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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.
A lot has changed at Northgate too,and it has become a breeding ground for a lot of crime activity and gangs that frequently roamed around the mall either looking for trouble or starting something. Just for safety if you ever there,be very careful of your surroundings!!!!
K&S Cafeteria moved to the location in the strip mall where the Harris Teeter grocery used to be(was also formerly a Big Star grocer and Colonial Stores)which replaced Morrison’s Cafeteria.
Sears hasn’t moved since it relocated from its old location on East Main Street Downtown to Northgate Mall where it has been since 1973. The other stores like Willis' Book and Stationary, Tharrington’s Men Store, Robbins', Burton’s Women Shop, Kerr Drugs,
Hahn Shoes,Morrison’s Cafeteria,Pappy’s,Radio Shack,
Spencer Gifts,and the Record Bar are G-O-N-E!!!!
Baskin-Robbins,which replaced Mayberry’s is GONE too!!!
Mayberry’s actually relocated to North Duke Mall for a brief spell,and that is gone too!!!
I too recall going to Morrison’s Cafeteria there which was a very good eating establishment. The Cafeteria was on the opposite side of the mall two or three doors down from the theatre. You probably remember another great restaurant that opened at Northgate Mall too called “Pappy’s” which was a pizzeria style family restaurant chain that also was a ice-cream parlor too
that replaced Mayberry’s in the mid-to-late 1970’s. They also had Baskin-Robbins inside the mall too.This was when Northgate became Durham’s first enclosed shopping center during the mid-1970’s,circa around 1974. Did you know that Chick-Fil-A was the first fast food establishment to opened at Northgate Mall? Its still there ever since it opened in 1974. I remember the stores like Hahn Shoes,Van Stratten’s,and Spencer Gifts,and Radio Shack.
It is quite sad,that Morrison’s is no longer in business and Northgate these days,looks pretty rundown.
Northgate has gotta to be a place for high crime and a lot of gang activity these days,so watch you back!!!!
Yes,Pappy’s and Baskin-Robbins are no longer there. So is Spencer Gifts and the Radio Shack(GONE)not to mention Kerr Drugs,which used to be in the strip mall back in the 1960’s moved inside the mall next to Sears during the 1970’s. The exclusive women’s store Robbins and Tharrington’s Men Store are a piece of Northgate history.
The theatre is still around,but it moved over to the other side of the mall,where it used to be Belk’s and a Thalhimers back in the day(it is now a 10-plex cinema owned by East Coast Entertainment).
Basically,anything goes at this theatre…..they’ll show anything!!!
First-run features, second run features, exclusives, and cult films.
Independent films and foreign features are the speciality of the house.
I got to see “Last Tango In Paris” and “Fritz The Cat”,during a double feature midnight screening here at the Griffith,in its original “X-rated” format.
Also ended up as roadshow enagements at the Lakewood CENTER included
“Grand Prix”,“Far From The Madding Crowd”,and “Ice Station Zebra”,when it was a single screen theatre during the mid-1960’s.
If you think “Avatar” is climbing onto the list,then Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland has already passed the $200 million mark and still going. Was the Number One movie in America,three weeks in a row.
1966-1971 Wilby Kincey
1971-1976 ABC Southeastern Theatres
1976-1988 Plitt Southern Theatres
1988-1990 Cineplex Odeon Corporation
1990-2001 Carmike Cinemas
The Lakewood Center Theatre opened on November 24,1966 as a single screen theatre with a seating capacity of 800. It remained a single screen theatre until 1970.
When it was a single screen theatre,the CENTER was the first to present exclusive roadshow enagements that included “My Fair Lady”,“The Sound of Music”,“Doctor Zhivago”,and “Battle of the Bulge”. Later would have other exclusive showings for “Camelot”,“Oliver!”,and
A second auditorium was constructed during the mid-1960’s and in 1970 the CENTER II opened with a seating capacity of 625 for the 12-25-1970 opening of “Patton"
starring George C. Scott and it was a Triangle roadshow enagement.
The Lakewood CENTER THEATRE also had re-released films that were shown as well during their exclusive enagements. Films re-released that played here were
“Gone With The Wind”,“The Ten Commandments”,“Gigi”,
“West Side Story”,“Ben-Hur”,and “Lawrence of Arabia”.
Isn’t Trans Lux Theatres a subsidary of United Artists?
I know they operated a chain of theatres under the UA logo.
THE NEW LAKEWOOD CENTER THEATRE opens it doors to the public on Thursday November,24,1966 to two grand opening events.
The first one was a private exhibition that was to be shown to prestigious guests and members of the Durham City and County Council and to the Mayor of Durham and it was by invitation only on Sunday,November 20,1966.
The theatre was opened to the general public at 1:00pm on Thursday,November 24,1966 with the Tony Curtis feature “Not With My Wife You Don’t!”