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the children’s christmas movie “The Polar Express” sold out seats for weeks at the Willowdaile when it played here in 2004 to record breaking capacity crowds.
Other blockbusters that played here at the Willowdaile:
“Toy Story 2”,“Terminator 2:Judgment Day”,“A Time To Kill”,“Lethal Weapons 2,3,and 4”,“Die Hards 2 and 3”,
“Face-Off”,and “The English Patient” played to capacity crowds. The Willowdaile also showed the first-ever “NC-17” rated movie “Henry and June”,under tight security. Also played here were “Higher Learning”,
“Rosewood”,“Baby Boy”,and the remake of “Shaft”.
They also had another exclusive premiere here: When the movie “Trois” played here,it opened to capacity crowds. The premiere NC showing was a success…playing to packed houses every night. Tickets for this were sold out within minutes during every showing.
A lot of great movies played here at the Willowdaile.
I too remember seeing “Die Hard” here. It sold out in minutes. But seeing this on a widescreen in Dobly Stereo sound was amazing!
The Willowdaile also had first-run exclusive enagement runs of several movies…I do recall seeing Spike Lee’s “School Daze” on opening weekend here….the lines stretched all the way back toward the parking lot…it played to capacity crowds and sold out shows every night. The other also had the premiere of Tony Brown’s unseen film “The White Girl” which was filmed on location in Durham,and had its exclusive premiere showing here at the Willowdaile 8. “Jurassic Park” and “Toy Story” had to shown on 2 screens due to the capacity crowds that snaked around the theatre.
Was the smallest multiplex cinema in town,the seating was horrible. But in did tremendous business until its closing in 1992. The parking underneath the cinemas was very impossible,but sometimes you’ll had to park over near JCPenney to get a space cause the lines filled up early for showings watch your surroundings…believe me,when “Batman” played here,the lines were around the corner stretching from the entrance of the theatre all the way toward JC Penney.
South Square Mall Cinemas was owned and operated at one time by Cinema National Theatres,and also was under USA Theatre Group before it became part of Carmike Cinemas.
THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW was a late night treat at the Yorktowne as part of its Halloween midnight screenings during the early 80’s when it was a twin cinema.
Who remembers the midnight shows that played here every Friday and Saturday nights at the Yorktowne when adult classics like EMMANUELLE, FLESH GORDON and CALIGULA played to record breaking capacity crowds?
It also played the re-issued THE SOUND OF MUSIC to capacity crowds as well.
I remember seeing two movies here back in 1984…….
“Ghostbusters”,and “Gremlins” when it played to record breaking crowds. “Ghostbusters” however sold out in 10 minutes and the reason was that the auditorium that showed it did not have the seating capacity,and it was standing room only for those who could not get a good seat. I remember seeing “Poltergeist II” here as well as “Star Trek V:The Final Frontier”.
I remember seeing Tim Burton’s “Batman” when it played here in June of 1989 to record breaking crowds. The film was shown on 2 screens due to capacity of crowds that snaked around the other side of the mall. The auditoriums looked like a classroom instead of a movie theatre. The lobby area was very small.
This was the same theatre that also showed the sequel too:“Batman Returns” also directed by Tim Burton and starring Michael Keaton,Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito to record crowds. Seating capacity was very small and it was standing room only for those who couldn’t get a seat cause the auditoriums were very small. Ridicious. The South Square Mall Cinemas was the worst movie theatre in Durham. Period.
A lot of family-oriented films played here at the Northgate,including a lot of Disney movies. I remember seeing “The Apple Dumpling Gang” as a kid when it was a single screen theatre back in 1975. Other Disney films that played here were “The Black Hole”,“Return to Witch Mountain”,“The Devil and Max Devlin”,and “The Love Bug”. It also played reissued or re-released Disney classics like “Old Yeller”,“The Parent Trap”,
“Fantasia”,“Treasure Island”,“Fantasia”,“Robin Hood”,
“The Aristocats”,“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”,
“Cinderella”,“Alice In Wonderland”,“Peter Pan”,along
with “Lady and the Tramp”,and “Sleeping Beauty”. The Northgate also showed at one time the re-released of Disney’s “Song of the South”.
I remember other movies that played at the Northgate:
“Raiders of the Lost Ark”,“Star Trek II:The Wrath of Khan”,“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”,“E.T.”,
“Back to the Future”,“Rambo:First Blood Part II”,
“The Outlaw Josey Wales”,“Every Which Way But Loose”,
“Smokey and the Bandit”,“Grizzly Adams”,“Ordinary People”,“All the Right Moves”,and at one time showed the controversial flick “Making Love”. It was also a showcase for grindhouse movies as well…My parents saw “Shaft In Africa” here back in 1973,and also the reissue of classics like “Doctor Zhivago” and “Lawrence of Arabia” played here when they were re-re-released back in the 70’s and 80’s.
I do recall the lines snaked around the theatre all the way towards Sears Department Store one afternoon when the Northgate showed “Superman:The Movie” to record breaking crowds opening weekend in December of 1978. The same can said when “Saturday Night Fever” played at the Northgate to packed audiences in December of 1977.
