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This theatre couldn’t hold back the capacity crowds when they played “SUPERMAN:THE MOVIE”(1978)…not to mention the lines snaked around the cinema for
“RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK”, “E.T.”,“TEMPLE OF DOOM”, “FIRST BLOOD II”,and “BACK TO THE FUTURE”.
At the time of the Parkwood Cinema’s opening in 1968,the original Parkwood Shopping Center opened in mid-1964 as a open-air strip plaza that became one of the largest suburban shopping centers in Eastern North Carolina. It’s original anchors included Roses,
Penney’s,Kerr Discount Drugs and a Winn-Dixie supermarket. The expansion of turning Parkwood Shopping Center into a indoor mall didn’t come until 1978 when Belk Tyler’s department store moved from Downtown Wilson into Parkwood Mall along with the anchors J.C. Penney,Kerr Discount Drugs and Roses and other speciality shops,which left Parkwood Mall by the late-1990’s/early-2000’s not long after the Parkwood Cinema closed in 2004. The rest of the mall has been demolished leaving two of the original anchors J.C. Penney and Roses along with the new Carmike Cinema 10. The Belk Department Store is now over at Heritage Crossing Center on the opposite end of Ward Boulevard.
The original theater was a single screener with 560-seats. It was twinned on November 9,1974 adding 323 seats,bringing the total to 883,and was renamed the Parkwood Cinema 1 & 2. By November 21,1984,it expanded from two to three screens and was renamed the Parkwood Cinema 1-2-3. Carmike took over in 1986 and renamed it the Parkwood Mall Triple until it closed in 2004.
From the Wednesday August 7,1968 edition of the Wilson Daily Times:
WILSON NEW 560-SEAT THEATER-CEREMONIES SCHEDULED
THE NEW PARKWOOD CINEMA WILL OPEN THURSDAY
Grand opening ceremonies for Wilson’s new 560-seat Parkwood Cinema will be held at 8:00pm tomorrow at the modern theater facility in the Parkwood Shopping Center.
Master of ceremonies will be Bill Bunn of radio station WGTM-AM. Participating in the ceremony will be Roddy Brown,president of the Parkwood Merchants Association;William A. Bridgers,Jr.,president of the Wilson Chamber of Commerce,and Wilson’s Mayor E.B. Pittman;Miss Irma Jewel Smith,Miss Wilson,and the Rev. Larry Patterson,associate pastor of First Christian Church who will deliver the invocation.
Executives of Stewart and Everett Theatres,Inc.,which owns the new movie house will attend the opening ceremony. They will include Charles B. Trexler,president;Eddie Morris,advertising manager for the company,and W.W. Cunningham,eastern division manager. Phil Wicker,president of Standard Theater Supply Company;John Shaver,sound engineer for Carolina Sound Equipment and Service Company of Charlotte;and Dean Phillips,manager of the Charlotte branch of Standard Theater Supply Company of Charlotte and Greensboro will also be special guests. They will represent the companies who installed the majority of equipment for the Parkwood Cinema.
In addition,managers of film companies have been invite. According to Haywood Brown,manager of the Center Theatre,who will also be the manager of the new Parkwood Cinema. A select group of local people has been invited to the grand opening to view Paramount’s “The Odd Couple” starring Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau.
The Cinema is located in the Western section of the Parkwood Shopping Center next to N.C. Highway 42/Tarboro Street exit facing Ward Boulevard. Several hundred “front door” parking spaces are available for patrons. A special 54-seat smoking section is included in the new facility. In this section,patrons may watch the movie on the 40-foot wide screen and smoke all at the same time. The smoke will rise overhead through specially installed smoking vents.
The theater,first of its hype to be constructed in North Carolina,is 127 feet in length and 60 feet wide,and is decorated in gold and pine-green olive. The Parkwood Cinema features a comfortable lounge,lobby,refreshment center,new deluxe push-back seats and the most modern sound and projection equipment. Regular showing times will be for two matinee showings and three evening shows with the last showing at 10:00pm. The Cinema will have matinees daily.
After the grand opening showing of “The Odd Couple”,the coming attractions to the Parkwood Cinema will be “Bandolero”,“Prudence And The Pill”,along with
“The Detective”,“With Six You Get Eggroll”, “How Sweet It Is”,and “The Swimmer”. Other coming attractions coming soon will be the epic spectacles “The Bible”,“Far From The Madding Crowd”,and “Oliver!”
Closed in 1983.
For the record,the GOLD PARK was never a three-screen cinema. GOLD PARK was a twin cinema. That record for Wilson’s only three-screen theater was at Parkwood Mall. Parkwood Triple closed in January of 2004.
