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This theater was opened in 1915 as the Grand Theatre. Paramount Pictures (through Wilby-Kincey) took over the Grand in the early 1930s and renamed it the Paramount Theatre. The Paramount Theatre was damaged by fire in the late 1940s and subsequently remodeled.
The Colony Theatre, originally named the Carolina Theatre (the second Carolina Theatre in Wilson – the first was renamed Drake Theatre when this theater opened), was located at 129 South Goldsboro Street. It has since been demolished.
The Galaxy Theatre (aka Watts Theatre, Cinema) was located at 134 West Main Street. It is now an empty lot.
The Viccar Theatre was across the street from the Watts/Cinema/Galaxy Theatre (139 West Main Street), next door to Rose’s 5-10-25 Cent Store. The former Viccar Theatre still stands but has been converted to retail.
The Galaxy Theatre was opened in 1929 as the Watts Theatre. Stewart & Everett bought the Watts Theatre in 1968 and renamed it the Cinema; it closed in 1981. Carmike Cinemas inherited the vacant theater when they bought S&E in 1986, but did not reopen the theater themselves. Instead, the Cinema was leased to an independent operator in 1987 and reopened as the Galaxy Theatre. The Galaxy Theatre closed by 1988 and has since been demolished.
Raysson: I have just posted the Oakwood Twin – didn’t know you were going to put it up – sorry about that! Anyway, I went to the Golden East Cinema back in 2000, about the time when the Premiere 12 opened. I had to wait 15 minutes before someone showed up at the ticket booth to sell me a ticket – according to their schedule they were supposed to be open at that moment. I bought my ticket and went in – the place was deserted. Carmike had not yet reopened the Cardinal at this point; judging from my experience at the Golden East Carmike should have let the Cardinal stay closed. I found it hard to believe that the Golden East was once a Cineplex Odeon; it looked as bad as any ancient Stewart & Everett shoebox.
Carmike called this theater the Morehead Twin. The former Morehead (Twin) Theater loooks nearly identical to the Town & Country theater in Aberdeen, which was opened in 1966. Both the Morehead and the Town & Country were built by Stewart & Everett, so the Morehead (Twin) Theater was most likely built in the mid-1960s as a single-screen. I have seen a photo taken in the mid-1950s of the old Belk store on the 700 block of Arendell Street (I forgot where I saw it); next to Belk’s was a movie theater named the Morehead. This may have been the 1954 theater; it looked nearly identical to the Wilrik theater in Sanford (which was also S&E).
This theater was flooded by Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Nearly a year later Carmike reopened the Cardinal 3 (it had been a three screen theater since the early 1980s) as a dollar house, a format Cineplex Odeon tried there after opening the Golden East 4 (later the RM Cinema Grill). Carmike returned the Cardinal to first-run status after they bought Cineplex Odeon’s Carolinas theaters, moving second-run product in Rocky Mount to the Englewood and Oakwood Twins (former Stewart-Everett houses). Carmike had abandoned the twin theaters by the time Floyd hit Rocky Mount, and needed to get an edge on the newly opened UEC Premiere 12 (now 14) multiplex. Reopening the Cardinal was Carmike’s response to the Premiere 12; Carmike could charge full price at the Golden East 4 while undercutting Premiere’s prices with second-runs at the Cardinal. The second-run strategy for the Cardinal failed miserably. Carmike shut down the Cardinal 3 about a month after reopening it, as they were going bankrupt at that time. The Cardinal has since been used as a church and a bingo parlor.
I remember this theater advertising in the Charlotte Observer as the University Place Cinemas (pre-Carmike) and University Place 6 (Carmike). The theater was owned prior to Carmike by Consolidated Theatres (1987-1989). Before 1987 the University Place was co-owned with the Queen Park and Tryon Mall Cinemas.
This theater is now operated by Regal Entertainment Group.
According to the Southpoint Cinema’s ad in the March 2 issue of the Raleigh News & Observer, they are now owned by Rave Cinemas (the ad lists the Rave Cinemas website).
This theater is currently struggling to stay in business, being the only tenant inside the mall. There has been talk recently of turning the mall interior into a charter school; if this comes to pass, the Parkhill Cinema’s days may be numbered.
This theater may have been built earlier than the mid-1960s. New River Shopping Center opened in 1952.