The drive-in was destroyed in 1989 due to Hurricane Hugo.
A grindhouse movie theatre that showed it all….
Blaxploitation-this theatre was KNOWN for showing a lot of black cinema flicks………
Adult Films (XXX-rated)…porn(mostly shown during the businessmen’s lunch special and on Friday and Saturday nights during its midnight flicks,under tight security)when it was a single screen theatre during the 1970’s and early to mid-1980’s
Martial Arts/Kung Fu Movies….a lot of kung-fu flicks played here and some of them came from studios of Shaw Brothers and some of these were damn good,which brought in the record crowds who came to see them!!!
The Northgate Shopping Center in Durham opened in 1960 as a strip shopping plaza by W. Kenan Rand Jr.
The stores that it had was a Thalhimers Department Store, Roses,
Kerr Drugs,Robbins,The Young Men’s Shop,Tharrington’s Men Store,
Hahn Shoes,and the Record Bar. The strip island section consisted of the Northgate Barber Shop,NCNB Bank and Mayberry’s Ice Cream Parlor. It was anchored by Colonial Stores/Big Star Foods which was a full-service supermarket that was incredibly huge! All that change in 1974,when the Northgate Shopping Center became Durham’s first enclosed mall.
The Northgate Theatre was on the opposite end of the shopping center. It opened in 1962 as a single screen theatre and remain that way until 1976 when the original auditorium was split in two making it a twin cinema until it closed its doors in 1985 after more than 23 years in business,due to construction and expansion of Northgate Mall.
The Cardinal Theatre was owned and operated by ABC Southeastern Theatres and later on by Plitt Theatres before it became part of the Carmike Cinemas chain.
Opened in 1975 and was operated by the Stewart and Everett Theatre chain as a twin cinema.
Known as the Brynn Marr 1 & 2.
The opening features were “The Prisoner of Second Avenue” with Jack Lemmon that played in screen one while screen two shown “The Four Musketeers” with Charlton Heston and Richard Chamberlain.
Was also known as the Center Theatre during the 1950’s and 1960’s where numerous protests took place during the civil rights movement.
FYI: The Criterion Theatre was one of several Downtown Greensboro cinemas that was the subject of the famous civil rights protests that emerged during the 1950’s and 1960’s. The theatre was about two blocks down from the famous Woolworth’s Department Store where the sit-in began at the height of the civil rights movement.
Renamed the Theatres at Northgate 10,which is owned and operated under East Coast Entertainment. The theatre opened in 2005 in the former Belk-Leggett Department Store during the renovation of the Northgate Mall. The theatre is at the intersection of West Club Boulevard and Gregson Street near Interstate 85 in Durham.
This theatre was owned and operated under the Carmike Cinemas chain which at one time was the only theatre operating in the town.
The theatre was inside the shopping mall,which was very small and was near two major department stores:
Belk-Leggett and Roses. The mall has gone down in recent years,but the Roses Department Store stilll stands in Henderson Mall. The Belk’s moved over the Marketplace Center off Dabney Drive @ Interstate 85.
The shopping center still stands,but the mall cinema closed years ago. The only movie theatre that still stands in Henderson is the Marketplace 6.
Was owned and operated under the Stewart and Everett Theatre chain,which also operated the Village Theatre and the Freedom Mall Cinemas. Carmike acquired the Capri when S&E folded,and at the time was the only theatre chain under Carmike Cinemas that survived along the construction and renovation of Independence Blvd. I heard the cinema has been transformed into a nightclub.
Carmike also owned and operated Town Cinema 6 and University Place.
Carmike Cinemas also operated the Capri Theatres off Independence Blvd.,which was a triplex. It also operated the Matthews Festival 10,which is on the other side of Independence Blvd. going towards Monroe(which is at the intersection of N.C. 51 and U.S. 74),which Carmike acquired from Cineplex Odeon,which was a 10-screen theatre.
Also Town Cinema 6 and University Place was also under Carmike Cinemas.
the world premiere of Steven Spielburg’s masterpiece “The Color Purple” took place at the Park Terrace in November of 1985. It was the second of two North Carolina premieres that this movie had. The other world premiere took place in Raleigh that same year.
Was also part of ABC Southeastern Theatres chain during the 1970’s.
Owned and operated by Carolina Cinemas,which also owns and operated the Hollywood Theatres in Asheville,and the Raleigh Grande Cinemas in Raleigh.
Once was reinstated as a discount theatre at one time to give competition to Blue Ridge Cinemas which was over on the other side of Raleigh near the state fairgrounds. The discount part of Pleasant Valley 7 didn’t work,and it closed for good after that. The area where the cinema used to be is now a Gold’s Gym.
The Empire Strikes Back played at the Park Terrace to capacity crowds in 1980. I think the original auditorium seated over 800 top 900. At the time it was a three-screened cinema with the largest auditorium still around with its huge widescreen.
Was at one time part of the Plitt Theatres chain and later on Cineplex-Odeon.