THE GOLD PARK CINEMA 1 & 2 opened on August 19,1977 as Wilson’s first-ever modern twin theaters under Charlotte-based Stewart and Everett Theatres.
The seating capacity for this theater was at 400,which
Auditoriums One and Two seated 200 each. The opening attractions for the grand opening of the GOLD PARK were on Screen 1: Richard Harris in “ORCA”. Playing on Screen 2 was “THE BAD NEWS BEARS IN BREAKING TRAINING” with Tatum O'Neal and Tony Curtis.
Carmike Cinemas took over this theatre in 1986 after their buyout of Stewart and Everett and renamed it the GOLD PARK TWIN. Due to the competition of the newer and bigger Litchfield Cinema 6,Carmike Cinemas reduced the GOLD PARK TWIN to a second-run discount house by the late-1980’s. It closed in 1995.
From the November 9,1974 edition of The Wilson Daily Times:
CINEMA II OPENS IN PARKWOOD
Parkwood Cinema II,after five months of construction, opened Friday night next to Cinema I as Wilson’s first-ever twin theater. Owned and operated under Charlotte-based Stewart and Everett Theatres.
The new 323-seat theater is connected to Cinema I. Haywood Brown will manage both theaters. Featuring Polaris-type chairs with deep cushioning on the seats and arm rests,the new theater will have different hours than Cinema I. Brown says continous showings will be run daily with three matinee showings and two evening showings. Patrons will enter both theaters through the same doors,but Cinema II goes will exit through separated doors facing the entry door to Cinema I auditorium. Concessions will be brought at the same stand as will tickets but there will be different openings for ticket purchases at the booth.
The decor is a mixture of light and dark blue carpeting in the hallway of the new theater which features a 17 x 35 foot screen. There will be separate bathroom facilities and one for handicapped persons. The opening attraction for the grand opening of the Parkwood Cinema 1 & 2 will be in Auditorium One will be “Death Wish” starring Charles Bronson. In Auditorium Two will be “For Pete’s Sack” starring Barbra Streisand. The coming attractions will be “The No Mercy Man”,“The Harrad Summer”,“Chinatown”,and “Earthquake!”
From the Friday May 31,1985 edition of the Winston-Salem Journal:
CINEMA 6 OPENING TODAY AT MARKETPLACE MALL
The biggest moviehouse in Winston-Salem opens today,and the company that built it is already looking for a place to build one as big,or maybe even bigger.
With six screens and 1,700 seats,Plitt Southern Theatres Cinema 6 at the Marketplace Mall on Peters Creek Parkway is big for Winston-Salem. But Plitt builds nothing smaller than six screens these days,and his eight and 10-screen moviehouses built in the works in several other cities,John L. Huff,vice president of operations of Plitt Southern Theatres Inc.,said yesterday.
“We felt for a long time that Winston-Salem was underscreened,even though its a dynamic movie market,” Huff said. “Even with this theater and counting the expansion at the Reynolds,there will be only 17 first-run screens in the market. We are continuing to look for other locations in the Winston-Salem market especially in the Western area towards Clemmons,” Huff said.
The next Plitt complex will have at least six screens and might be 10 or so from Cinema 6, Huff said. The same film could be shown simultameously at two different theatres to different market segments,he said. It was originally envisioned as a four screen theater,but was expanded to six in the early planning,Huff said. “We would have gone to eight screens if the site had been a little bigger,” he said. Total investment is about $1.3 million,he said.
An eight screen moviehouse was proposed by another company for a site off Robin Hood Road at Polo Road last year. But construction was postponed after residents objected to a needed rezoning change. A proposed development guide for the area calls for office and multifamily residental uses in the area.
Plitt is the fourth-largest moviehouse company in the country and the largest privately owned chain,with more than 600 screens nationwide. The Southeast is one of the fastest growing areas,with 260 screens expected to be done by Christmas. Once Plitt identifies a market that will absorb more screens,it looks for a high traffic,his visibility location,Huff said. “That almost always means a shopping center or a mall,” Huff said. “The theaters,in turn,serve as attractions for shoppers”,said Michael Kelley of Marketplace Venture,Inc. “The theater is really a major anchor for the mall,"Kelley said. "It’s just what we need to make our place a strong destination location for the whole North Carolina market.”
Multi-screen theaters allow scheduling a mix of movies at the theaters,drawing audiences of all ages and tastes,Huff explained. Multiple screens also allow major movies to be shown for longer periods,drawing repeat viewers and people from outlying areas,and leaving other screens free for shorter-run films,he said.
The complex houses two 350-seat, two-275 seat,and two-200 seat auditoriums.
It will allow showings of foreign and art films that are likely to draw only small audiences,without sacrificing revenue because of empty seats in a larger hall,Huff said. If a major movie seems likely to fill more than 350 seats per showing,Cinema 6 can show it on as many as three screens,about 20 seconds apart, with the film running from projector to projector by a system of rollers.