Back in the 1970s Stewart & Everett ran X-rated midnight shows at the Mall Cinema; I remember seeing posters for soft-X films displayed alongside those for mainstream features.
The Drake Theatre closed in the mid-1970s, about the same time as the opening of the Gold Park Twin cinemas.
I have looked at LostMemory’s and Chuck1231’s links regarding a “Carolina Theatre” in Wilson and it seems that Wilson had two different Carolina Theatres. LostMemory’s link shows a photo of the 1930 Carolina Theatre along with photos of the Drake Theatre. The Drake and the 1930 Carolina appear to be the same theatre. Chuck1231’s link shows the plans for a 1939 Carolina Theatre (the Goldsboro Street theater later renamed the Colony Theatre). Apparently Wilby-Kincey built the new Carolina in 1939 and remodeled the old Carolina about the same time, renaming the latter the Drake. The Carolina/Colony Theatre has been demolished while the Carolina/Drake Theatre still stands.
In 2006 Carmike Cinemas built a new multiplex, the Carmike 10, on the Ward Boulevard (front) side of the mall. The Carmike 10 was originally proposed for the Heritage Crossing shopping center on Raleigh Road Parkway at Airport Road, but instead was built as part of a renovation of Parkwood Mall (renamed Wilson Mall). The old Parkwood Cinema was demolished and replaced with a McDonald’s.
This theater is located at 214-216 North Main Street in downtown Tarboro. A plaque on the building indicates that the theater was built in 1935 and originally named the Majestic Theatre. The Salvation Army Thrift Store once occupied this building in the 1990s. Back in 2009, there was an attempt to open an adult bookstore in this former theater, but it was quickly blocked.
According to a plaque located on the Paramount Theatre the site was previously occupied by a Rialto Theatre from 1925 until 1935. I am not sure if the Paramount is a remodel of the Rialto or if the Rialto was demolished and the Paramount was built on the site. The Paramount was closed by Stewart & Everett in 1978.
UEC Theatres has been the sole owner of the Premiere 12/14 in Rocky Mount, the Premiere 12 in Goldsboro, and the Premiere 7 in Kinston (not currently listed on CT). The Premiere Theatres in Eastern North Carolina were never part of a chain called Premiere Cinemas.
This theater was owned by Martin Theatres from about 1979 (when the name was changed to South Hills Twin) until 1982. Carmike Cinemas took over in 1982, when they bought Martin Theatres; the Carmike name was first used in the Raleigh-Cary market in 1985. The South Hills Twin was closed in 1994 when the Blue Ridge Cinemas opened (Carmike also shuttered the Terrace Twin in Raleigh at the same time); the Blue Ridge became Carmike’s only discount house in Wake County and eventually their only discount theater in North Carolina.
The Peoples Theater is located on the 200 block, east side, of Roanoke Avenue near the intersection of 2nd Street. It is the third storefront from the corner (the pink Art Deco building). It definitely appears to be in bad shape; i’m surprised it hasn’t been demolished yet.
The roadside marquee identifies this theater as the “Roanoke Cinemas”. This theater was probably built in 1971, as it strongly resembles the Neuse Boulevard Cinema in New Bern. The Roanoke (Rapids) Cinema was originally a single screen theater (as was the Neuse Blvd. Cinema); I remember passing it by going to visit my great-grandmother in the early 1970s and there was only one movie listed on the marquee in those days. If Martin Theatres did own this theater, it was their only North Carolina location east of Raleigh.
This theater was originally to have been operated by Marquee Cinemas, but they backed out of the project during construction (Marquee had previously canceled a proposed multiplex in Rocky Mount back in 2000). Eastern Federal Theatres took over the lease and operated the theater until selling out to Regal in 2005.
The South 17 was probably built in the 1960s. I used to pass by it on the way to Surf City in the late 1970s and 1980-81. It was torn down by 1982. There was another drive-in theater (X-rated) nearby, with a drive-in hamburger restaurant next to it, but I couldn’t find any remains of that theater or the restaurant. The South 17 Twin Drive-In advertised on local late night TV in the 1970s, WCTI-TV 12’s “Will C’s Red Eye Cinema”, which ran drive-in-type movies on Saturday late night long before Saturday Night Live existed.