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Great blog! Thank you very much for responding. Would love an update on the theatre. Is it still empty? for sale? Current picture would be great!
Awesome Rivest! Thanks!
Thanks for the update, Shoals!
Where to begin. There is so much confusion with four cities that are all referred to as part of the Muscle Shoals AREA. There are four separate cities. Florence. Sheffield. Tuscumbia. Muscle Shoals. The Martin Theatre information in this listing is correct. Rivest’s post with the ad is corrent. The above address is wrong. The picture above is a GREAT picture of the intersection of Avalon and Woodward in Muscle Shoals, which is where the Cinema I and II were located. The Martin Theatre, however was located in the city of FLORENCE. It was located at 7 points in the shopping center that also was home to the W.T. Grant Store. The Martin was located about two blocks north of the Norwood Theatre which had burned down two years earlier.
You are right, Darebear. It was always a first run theatre. The dollars movies were on the NE corner of 43rd Avenue and Bell which would put it in Phoenix. It was demolished and there is now a strip center there.
In the late 60s early 70s, the movies changed twice a week. The theatre was the only theatre within walking distance from the University of North Alabama after the Norwood closed permanently due to a major fire. Admission was $1 for college students
More accurate address is 117 SOUTH Main Street. It is still standing, has a modern facelift AND has a FOR SALE sign in the window. Man, would I LOVE to get inside and see what is left of the old theatre! Current picture above is not the correct building but hopefully, someone will read this and let me put in the correct building.
This theatre was still operating into the 80s and as mentioned was on the opposite side of Camelback from Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall. Camelview 5 is on the same side of Camelback as the mall, which is the north side.
It appears Dwight Harkins numbered his theatres as he opened them in their Grand Opening ads. #1 was Tower Plaza, #2 was Los Arcos #3 Shea #5 Glenfair. So far #4 is a mystery theatre. Even though the Shea is #3, it opened as a twin theatre.
The theatre was located on West Jefferson Street adjacent to Inwood Park and was the first indoor mall in Joliet. It was a one level mall. Anchors of the mall were Montgomery Ward and Weibolts. The mall had a very short life. Weibolts became Menard’s when the entire chain went out of business. After the mall failed the entire mall, except for Menard’s was demolished. Menard’s is still in business at the mall’s location.
I worked in this shopping center when this theatre opened and got an invite to the grand opening. Little did I know this was a social event in town with everyone decked out in their Sunday best and even some formalwear. Grand opening feature was The Dirty Dozen. The shopping center was anchored by a Goldblatts (which later turned into a Venture) and a Boston Store (which later turned into a Service Merchandise). The center also had a Walgreen’s and a Jewel Food Store and was quite the draw on the west side of town. The first major center outside of downtown. As mentioned above the former theatre still stands and is shared by two businesses.
One movie sticks out in my mind that I saw at the Lee. A Summer Place.
The Princess never quite got the best movies. The top movies went to the Rialto or the Mode and the Princess showed first run B movies. If there was a horror movie released, you can bet it was showing at the Princess. No balcony. Just a good sized single screen theatre.
The last movie I saw at the Bethany was one of the Witch Mountain movies in late 1981 or early 1982. Nice single screen theatre. As mentioned above it sat empty for quite a few years and then was demolished for a strip mall with Big Lots.
Interesting ad! Thanks for finding it! I remember seeing tons of movies here. John Hughes movies and the crazy Stephen King film Maximum Overdrive.
The theatre was located on the NE corner of Shea and 32nd Street in a strip shopping center with a grocery store and a few other businesses. It faced 32nd Street.
What a gorgeous theatre! The blue trim really makes the details of the building pop. Hope they manage to locate windows on the side or something to keep the facade intact if they convert the building into apartments.
You are correct. Sedona is an entirely different city in Arizona and has its own Harkins theatre with six screens.
The above picture is a picture of the Harkins Theatre in Yuma, Arizona. Flagstaff doesn’t have palm trees unless they are fake palm trees they would be covered in snow in the winter. They are ultramodern theatres and offer patrons a great film viewing experience, from mutliplexes to a historic downtown theatre in Tempe that shows independent and art films.
The Norwood burned down on the morning of Sunday, August 18, 1968 at 8:25am. If you check out the comments of the Tuscumbian Theatre, it provides a link to the opening day ad of the Tuscumbian in the local paper. After you have checked out this, click Browse This Newspaper and type in the date August 19, 1968 and you will see the front page news was the fire at the Norwood, with a picture of the theatre with the Alan Arkin Film Inspector Clouseau on the marquee. There is also an article in the August 20th edition of the paper about the fire. As stated above, the theatre opened in March of 1948. It seated 564 and in 1961 was purchased by and became part of the Martin chain. The fire totally destroyed the building and it was never rebuilt.
These theatres were located at Northridge Mall on the north side of Milwaukee. The mall was a huge two level mall with four major anchor stores. The mall ended up having the same fate as the Mall of Memphis and totally closed in 2003. A small portion of the mall was demolished but most of the mall is still standing abandoned.
I have been in hundreds of theaters and this is the only one I have ever seen with a Vista Vue screen. Didn’t even know that is what it was called. How common were they?
What an absolutely gorgeous theatre! Kudos to the town for not letting it slip away.
I saw tons of movies in the Tuscumbian in the late 60s and early 70s when I was in the area going to college. I remember before the movie started they had a color wheel that was aimed on the curtains that were closed over the screen, changing the color of the curtains as you listened to the music. They played an amazing selection of music. With its close proximity to Muscle Shoals, they played a lot of music recorded there at the time. Obscure stuff that only got played in the Muscle Shoals area. I would be totally amazed hearing “Where’s Eddie” by Lulu, “Making Love at the Dark End of the Street” by Clarence Carter, “Just Don’t Know What to Do With Myself” by the Mauds, and even some selections from Cher’s 3614 Jakcson Highway sessions before the showing of CHASTITY. We ALWAYS arrived early to hear what they were going to play and await the opening of the curtains for the movie to begin. I regret I never sought out the person who SELECTED the music….
Great find, Mike. Thanks. This was one of my all time favorite theaters to see a movie in.