Showing 101 - 125 of 164 comments
You can see a postcard of the Buffalo Autoscope from 1957 below:
This theater has most recenly been known as Movie Magic Theater, and I believe it is still open. I first went to this theater in the mid 80’s, when it was known as the Demo. At that time, they had DEMO spelled out in different colored lights above the entrance. It was very distinctive looking at night. The Demo throughout the 80’s and 90’s was always open only for part of the year, and only on weekends. They usually showed movies a few weeks after they were in nearby Sikeston. I remember seeing NOMADS, FIREWALKER, THE STUFF, and RETURN TO HORROR HIGH among others here. Sometimes they would surprise you, though! One weekend, they had a free showing of I HATE YOUR GUTS (aka THE INTRUDER), a 1960 black and white Roger Corman movie starring William Shatner that had been filmed in East Prairie and nearby Charleston. Despite the exploitation title on the print they had, this is actually a very good serious drama with one of William Shatner’s best performances early in his career. It was also the only Roger Corman movie to ever lose money, and to this day, remains very rare. I can only assume the owners at the time had kept a copy of the film.
The Demo had changed names to Movies & More and added the video store by 1997, when I moved from the area. The last time I was in East Prairie was I believe 2006, and at that time the theater was open (part time as always), and known as Movie Magic Theater.
At the link below, you can find an article (with photos) about the Owen Drive In, and its legendary owner, Harold Owen, from RURAL MISSOURI magazine:
I believe the Roxy was actually opened in the late 30’s. It does not have a balcony, but was twinned by splitting the auditotium in half. It is still open, and I believe is run by the owners of the Missouri 6 in Clinton. It is probably one of the oldest active movie theaters in the state.
The Crest Cinema closed as a movie theater in 2003, but is being renovated for live performances by the Heartland Communuty Theater. You can see both old and new photos of the Crest at their website:
The Hi-Pointe is currently showing THE DARK KNIGHT, so they did get a blockbuster! I hope the Hi-Pointe has another long successful run.
The Hollywood Drive In was open at least through the mid 80’s, as I remember driving past in during that time, and it was still open. By then, it was one of the last drive-ins still open in Southern Illinois. The only one I’m sure outlasted it was the Egyptian Drive In in Energy.
You can see a photo of the Roxy at the link below. Scroll down to the second photo on the page. Though I am not sure of the exact date of the photo, the movie on the marquee, ALEXANDER’S RAGTIME BAND, was released in 1938.
You can see a picture of the Wellston Theatre (along with the nearby Mikado/Victory)at the following site:
This drive-in was purchased by John White, who previously owned the Lake Theater, and he began operation on April 30, 1957. I am no sure whether or not it had been closed for a period of time, but a newspaper article indicates that he made significant improvements at the theater. Under his ownership, the theater was known as Camdenton Drive-In Theatre, as opposed to Camdenton’s Drive-In Theatre.
In 1977, this theater was open as Lake Cinema Camdenton, and was being operated by Mid America Theaters, who were at that time were also operatintg Lake Cinema in Lake Ozark.
Jon’s Theatre opened on December 25, 1941, and the opening feature was NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK with W.C. Fields. The owner was John White. This appears to be the same John White who later operated the Lake Theatre and the Camdenton Drive-In. Until May 23, 1942, Jon’s Theatre competed with the nearby Camden Theater, but then John White purchased the Camden Theater from Shield Wilson, and apparently never reopened that theater. I would also assume that John White closed Jon’s Theater when he opened the Lake Theater.
The Lake Theater closed on April 29,1957, and the last feature shown was THE PROUD AND THE PROFANE. According to the local newspaper, on April 30, 1957, the owner of the Lake Theater, John White, assumed ownership of the nearby Camdenton Drive In Theater, and reopened it. I don’t know if anyone ever tried to reopen the Lake Theater, but by the winter of 1957, the Star Theater in Lebanon (25 miles away) was advertising in the Camdenton paper, which would seem to indicate that, at least at that time, there was no longer an indoor theater in Camdenton.
I am happy to report that The Skyview has reopened for another season!
I am happy to report that The Skyvview has reopened for another season!
I drove by the Court over the Christmas holidays, and am happy to report that it is still open; showing movies on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The movie the weekend before Christmas was ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS. The theatre looks pretty much the way it did in the above picture, which is pretty much the way it’s always looked since I first drove by it in the 60’s. I went to the Court a couple of times in the early 80’s, and really enjoyed the “old time” atmosphere. I remember at the time, the only choices for soda at the concession stand were Coca Cola and cream soda, probably the only time I have ever had cream soda at a movie theatre!
Incidently, the Huntingdon Court Square is now also home to the Dixie Performing Arts Center, which includes the Hal Holbrook Theatre. This was a project of actress Dixie Carter and her husband, actor Hal Holbrook. Dixie Carter is a native of nearby McLemoresville, and I believe they now have a home in McLemoresville. The Dixie is in a building that has never, to the best of my knowledge, been a movie theatre. However, it is very unusual to find both a performing arts theatre and an active movie theatre both on the court square of such a small town.
At the link below, you can see (at least as long as the item is for sale) a reproduction of a postcard advertising the weekly movies at the Carroll Drive In and Court Theatre in Huntingdon for the week of May 15-May 21, 1966
I grew up in a town close to Huntingdon in the 60’s and 70’s, and drove through Huntingdon on fairly regular basis then, and can say with a fair amount of certainty that here was not another walk in theater besides the (still open) Court Theater in Huntingdon as late as 1970, though there may have been an earlier walk in theater named the Carroll Theater. Huntingdon is the county seat of Carroll County. I know the Carroll Drive In was in operation in the 60’s, 70’s, and through the early 80’s. Highway 22 between Huntingdon and McKenzie is now a four lane highway, and I remember the screen of the Carroll Drive In was very close to the highway when it was a two lane highway, so it may have been a victim of the widened highway.
You can see newspaper ads for the 41 Outdoor Theatre from 1949 through 1981 at:
What a great article! When I lived in Knoxville in the 70’s, I could tell Market Square was just a ghost of what it had once been, and always wondered what it had been like earlier. I would love to see a photo of the Roxy!
It’s a long way from the “New Riviera” I remember from the 70’s, but it looks like Regal has done a very nice job integrating the new theater into downtown Knoxville. I am anxious to go by and see it the next time I visit Knoxville.
The MOVIE THEATERS website lists the Arly as being open in 1940, and that it was owned by the Stout Theater Circuit
The MOVIE THEATERS website lists the Lyndel Theater as being open from about 1940 to 1955 with 410 seats. The address is Main St. It also lists a Barlow Theater open in 1935, which may be the same theater.
One source states that this theater was open from 1940 to 1955, with seating for 300.
I believe the Rodgers Theater became the Lincoln Theater when it became Cairo’s African American move theater after the Opera House closed in the 50’s.
The Opera House was an African American movie theater for many years. I believe it burned down in the 50’s.