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This and every other Hay Street theatre still operating in the 1970s formed what was possibly the closest thing to New York City’s infamous “Forty Deuce” (42nd Street between Broadway and 8th Avenue)within North Carolina.
smyjmy1: Yes, it opened in 1985 as a 4-screen cinema and operated as such under Stewart & Everett. Carmike added screens 5 and 6 early in 1987. S&E had an identical 4-screen theater in Aberdeen, also opened in 1985; Carmike chose to leave the Aberdeen Cinema 4 as a 4-screen until it closed. S&E did build a lookalike theater in Jacksonville called Cinema 6; I believe that theater was always a sixplex. S&E’s ads for the Havelock Cinema always used the number 4; Carmike probably tacked on the rear two auditoriums (one left, one right) and made it a six.
This theater was operated by Plitt Theaters in the early 1980s as the Plitt 4
The description of this theatre’s design makes me think it was originally an ABC Ultravision twin theater; ABC had a similar design in Florida.
I just saw the photo of the Omni Cinemas 8. This doesn’t look like an old Litchfield, it looks like an old Food Lion.
Thanks for the info on the Farmville Paramount-told as only someone who worked there could. It blows my mind that “blaxploitation” flicks showed there; but then again, Pitt County’s pornhouse (the Highway 264 Playhouse) was halfway between Greenville and Farmville. Only in the 1970s. The Paramount was Pitt County’s last independent non-porn hardtop theater – only the Tice and Meadowbrook drive-ins in Greenville outlasted the Paramount as independents (the Meadowbrook barely so – it closed in August 1979 shortly before Greenville’s Pitt Theatre burned down).
Carmike may have put a deed restriction on the property as they have done elsewhere in Eastern NC (Greenville, Rocky Mount and Jacksonville come to mind). According to WaldoOliverOxenfree’s comment on the Regal 6 (Wilson, NC) page, Carmike finagled a deed restriction on REGAL’S former cinema there. Reopening a dead Carmike has succeeded only three times in Eastern NC: Neuse Boulevard 3 in New Bern, Roanoke Rapids Cinema 1 & 2, and the Gateway 1 & 2 in Elizabeth City. An attempt to revive the Golden East Crossing 4 in Rocky Mount as a Cinema Grill failed miserably (it is currently a Books-a-Million). The Berkeley Cinema should either be demolished or turned into a church, given its location. The theater on the other side of town is the Premiere Theatres, which has only 12 screens; there are no 20-screen theaters east of Cary.
Going by the ad posted for this theater, it should have an AKA Blane Cinema 1 & 2. This theater was most likely opened before 1975, when Martin bought and renamed the theater after themselves.
Apparently this theater is sinking to grindhouse-level conditions, just as its predecessor the Plaza Cinema did. (The last film I saw here was, appropriately, “Grindhouse”.) It’s time to either go to second-run films at $2 admission, remodel this theater as a 16-screen all-stadium complex (something that was mentioned in the local newspaper during the construction of this theater), or shut it down and let Regal have a monopoly for a change.
The charter school chose to locate further down on Howard Avenue; the Parkhill Cinema survives for now. Its fate may ultimately be decided by the film industry’s conversion to digital-only exhibition.
What kept the Greenville Carmike 12 afloat for the first few years of Greenville Grande’s existence was the widening of Fire Tower Road (the street Carmike 12 is on, but only the portion west of the theater was affected). Back to the Wilson Regal 6: I saw only one film here, the first “Spider-Man” starring Tobey Maguire. At that point the Regal 6 was still in excellent shape and run properly; the old Parkwood Triple could not compete and was probably closed by this time. Regal probably abandoned Wilson because they (Regal) generally don’t build theaters in North Carolina; they buy them instead.Stonecrest 22 in Charlotte and Oak Hollow Mall Cinemas in High Point are the only current Regal houses in NC that I know of that were built BY Regal. All other Regal Cinemas in NC came from four chains: Litchfield (including Wilson’s sixplex), Consolidated (including Greenville Grande and most of Regal’s stadium theaters in NC), Eastern Federal (including North Hills and Brier Creek in Raleigh), and United Artists (including the now-demolished UA/Litchfield 4 in Goldsboro and College Road 6 in Wilmington).
This theater was located about one mile east of the Tower Drive-In on US Highway 64 (now US 64 Alternate) East, heading towards Tarboro. In its final years a skating rink was built next door called Sky-Vue Skateland; this still stands but I believe the skating rink has since closed.
