theatre manager in Durham too who was arrested for fondling an underage girl(statutory rape)after the young girl(who was an employee at the theatre) told police what happened to her on the job,and the next day when the manager show up for work,he was surrounded by local police and the district manager of Carmike Cinemas(which operated the cinema)and was arrested on serious charges of rape and incest of a minor.
These days if anyone did that on the job….towards any young girl,you will not only lose your job…you’ll be arrested too….its not worth it. During working hours,keep your hands to yourself,focus on your job and leave this young people alone during your shift at work.
THE DIRTY DOZEN did open on June 15,1967 at the Capitol and the 34th Street East in New York City.
It also opened at either the Uptown Theatre, The Avalon Theatre or the Cinema on the same day in Washington, DC.
The film opened in selected markets in larger cities on June 15,1967,but it didn’t open nationwide until July of 1967,the week during Independence Day.
FACT: The film was a huge boxoffice hit and it had some very tough competition too for the fight of the summer boxoffice of 1967….it’s rival?….the sixth film of the James Bond-007 series YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE was the second boxoffice draw too which made these two movies the highest grossing films of that year.
FYI: At the height of its opening,the Charlottetown Cinemas(which it was twin theatre back in 1963)mostly had rights to show exclusive roadshow enagements,which were mostly reserving seating,and were given either two or three showings daily. Most of the exclusive roadshow enagements were mostly the James Bond 007-Sean Connery films that played here that open to capacity crowds that went to see them: I know in one of the advertisement that a showing of “Goldfinger” was a roadshow enagement and so was “Thunderball” and “You Only Live Twice”. Not to mention other films were given the roadshow treatment at the Charlottetown as well including “The Greatest Story Ever Told”,and more,which it was a twin cinema during the mid-1960’s and early 1970’s,before it became a triplex theatre.
Interesting article about this drive-in theatre which is one of the remaining drive-ins that are still in operation in North Carolina.
“Belmont Drive-In Theater Remains A Family Affair”
From the December 24, 1962 article of the Durham Morning Herald:
A CHRISTMAS PRESENT FOR ALL OF DURHAM
THE SOUTH’S MOST NEWEST AND MODERN THEATRE
NORTHGATE THEATRE IN DURHAM’S NORTHGATE SHOPPING CENTER
THE BEAUTIFUL NEE NORTHGATE THEATRE OPENS AT 2 P.M. CHRISTMAS DAY.
LOCATED IN THE NORTHWEST CORNER OF NORTHGATE SHOPPING CENTER,NEXT TO BALENTINE’S BUFFET AND REBEL ROOM.
3 FULL ACRES OF FREE PARKING!
FEATURING FIRST-RUN MOVIES, COLOR CARTOONS, NEWS REELS
-Luxurious Foam Cushioned Seats for utmost comfort
-Extra Wide 42" Spacing Between Rows of Seats
-Most Up-To-Date Sound And Projection Equipment
-Sensational Aqua Waterfall Contour Curtain
-Perforated Corrugated Aluminum Sidewalls for Beauty and perfect Acoustical Reproduction
-Revolutionary new box office in lobby-first in the Carolinas.
TO THE LEFT:
Spacious Lobby and Lounge Area Features Modern Concession Stand,
The Latest Built-In Vending Center and Indoor Box Office.
TO THE RIGHT:
800-seat auditorium equipped with Wide-Spaced Foam Cushioned Seats,
Extra Widescreen, Full Waterfall Curtain.
OUR GRAND OPENING ATTRACTION:
WITH FREE 1,000 GIANT JUMBO CIRCUS BALLOONS WHILE THEY LAST!!!
The Opening Attraction was “The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean"
starring Paul Newman. It was also noted,that legendary actress Ava Gardner was in Raleigh to promoted her new movie and to promoted the official opening of the Mission Valley Cinemas on March 2, 1973.
The film during its opening was shown on both screens……..
However,the official opening of Mission Valley Cinema II,came the following week with the nature-adventure documentary family film
“EDGE OF THE ARCTIC ICE”.
From the March 1, 1973 edition of the Raleigh News and Observer:
GRAND OPENING TOMORROW NIGHT AT 7:00PM!!!
A NEW MAGNIFICENCE IN MOVIE-MAGIC!
RALEIGH’S NEWEST TWIN THEATRES FOR EASTERN CAROLINA!!!
-TWIN COMFORT Rocking Chair Luxorious Seats
-TWIN PROJECTION Finest automated equipment on two mammoth widescreens!
