Showing 126 - 150 of 258 comments
The Plaza Cinema 3 was the only first-run theater in Greenville to show Troma films, including “The Toxic Avenger” and “Surf Nazis Must Die”. Both Stewart & Everett and Carmike advertised the Troma films (as well as mainstream films) on the radio; no other theater chain in Eastern North Carolina advertised regularly on the radio at this time (the 1980s). The Plaza Cinema was the primary showcase in Greenville for “sleazy” (but not porno) movies; the Plitt Quad seemed to avoid low-budget exploitation films and the Buccaneer 3 showed them very infrequently. The Plaza Cinema showed non-Troma “sleaze” films as well; “Reform School Girls” (starring Wendy O. Williams of the punk-rock band The Plasmatics) played here under S&E. Carmike stopped booking Troma fims in Greenville (and eventually stopped showing exploitation films in general) after 1990. The last Troma film released theatrically in Greenville was “Def by Temptation” in 1990; it played first-run downtown at the Park Theatre (which charged its normal $1.50 “all shows” admission).
In its last years the Starlite Drive-in also operated as a video-rental club and a gun shop; VHS videotapes and firearms were displayed in the concession building.
If the Oasis was still operating in the early 1940s it was a different theater from the Carolina, which was also operating in the early ‘40s (as was the Paramount). The Center Theater could have been a remodeling of the Oasis after World War II but before 1951, when H.B. Meiselman’s Park Theatre opened in the Parkview Shopping Center on North Queen Street. The Carolina was still operating in the 1950s, but I have no idea if the Center was still operating, or of where the Center, Oasis and Carolina were located (most likely on Queen Street between Vernon Avenue and King Street – downtown Kinston proper).
I lived in downtown New Bern twenty years ago when the diagonal image of the “restored” facade was painted on the (then) Saax Bradbury Playhouse. I attended a performance of “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” at this theater in 1991 and nothing had been done to the facade since the removal of the circa-1940 front and marquee back in the late 1980s. They should have left the modern facade up until they had the funds to fully restore the original Athens facade. Still, at least the New Bern Civic Theatre is still operating; the Turnage Theater in nearby Washington is closed and about to go on the auction block.
This was Carmike’s first theater built in North Carolina following their 2000 bankruptcy filing.
Eastgate Cinema was twinned sometime after the Berkeley Cinema 1 & 2 opened in 1976. I remember seeing “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” listed on the Eastgate’s marquee in 1978; no other title was on the marquee. Berkeley Cinema added a third screen about this time, and the Center and Paramount theaters downtown were still showing movies as well. I believe it was a twin by the end of 1979.
Cinema 6 in Wilmington was Carmike’s last discount theater east of Raleigh; it replaced the Independence Mall 3 as Wilmington’s second-run house.
The Iwo Jima Theater’s design was also used by the Wilrik Theatre in Sanford; both were Stewart & Everett Theatres.
The alternate name “Show Stop Theatre” is incorrect. The correct name was “Show Shop Theatre” which was adopted in the 1930s. The Show Shop Theatre was a B-movie theater, newer releases played at the Masonic Theatre at 532 Hancock Street (that theater is still standing, as it is part of a Masonic lodge). The facade of the Athens/Show Shop Theatre was modernized approximately 1940 and may have been renamed Kehoe at that point. Stewart & Everett took over in 1958 or 1959; they renamed the theater Tryon to capitalize on the Tryon Palace reconstruction which opened in 1959. After the Neuse Village Cinema opened in 1971 the Tryon operated as a grindhouse until closing in 1979 (the last couple of years they ran porn exclusively).
According to FOX Eastern Carolina (WFXI-8 and WYDO-14) News at 10 on September 12, 2012, the former owner of the Southgate/Bear Town Cinema 6 (Southeast Cinemas) is building a new stadium multiplex in the Craven Thirty development on the western edge of New Bern. Scheduled to open in 2013 at the US 70/NC 43 interchange, this new theater may wipe out both Bear Town 6 and Neuse Boulevard 3 Cinemas. It will be the first completely new theater built in New Bern since the original Southgate Cinema 1 & 2 opened about 1974.
K-Mart (Crossroads) Plaza and the Cardinal Theatres 3 were on the opposite side of Wesleyan Boulevard (US 301) from Tarrytown Mall (now Sam’s Club). Stone Rose Drive led into Tarrytown Mall’s parking lot, making it possible to go from the mall to the Cardinal without getting onto Sunset.