What better way to shut down a theater than to run a Troma film!
DavidDynamic: I was unsure of this theater’s original configuration, name, chain affiliation or date. I have very little info about this theater other than it was once owned by Carmike Cinemas. 1994 may have been the year Carmike unloaded the Gateway onto another owner. If the theater was originally a twin it is not as old as I thought it was; the lack of a good view of the theater made it difficult for me to determine if it was built as a twin. Going by your recollections, David, I would assume that it was a twin from the start. Interesting that it showed porn films in the right theater and regular films in the left; most chains would either not run porn at all or limit porn to downtown grindhouses.Since the Gateway was showing porn and regular films in the same complex, it sounds like a Stewart & Everett venue. S&E booked porn films occasionally at Kinston’s Mall Cinema during the 1970s; the X-rated films were shown at midnight as the Mall Cinema was a single-screen at the time. Did Gateway run porn only at night or did they have porn matinees as well?
The Atlantic Station Cinema 4 most likely has operated continuously since it first opened back in the 1980s.
Sounds like illegal collusion between two “competitors”. Regal now owns the Greenville Grande 14, which I thought would lay waste to Carmike’s old and oddly configured 12-screen theater in Greenville (still only FOUR stadium seating auditoriums!). The Regal 6 was a nice theater; it would have made a teriffic discount house. Maybe Carmike is suppressing all attempts to open discount cinemas east of Raleigh (Smithfield’s Howell excepted)?
Disregard the comment about the Emerald Plantation 4 being Carteret County’s only cinema; Atlantic Station 4 in Atlantic Beach is still there (thanks CSWalczak for pointing this out!).
CSWalczak: Thanks for the info! I had found nothing on this theater on the web ( haven’t been down there in years). Glad to hear this theater is still in business! This is the one and only Atlantic Station Cinema 4 in Atlantic Beach, NC.
This is truly a forgotten theater. I lived in the Kinston area in the mid-1970s and never heard of a Center Theatre. The Paramount was the only downtown theater operating in 1975, with the Park Theatre operating just north of downtown. The only other downtown theaters I am aware of Kinston having were the Oasis and the Carolina, which may have been the same theater (the Oasis was operating during the silent era, while the Carolina operated during Hollywood’s “Golden Age”). The Center could have been a third name for the Oasis/Carolina, a third downtown (white) theater, or possibly an African-American theater; least likely possibility would be the original name of the Kinston Plaza Cinema. Does anybody know anything about this theater?
This theater was known briefly in the early 1970s as the Six Forks Cinema (not to be confused with the Six Forks Station 6, which opened in 1986). This first Six Forks Cinema was a single-screen theater, basically the Jerry Lewis Cinema without the Jerry Lewis name. This incarnation also failed, and it subsequently became the Terrace Twin.
This bit about Carmike leaving Wilson Mall (for the second time!) leads me to believe that they were prevented from building at Heritage Crossing by the threat of a lawsuit by Wilson Mall’s owners. Carmike closed the old Parkwood Triple while under bankruptcy protection, which enabled them to break their lease.
Looks like Regal stole some of Carmike’s dirty tricks; Carmike put deed restrictions in most of the theater buildings they abandoned in Eastern North Carolina (Neuse Blvd. Cinema 3 in New Bern and the Roanoke Rapids Cinema 1&2 being the only exceptions).
Apostcardlife: Carmike demolished the old six-screen theater on the site probably late 1995 or early 1996. I’m not sure because I only spent two weeks in Fayetteville helping remodel the TJ Maxx store at Cross Pointe Center (next to GCC Cross Pointe 6 Cinemas). Also, I don’t recall Martin buying any of its theaters off of Stewart-Everett or if S&E had any theaters in Fayetteville other than the Carolina downtown; I recall that Martin and S&E tended to stay out of each other’s territories except possibly Winston-Salem.
This theater was operating in 1996 as Regal Cinemas Omni 8. Consolidated left Fayetteville in 1989 after their sellout to Carmike; if they had built a new theater in Fayetteville in 1998 it would have been a stadium design. Judging from the marquee could this have originally been a Litchfield Theatre?
Theater name should be Chalet Triple; Carmike was running this theater with three screens since at least 1988 (and possibly earlier). Carmike abandoned Boone after Litchfield Theatres opened a seven-screen multiplex in the mid-1990s. The Litchfield 7, now known as the Regal Boone Cinema 7 (not yet listed on CT), is currently the only operating theater in Boone.