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The theatre very unique. As stated it was built a single screen by Ogden-Perry Theatres, a small independent company out of New Orlean/Baton Rouge. In a few years they add two screens to the building but the two screens had it’s own box office, concession stand and lobby that was seperate from the single screen. The projection booth was also seperate. The only way to get from the two theatres to the single was a door behind the concession stands. In spring 1984 Gulf States Theatres took over operation of the theatre after Ogden-Perry went bankrupt. In November 1986 Gulf States was sold to United Artists Theatres and they operated it until the lease expired and then it was operated independantly. In it’s hey day under Ogden-Perry, it was the best house to see the best films in town and played only the top films.
The theatre opened in 1981 by Plitt Theatres. It was a four screen theatre that was in the back of the mall on the ring road. In 1985 Gulf States Theatres purchased several theatres from then owner Cineplex-Odean including this one. In November of 1986 GST was sold to United Artists. UA then added another five screen in the mall and had two operations. UA allowed both theatres to get very run down and this 4 plex had so many roof leaks that it was unsafe. Regal Theatres which merged with UA in 1999 and then allowed the leases of both theatres to lapse in 2004 and this one has sat empty since. It needs to be buldozed if it hasn’t already.
The 51-Drive-In closed in the middle 60’s and a shopping center that included Miller Discount Store, Sunflower Foods and Pier One was constructed and opened in 1967. In 1976 the Miller Discount Store closed and Gulf States Theatres, which owned the property retrofited the store into a six screen theater. They did not raise the roof, but dug down created the sloped floors. I saw many films at the drive-in in the backseat of the car. Not what you think for I was a child and sat in the back while my parents sat in the front. Journey to the Center of the Earth and Mr. Hobbs takes a Vacation are two that I remember. Years later I worked at the six-plex.
There was a ABC Mid-South Theatre off the Interstate located in the mall. I beleive it was called The Plaza and it was a single screen. It stayed open until around 1984. It might have re-opened a couple of times as an independant discount house.
I have not passed there in several years but it was still standing in that closed mall when I did.
The theatre was a prefab construction with metal siding. During the last years of it’s life, it was an urban action house and did very well with that programing. I believe that the theatre was converted into an Auto Parts store and was not demolished.
What child of the 60’s can forget the Saturday Matinees that Mr. Ad Orkin showed at his Capri Theatre. I can remember JACK THE GIANT KILLER, ZOTZ, 13 GHOSTS (with ghost glasses), ADVENTURES OF TOM SAWYER, and THE MAGIC SWORD.
I think my love for movies was nurtured here.
The theatre as the Capri was Jackson’s roadshow theatre, with the showings of THE BLUE MAX, THOSE MAGNIFICENT MEN IN THEIR FLYING MACHINES, OLIVER, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, and GONE WITH THE WIND (1969 release). Other films I remember seeing here were 2001 A SPACE ODESSY, CAT BALLOU, THUNDERBALL, GOLDFINGER, ROMEO AND JULIET (1968).
In 1968 the paramount was completly renovated with a new concession stand, turnstiles replaced ticket takers and the vertical sign along with the v-shaped marquee were removed and replaced with a flat reader board. The new was not better.
The final film that played at the Paramount was ADIOS AMIGO! Kind of fitting and sad.
It is interesting that Gulf States Theatres opperated this drive-in and then developed the shopping center that was built on after the theatre closed. There was a large discount store that went out of business and Gulf States Theatres build a six screen theatre(Meadowbrook Cinema 6) where the former store was. For several years, Cinema 6 was the best theatre in Jackson.
Gulf States tried for many years to add more screens to this location and never could make it work. United Artists closed the theatre and Edgewater Mall when they opened the Biloxi Ten.
Sorry but it was not destroyed by Hurrican Camille. It closed in 1976 due to declining business. I was city manager for Biloxi for Gulf States theatres in the late 70’s and had to check on the property once a week. The concessin stand burned down in 78 due to some kids playing around. A good number of pine trees had started to grow in the field, but the screen were intact. The screens were finally brought down by Hurricane Elena in 1985.
United Artists did do a land lease on the property and built the Biloxi 10.
It was Hurricane Eleana in 1985 that finally closed the Beach Drive-In. The storm rolled a shore August 27 at a catagory 2 and flattened the screens. Drive-In business was just too depressed to spend the money to rebuild.
It was a great drive-in but being so close to the Gulf there were nights that the fog was so thick the projector lamp could not reach the screen.
The monthly dusk to dawn in the early 80’s of either horror or sex always found a large crowd til 3:00 in the morning.
You would hope this does better than their theatre in the Chicago Market. Barely 300 people a weekend.
I remember going up to this theatre from Jackson, MS with some executives from Gulf States Theatres in 1980 to close the theatre. The main problem was that roof was in terrible shape and the cost to repair was more than they thought the theatre was worth. You could actually see light coming in from the hole. There was a very nice lady that was the manager of the theatre then and had a lot of stories to tell.