The opening day mix at Cinema 6 includes two first-run films and four other recently released films that have played before,Huff noted. “We will run all first-run films as the release schedule of the film companies permits,but we would rather bring back a good movie that people missed the first time around or want to see it again than put in a first-run movie that we could get,but that nobody wants to see,” Huff said.
“Multi-screen theaters are our form of diversification,” Huff said. “Its just like any other form of retail:You’ve got to give people want they want,where they live,and the multi-screen complexes are the way to do it most efficiently.”
Seating Capacity for this theatre was at 700.
Screen 1: 200
Screen 2: 200
Screen 3: 150
Screen 4: 150
Mike and Chuck1231:
I was THERE when the Willowdaile Cinema had the exclusive engagement showings of “TROIS” and the only showing in the Carolinas for Tony Brown’s “THE WHITE GIRL”. These were the type of movies that brought in HUGE black audiences!
Cineplex Odeon operated this theatre between 1987 and 1989 when you was the general manager. Cineplex Odeon operated it until 1991 when Carmike Cinemas took over this theatre until 1995 when it was purchased by Consolidated Theatres of Charlotte.
Opened on February 16,1969 as a single screener with a seating capacity of 600. Named the THRUWAY THEATRE or THE THRUWAY ULTRAVISION THEATRE
Second Auditorium opened in 1977 with a seating capacity of 350,and was renamed the Thruway 1 & 2 under ABC Theatres.
Carmike Cinemas closed this theatre in 1994.
1969-1971 Wilby-Kincey Corporation/Paramount Theatres
1971-1978 ABC Southeastern Theatres
1978-1987 Plitt Southern Theatres
1987-1991 Cineplex Odeon/Plitt Southern Theatres
1991-1994 Carmike Cinemas
I have the ads from its May 31,1985 grand opening and the article in the Winston-Salem Journal about the opening of the Marketplace Cinema 6. If you need to see them,please e-mail me at
This theatre was closed by Carmike Cinemas in 2005. The Carmike Cinema 10 at Cleveland Mall replaced it.
Carmike took over the operations of this theatre until its closing in 2007.
Reason? A ten-screen multiplex muscled in the competition.
You’re right Stephen…….
CINEMA 1: 150
CINEMA 2: 150
CINEMA 3: 150
CINEMA 4: 150
When this theatre expanded from two to four screens under its new name THE GATEWAY CINEMA 4 during the early-1980’s when it was still under Stewart and Everett.
I have the ads if you need to see them
Was twinned by 1978 when ownership changed to Atlanta-based Martin Theatres and renamed the Newtowne Twin split it into two sections with a seating capacity of 265 each.
Carmike Cinemas took over this theatre in 1986 until it closed in 2000 when it was a second-run discount house.
1967-1978 Statesville Theatre Corporation
1978-1986 Martin Theatres
1986-2000 Carmike Cinemas
Owned and operated under Statesville Theatre Corporation under Fuller Sams as a single screen cinema with a seating capacity of 530. The architect was Thomas Hutchens. The premiere attraction for the grand opening of the Newtowne Theatre was “Hombre” starring Paul Newman and Richard Boone.
Chuck1231, kenmcintyre and Mmandarano:
The grand opening of the GATEWAY CINEMA 1 & 2 was on December 21,1977 as Statesville’s second twin indoor theatre with both auditoriums having a seating capacity of 300 seats each. Owned and operated under Statesville Theatre Corporation under the subsidiary of Charlotte-based Stewart and Everett. This theatre offers expanded snack bar and parking facilities as well as restroom facilities designed for people in wheelchairs.
The opening attractions for the December 21,1977 opening of the GATEWAY 1 & 2 are…….
CINEMA 1: Clint Eastwood in THE GAUNTLET
CINEMA 2: John Denver and George Burns in OH GOD!
The coming attractions “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “Bobby Deerfield”, “The Betsy”,and “First Love”.
**The Statesville Theatre Corporation,under Fuller Sams,control all of the indoor movie houses and drive-ins in Statesville…Included are the Newtowne Theatre, The Playhouse Theatre Downtown Statesville, and the I-77 Drive-In Theatre and the Villa Heights Drive-In.
Other small cities and towns in North Carolina didn’t get JAWS until late-June or August of 1975.
Aberdeen/Southern Pines: Town and Country
Hickory: Terrace 1 & 2
Greenville: Plaza Cinema 1 & 2
Sanford: Kendale Cinema 1 & 2
Chapel Hill: Carolina
Burlington: Terrace 1 & 2
1515 East Broad Street, Newtowne Plaza Shopping Center
Statesville, NC 28625