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Francis Coppula’s “THE GODFATHER” played at the Valley Twin Theatres first-run on March 16,1972 as a general release.
In fact a lot of the Paramount product got first billing here including a lot of the venue….
“THE GREAT GATSBY”
“HAROLD AND MAUDE”
“CHARLOTTE’S WEB”-animated feature
“JONATHAN LIVINGSTON SEAGULL”
“THE APPRENTICESHIP OF DUDLEY KRAVITZ”
“LADY SINGS THE BLUES”
“THE GODFATHER: PART II”
“THREE DAYS OF THE CONDOR”-Robert Redford
and many more!
December 25,1975….STARTS FRIDAY AT THE RIVERVIEW CINEMA..
NEVER FEAR…..PAM GRIER’S HERE…..as one bad chick in “FRIDAY FOSTER” with Yaphet Kotto, Eartha Kitt, and Antonio Fargas…Rated R
June 6, 1975….NOW SHOWING at the RIVERVIEW CINEMA….Exclusive!
It’s GONE WITH THE WIND turned HELL UPSIDE DOWN!!! The side of life that was never showed…until now….“MANDINGO” With James Mason, Ken Norton, Susan George, and Perry King….Rated R
Special Late Shows Friday and Saturday night at this theatre ONLY!!!
Sorry, There Will Be No Passes Accepted for this Attraction….,.
By the late-1980’s and throughout the early 1990’s, this movie theatre also operated as a video store selling VHS tapes as well video rentals and it also had a video arcade while at the same time continue showing second-run films at bargain prices. The RIVERVIEW TWIN CINEMA closed in 1995. The last two picture shows that played here was on Screen 1 was a Spike Lee flick “DROP SQUAD” that played first-run at reduced prices. Screen 2 was a kids flick “FREE WILLY” playing its second run,reduced admission.
In case you wanted to know…“DROP SQUAD” starred Ving Rhames, along with Vondie Curtis-Hall, Eriq LaSalle, Paula Kelly, and Penny Johnson-Jerald. Released in 1995.
David Lean’s LAWRENCE OF ARABIA had its Exclusive West Coast Premiere at the Warner Theatre on December 16,1962.
It was the Reserved Seat Engagement shown in 70MM and 6 Channel Stereophonic Sound.
July 12,1974….NOW SHOWING at the RIVERVIEW CINEMA…
The BIG THREE…Action Packed Excitement Throughout!!!
FRED WILLIAMSON with JIM BROWN and JIM KELLY in the Action Explosion Hit of 1974..“THREE THE HARD WAY”
The worst movie to play at this theatre in 1981…..
Screen 1: Bo Derek in “TARZAN,THE APE MAN”-Rated R
Screen 2: Julie Andrews in “S.O.B.”-Rated R
“TARZAN,THE APE MAN” was the worst movie to ever play at the Yorktowne Twin. Totally horrible!!! A lot of people who bought tickets for this dung sneak out over to Screen 2 which was a better movie…..
The first-ever blaxploitation “X” rated movie played here as an exclusive engagement “LIALEH” in 1973.
Also played here first-run in 1973 to capacity crowds.
Breaking all attendance records in motion picture history….the highest grossing ADULT picture of 1973
Starring Georgina Spelvin in “THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES”
Rated XXX-Adults Only-No One Under 18 Admitted
The RIVERVIEW CINEMA upon its opening in 1972 was NOTORIOUS for its showing of “XXX” rated adult films(the only indoor theatre in Durham County to do so during the 1970’s and early 1980’s) and a variety mix of straight up “B” movie fare", “blaxploitation”,
“sexploitation”,“grindhouse”,“kung-fu/martial arts”,got first-run billing at this theatre.
It opened on April 26,1972 with Gene Hackman in “THE FRENCH CONNECTION”……..
The Coming Attractions for THE RIVERVIEW CINEMA….
-Fred Williamson in “HAMMER” [First-Run Showing]
–“THEY CALLED ME MISTER TIBBS!” & “THE ORGANIZATION”
The Sidney Poitier Action-Packed Double Feature
-Godfrey Cambridge in “COTTON COMES TO HARLEM”
-Bruce Lee explodes in “THE CHINESE CONNECTION”
It remained a 550-seat single screen cinema until 1986 when management changed hands and the cinema was split down the middle created two smaller screens with shoebox auditoriums becoming a twin cinema. The format changed from first-run features to showing second-run films at bargain prices. It closed in 1995. It was converted into a dry cleaning establishment until it was demolished in 2002.
The last picture show that played at the RIVERVIEW TWIN was Spike Lee’s 1995 film “Drop Squad” starring Eric LaSalle and Ving Rhames.
THE RIVERVIEW CINEMA during its tenture opened in 1972 as a 550-seat single screen cinema…and it was the ONLY indoor movie theatre in all of Durham County that catered a variety of films,mostly “B” movies, kung-fu,and blaxploitation genre of films. When this was a single screen cinema,the adult movies would be shown on certain days when it was part of the “Businessmen’s Lunch Special” of Rated XXX films on certain days and during special late shows. That would change hands by 1986 when the cinema was split into two sections making it into a discount movie house under THE RIVERVIEW TWIN CINEMA until its closing in 1995. The last movie that played at this theatre(and I fondly remember it)was a Spike Lee flick called “Drop Squad”
The Gaston Mall Theatre was a nice showplace of great entertainment when ABC and Plitt had it(beautiful design inside and out,a huge 620 seat auditorium with a astounding 180 degree Ultravision screen)…..It was butchered by Cineplex Odeon during the late-1980’s when they twinned it.