Sorry, my mistake but the Twin Cinema opened in Christmas 1977.
The Plaza Theatre was opened in 1976 by Gulf States Theatres. They had a huge opening contest to name the theatre and the winner was Twin Cinema. In the next shopping center over was the single screen Towne Theatre. The Towne closed six months after the Twin opened. Gulf States also operated The Ritz Theatre, downtown, along with the Moss Point Cinema, The Lake Drive-In and The Super Twin Drive-In. Gulf States Theatres sold all their theatres to United Artists in 1986. United Artists allowed the lease to expire in 1990.
All the big films played this theatre during its heyday with â€œClose Encounters of the 3rd Kind being on the biggest grosser. Dollar Tuesdays was always packed with crowds standing in the parking lot trying to buy tickets. But despite this theatreâ€™s popularity, The Towne Theatre was always in everyoneâ€™s heart.
I worked for Gulf States Theatres when they operated this theatre. This was one of those typical 1950â€™s drive-ins with the managerâ€™s apartment in the tower and a large neon sign also on the tower. I spent a dayâ€™s down there in the late 70â€™s and helped them repair speakers and find a short in the underground wiring. We must have repaired a hundred speakers or more. The concession stand/projection booth was also the typical one cafeteria style. A second screen was located in the back and must have been added in the late 60â€™s. They did go to the trouble to re-direct the speaker poles when the addition was made. The theatre never made it to have FM sound and closed sometime in 1977. Hurricane Frederick took the screen tower in 1979.
One of the funniest memories is standing at the ticket booth and listening to the cashier explain why a woman would not want to take her 10 year old granddaughter in to see Alice in Wonderland. While the grandmother thought it was the Disney film, we were actually playing the X-rated version.
My fond memories of The Ritz Theatre are early to middle 70â€™s only. As a student at Ole Miss this was one of three theatres in town. The others being Cinema 6, a one screen theatre located on Hwy 6, and The Rebel Drive-In. Cinema 6 played the first class films such as â€œBlazing Saddlesâ€, â€œKellyâ€™s Heroesâ€, and â€œThe Towering Inferno.â€ The Ritz was the one that played the films every immature college dude wanted to see. I remember standing in line for â€œWilber and the Baby Factoryâ€, â€œMidnight Plowboyâ€, â€œThe Pig Keepers Daughter, and the great â€œThe Stewardesses In 3D.â€ I do remember seeing the excellent film â€œLady Sings the Bluesâ€ at this theatre and several other good films. All the theatres in town were operated by Martin Theatres, which eventually became Carmike. The City Manager always had a good time promoting the films at the Ritz, which I especially remember the Miss Baby Factory Contest for Wilber.
As time moved forward, and Cinemark opened a four-plex at the then new Oxford Mall, the Ritz Theatre along with the Cinema 6 (by then a twin theatre and just called Cinema Twin) was closed. The Rebel Drive-In was long gone. I believe this was around 1983 or 84. The four â€"plex is now the Oxford Studio Cinema.
The Cloverleaf Mall Theatre opened as a twin in the late 60â€™s by ABC Mid-South Theatres. Through the years, it was operated by Plitt Theatres (who split the large auditorium to make the complex a triple), Gulf States Theatres, and United Artists Theatres. United Artists closed the theatre in 1995 when it opened its new theatre in the new Turtle Creek mall. An independent shortly took over and operated this as a bargain house.
Ogden-Perry Theatres first opened this as a twin. Ogden-Perry Theatre chain was out of Baton Rouge, LA and operated theatres throughout Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. The circuit started in the middle 60â€™s and ended its life in bankruptcy court in the middle 80â€™s.
At the time this theatre was built, the general thought was the town of Hattiesburg would grow to the north and the theatre would be in a great location. As fates would have it, the town grew to the West and a by-pass around town cut off this theatre.
At the time it was built, it was a major player with only two other theatres operating in town, The Hardy Street Twin (a single rudely converted) and Clover Mall Triple (a twin also rudely converted). The booking policy was very ambitious and the theatre was always playing the top the film.
Oâ€™Neal Theatre acquired this location through bankruptcy court, which by then the theatre was a quad through conversion. Oâ€™Neal added two other auditoriums over the years. United Artists built a nine screen theatre in the 1995 in a new mall west of town and while this put a dent into Broadacres, the theatre still was able to get enough film to survive. In 2005, a new 14 screen stadium theatre was built by Southern Theatres and took the breath of life out of both Broad acres and the United Artists theatre.