In my opinion the Capri was the best looking theater Stewart & Everett ever built; S&E apparently never used the Capri’s design for any other location – this was obviously S&E’s flagship until they opened the Town Cinema 6 in the 1980s (The Town Cinema was cloned several times, unlike the Capri). Under Carmike the Capri and Village theaters were run as dollar houses; the Village closed first (about 1989) and the Capri closed after Carmike took over Cineplex Odeon’s NC theaters (Park Terrace and Matthews Festival 10 in the Charlotte area) in 1990. The Capri Theater closed long before 1996; AKA Capri 1 & 2, Capri 1-2-3, and finally Capri Triple.
The Galaxy Cinemas in Cary is independently owned, not part of a chain. It has been in the news recently as it was in danger of losing its lease; the owners of the property want to demolish the theater and replace it with a Harris-Teeter supermarket.
I’m amazed that of Jacksonville’s drive-in theaters, only the South 17 Twin and the Cinema Drive-In are listed; apparently all the others are long forgotten. I vaguely remember the XXX drive-in theater near the South 17 Twin mentioned in my last post on this page; it may have been called the Moonlite Drive-in and was north of the South 17 Twin.
This theater was located next to Rose Brothers Furniture on Onslow Drive. AKA Northwoods 1 & 2 Theatre, Northwoods Twin Theatre.
Last comment should be: Ambassador’s largest current theater is Six Forks Station 6 in Raleigh – (not Mission Valley 5).
I uploaded yesterday a 2002 photo of the Village Plaza 5 at night (the car in the foreground was mine). Raysson: your comments regarding the multiplex shenanigans in Chapel Hill are interesting. If Ambassador builds the new theater, it will most likely be eight screens or less – Ambassador’s largest current theater is the Mission Valley 5 in Raleigh. Carmike would likely put a 14-screen or 16-screen multiplex there, although it may cut into the Wynnsong 15’s business up the road in Durham. Still, I like the idea of Carmike re-entering Chapel Hill – it would be a thorn in the side of all those who pressured Regal not to build there. To the best of my knowledge it would be only the third Carmike built in North Carolina since they emerged from bankruptcy (Jacksonville’s 16-plex and Wilson’s 10-screen are the others).
I passed by this theater in July 1986 on a trip to Charlotte. The Terrace looked like it had already closed at that point – no movies listed on the marquee, part of the Terrace sign was missing, empty parking lot. This must have been the time the auditorium was split into two theaters. After July 1990 the Terrace would not have been under Cineplex Odeon as that chain withdrew from North Carolina that month, selling most of its NC locations to Carmike (the Cardinal in Raleigh and Carolina in Chapel Hill were closed).
Both the Englewood and Oakwood Cinemas were demolished and replaced by banks (Wachovia-now Wells Fargo-replaced the Englewood and Southern Bank replaced the Oakwood).
Town Cinema 6 was originally a Stewart & Everett Theatre. S&E built several theaters based on its design: (Carmike)Cinema 4 in Aberdeen, Havelock Cinema 4/6 (Carmike Cinema 6) in Havelock, Cinema 6 in Wilmington and Cinema 6 in Jacksonville, and possibly others. Only the Havelock Cinema remains in operation; Carmike abandoned Aberdeen (and Charlotte!) and replaced the Wilmington and Jacksonville Cinemas 6 with megaplexes.
Regal acquired this theater from Eastern Federal in 2005.
The site of the Colony Theatre is now a parking lot. Status should be Demolished.
The Turnage Theater was owned by Stewart & Everett Theatres during the 1970s. S&E built the Washington Square Mall Cinema 1 & 2 (later Cinema Triple, now Cinema 7) as the replacement for the Turnage Theater in 1976. The Turnage may have stayed open until a third screen was added to the Washington Square Mall Cinema.
Berkeley Cinema added a third screen in 1978 (Berkeley Cinema 1-2-3) and a fourth screen about 1981 (after the Plitt Quad opened in Greenville but before the Litchfield 4 opened a few blocks away).
As far as I can remember the Parkhill Cinema was always an independent – I don’t know of any S&E theater having a video store in its lobby. I remember this theater being announced in the final ads for the Colonial Theater downtown, leading me to believe the Colonial’s then-owners were the Parkhill’s owners. Also, S&E had just pulled out of Williamston the previous year – why build a new three-screen in a similarly-sized town? The Parkhill Cinema was probably the last cinema in Eastern NC built with fewer than four screens (the only later theaters with less than four screens I can think of are the Cameo in Fayetteville, the Marbles IMAX Theater and possibly the Studio I & II – both in Raleigh, and the Chelsea in Chapel Hill. All of these are west of I-95).