Basically all of the James Bond-007 films played at the Gaston Mall Theatre first-run beginning with showings of back to back Sean Connery 007 double features like “Dr. No”, “From Russia With Love”, to “Goldfinger”, “Thunderball”,and “You Only Live Twice” during there re-releases.
The Bond films did big business at Gaston Mall where they’re got first-run showings to capacity crowds from Sean Connery in “Diamonds Are Forever” to all the 007 movies starring Roger Moore all the way to Timothy Dalton as 007 in “License to Kill”…….
“License to Kill” was the last Bond movie to play at the Gaston Mall Theatre.
IN FACT…This theatre got a lot of the United Artists product ranging from the James Bond-007 films to other UA features like “Thunderbolt and Lightfoot”,
“The Taking of Pelham 123”, “Electric Glide In Blue”,
“The Return of the Pink Panther”, “Rocky”, among others.
1971-1978 ABC Southeastern Theatres/Wilby-Kincey
1978-1986 Plitt Southern Theatres
1986-1991 Cineplex Odeon Corporation.[closed in 1991]
THE GASTON MALL ULTRAVISION THEATRE had its grand opening on January 22,1971 with the premiere attraction of WALT DISNEY’S THE WILD COUNTRY in COLOR Starring Steve Forrest and Vera Miles…..Rated G….
THE COMING ATTRACTIONS FOR THE GASTON MALL THEATRE….
Walt Disney’s classic Masterpiece “BAMBI”
“THE OUTDOORSMAN”-The Adventure Begins in ULTRAVISION
“COUGAR COUNTRY”-Breathtaking for the whole family!!!
Susan Sarandon and Peter Boyle in “JOE”
“THUNDERBALL” and “YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE”-007 Double!!!
Richard Harris in “A MAN CALLED HORSE”
I have found the original ads from the Gastonia Gazette from January 22,1971 for the Gaston Mall Theatre’s official grand opening…If anyone needs to see the ads…I can be contacted at
April 13,1977 Now Showing First-Run!!!
Calvin Lockhart in THE BARON Rated R
With Four Showings On Saturday and Sundays,and Three Showings on Weekdays Only…..
COMING SOON:Gladys Knight in PIPE DREAMS Rated PG
Bruce Li in THE CHINESE CONNECTION II Rated R
The PLAZA had also that embarrassing weak STAR WARS rip off called “BATTLE FROM BEYOND THE STARS” with Richard Thomas and Robert Vaughn that was produced by Roger Corman. Rated “PG”
COMING ATTRACTIONS TO THE PLAZA(Double Feature):
“REVENGE OF THE STREET FIGHTER”-Sonny Chiba along with “THE RETURN OF THE STREET FIGHTER” Both features Rated “R”
“THE TEACHER” with Angela Tompkins and Jay(Dennis The Menace)North!!! Rated R
“RETURN OF THE BABYSITTER”-Rated R….with Jerry Mathers(aka The Beaver!)
The Cardinal Theatre opened on July 2,1969 with John Wayne in TRUE GRIT…..This was an ULTRAVISION theatre
Closed on June 3, 1999 by Carmike Cinemas.
The showing of Steven Spielburg’s RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK broke all boxoffice attendance records for this theatre becoming the highest grossing film in Asheville when it came out in 1981.
Spielburg’s “E.T.” had the lines snaked around Asheville Mall when it came out as well breaking all boxoffice attendance records in 1982 becoming the highest grossing film for that theatre.
THE EXORCIST played at this theatre in March of 1974. It was at the time the highest grossing flick for that theatre until JAWS surpassed it on June 20,1975 making it not only the highest grossing film for that theatre,but it broke all boxoffice attendance records in Asheville bringing in record crowds during its run.
Not to mention the original STAR WARS played here as well at the Merrimon…breaking all boxoffice attendance records and became the highest grossing film for that theatre……..
By 1997…the Mall Twin was reduced to a discount dollar house with all seats for all shows just $1.00 under Carmike Cinemas…..I have the ad for the 1-1-98 showings at the Mall Twin…..it closed in June of that year due to expansion and renovation of the Asheville Mall.
MALL TWIN AT ASHEVILLE MALL: 1-1-1998“Air Force” with Harrison Ford-Rated R“In and Out” with Demi Moore-Rated PG 13
1975-1979 ABC Southeastern Theatres
1979-1986 Plitt Southern Theatres
1986-1991 Cineplex Odeon Corporation
1991-1998 Carmike Cinemas
More blockbusters that got first-run at this theatre:
“RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK”-Harrison Ford-(6-12-1981)
“E.T.”-First-run showing in DOBLY STEREO(6-11-1982)
“THE BLUES BROTHERS”-With John Belushi and Dan Ackroyd