The Varsity Twin was built in the late 30â€™s as single screen theatre and along with the Princess Theatre; they were the crown jewels in that part of Mississippi. The Varsity was operated by Malco Theatres out of Memphis and the Princess was operated by Paramount then ABC Mid-South Theatres. The Varsity had a balcony and I attend several films there while visiting grandparents. I remember seeing Walt Disneyâ€™s â€œThe Nine Lives of Thomasinaâ€ and â€œThe Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm.â€ I did see â€œSpencerâ€™s Mountainâ€ there and remember seeing a six sheet pasted to the brick side of the theatre for the next several years as the weather worked its way against it.
The theatre was on the main drag through downtown Columbus and was the first thing you saw when you crossed the Tombigbee River Bridge. It had a good size marquee and an upright sign, as did the Princess.
Sometime in the late 70â€™s (I believe) the theatre burned down. Malco owned the building and land and soon rebuilt on the lot a twin theatre. The re-built theatre was a typical 70â€™s twin and had no character at all nor any relation to the stately theatre did it replace. As times changed, Malco built other theatres in the town to keep out competition and eventually the theatre closed.
I think it is the old UA Quartet in Flushing, but could be off base and I know very little about it except that UA operated it and four-plexed the big single in the 70’s.
The Twixt Theatre was a Drive-In located on State Road 17 between Sulligent and Vernon. After a county airport was built close by, the name was changed to Airport Drive-In. While Cobb Theatres did operate this Drive-in along with the Strand Theatre in beautiful downtown Sulligent; in the middle 60â€™s both were taken over by Harold Jones, a local businessman who had a deep love for films and theatres. Mr. Jones also re-opened the Lyric Theatre in Aberdeen MS. He operated the theatres until the middle 70â€™s when it was not economically feasible to operate small theatres in towns with a population around 3000.
As a child visiting grandparents in Sulligent during the summer, I can vividly recall a truck with a loudspeaker going around town announcing the latest horror movie to play at the drive-in that weekend. I did my best to get my grandfather to take me, but being in a small farming town, sunrise came early and bedtime came before the drive-in opened.
Both the drive-in and theatre were razed. I am not sure about the drive-in, but the theatre came down sometime in the late 90â€™s after spending time as a warehouse.
It is closed and has been torn down for retail stores.
The Cordova 3 was opened as a twin in the mid 60â€™s on the backside of Cordova Mall. It was owned and operated by Giddens & Rester Theatre Corp located out of Mobile, AL. Giddens & Rester was a family owned circuit with three theatres in Mobile and one location in Meridian, MS besides this theatre. It was built as a replacement for the Florida Theatre, which was then torn down. During its heyday it ran the better of the films and Roadshow attractions. Not sure if it ever had 70mm, but would not be surprised if it did. ABC Florida Theatres was its main completion with The Rex and Saenger Theatres operating downtown. As other theatre circuits moved into town, United Artists at University Mall (3 screen, then 6, then finally 11 screens) and AMC with Mariner Mall 4, ABC opened a twin and closed their downtown locations in the middle 70â€™s. Giddens & Rester still remained the prime outlet for good films.
In the early 80â€™s the smaller of the two screens was twined. G/R loved the presentation of the big screen and could not see it destroyed by twining. Giddens/Rester sold their theatre interests by the middle 80â€™s to Litchfield Theatres located in the Carolinas which in turn sold to United Artists in the late 80â€™s with the Justice Department not allowing the Cordova 3 to be acquired so it was sold to Regal Theatres. Regal also opened a four screen complex attached to the Cordova Mall in a newly constructed wing which was located across a parking lot from the Cordova 4.
Rave and Carmike built theatres in the Pensacola area and both Cordova Mall 3 and 4 were closed in the early 2000â€™s. Cordova Mall 4 was reconfigured into retail space in the mall and the grand and glorious Cordova Mall 3 was destroyed and a small strip center is located in its place. Ironically Rave opened a theatre not far from the Cordova location in 2007.
The Cordova Twin has a lot of memories for a lot of people with some of the best films showing there. The front had a beautiful overhang where guests could be dropped off if the weather was bad. It had that general 60â€™s suburban look with a low middle rising up on each end to give the screens some height. The seats were Irwin plush. And the outside was surrounded by palm trees.
As it stands today, The Rex and Saenger Theatres are still standing downtown with the Saenger as a performing arts center. The AMC Mariner Mall 4 is gone. The ABC twin was sold to Plitt Theatres, then to Cineplex-Odeon. It was torn down in the late 90â€™s as a triple. The University Mall 11 is now operated by an independent as a sub-run house in 8 auditoriums with the other three operated by a church.
Cinebarre is partially owned by Regal Entertainment. The concept is very successful in other parts of the country, especially the Texas market, and is making its mark on the industry. Most of these type of theatres, with a full service restaurant and bar, are retrofits of older theatres with one of the auditoriums converted into a kitchen and this will give the theatres several more years of entertaining life. Thank goodness.
The roof of this theatre collapsed in the late 80â€™s and the theatre was then torn down. I was in Alexandria overnight when the roof collapsed. Driving by several months later, it was a big empty lot.