-PERFECT VISION IN OUR TWIN THEATRES Every row is perfectly spaced for your viewing pleasure!
-ELEGANT DECOR AND APPOINTMENTS With Double Lobbies
-ACRES OF LIGHTED FRONT DOOR PARKING!!
“OUR GRAND OPENING ATTRACTION SHOWING ON BOTH SCREENS"
………..THE "BUTCH CASSIDY” HIT OF 1973…………….
“THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JUDGE ROY BEAN Starring PAUL NEWMAN"
with North Carolina’s Own AVA GARDNER
The Mission Valley opened on March 2, 1973 as a twin cinema (aka Mission Valley Cinema I & II) that was owned and operated under Fairlane-Litchfeld Theatres.
The original auditorium in Screen One had a seating capacity of 515,when Screen Two had a seating capacity of 490,when it was a twin cinema until 1983.
Construction began in 1983 when two auditoriums were added keeping the original auditorium intact. Later on in 1983,three more auditoriums were also added. The original auditorium remained intact with the largest screen(it kept the original auditorium for the screening of RETURN OF THE JEDI IN 1983).
“Beverly Hills Cop” and “Purple Rain” played at the Riverview Cinema to record crowds when it was a single screen theatre back in the early-to-mid 1980’s. The seating capacity was around 545.
Who remembers SNEAK PREVIEWS when they had Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert? I fondly remember this show back in the mid-1970’s and watch it religiously during the 1980’s and 1990’s. I had a photo of Gene and Roger from those Golden days. When Public Broadcasting was the show to watch for informative and educational programming!
The show hasn’t been the same since the tragic and sudden loss of Gene Siskel….his replacement? From Neal Gabler to Leonard Matlin and in one segment some jerk who was so arrogant that he almost killed this beloved and well respected show. It hasn’t been the same since…..I think Rex Reed and Gene Shalit(of NBC’s Today Show)came on board as special guest commentators.
It will be a sad days when they take this show off the air after more than 30 years on both public television and in syndication.
It will be truly,truly,truly,missed…..Bless you Roger Ebert whereever you are!
The last picture shows at the Janus Theatres were on June 22,2000. When the Janus Theatres close its doors forever,it was replaced with the huge 20-plex Carousel Cinemas just down the street on Battleground Avenue.
A row of condos now stands where the Janus Theatres once stood.
The Terrace Theatre opened in 1965 as a single screen theatre that was owned and operated by Wilby-Kincey Theatres with super widescreen format that was capable of showing either 35MM or 70MM films. The auditorium was incredibly huge with a seating capacity of 800.
It remained a single screen theatre until the early-1970’s when a second auditorium was built that added over 600 seats when it was still under Wilby-Kincey Theatres.
By the late 1970’s a third screen was added,taking the second auditorium by split it down the middle,keeping the original 800 seat auditorium intact. Also the original auditorium was install with a six-track Dobly Stereo system in 1980 for the showing of “The Empire Strikes Back”,which was shown in 70MM when it was operated under the Plitt Southern Theatres banner.
By the mid-1980’s,the original auditorium was split down the middle as well making a fourth screen…by either the mid-1980’s or early 1990’s,two more screens were added with Janus Theatres acquired the Terrace Theatres from Plitt Southern Theatres until its closing in the late 1990’s. The theatre has since been demolished in early 2000 or 2001 to make way for expansion of Greensboro’s Friendly Center. Another theatre replaced it with a huge 16-screen megaplex that was located on the opposite end of Friendly Center.
the official closing of the TERRACE was on February 14, 1991.
At the time this theatre was under the Cineplex Odeon banner
The Architect who built the Cardinal Theatre was E.H. Geissler in 1965.
More information on the Cardinal at North Hills is at….
The seating capacity for The Broadway Theatre is 496.
It remained in operations until the mid-to-late 1970’s.
The Rivoil Theatre opened in 1958 with a seating capacity of 1,078.
It was owned the operated by Wilby-Kincey Corporation until 1975 when it was acquired by ABC Southeastern Theatres and later on by Plitt Southern Theatres. Stewart and Everett Theatres last operated the Rivoil until its closing in 1980.
Disney’s MARY POPPINS became a roadshow enagement at the Northgate in 1964,running continously during its run and also during it was re-released.
Other roadshow enagements when the Northgate became a single screen cinema were MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY,
CHEYENNE AUTUMN, THE HAPPIEST MILLIONAIRE,just to name a few.