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THe last operator was “American Mini Cinemas Grier Haddon, manager. Grier operated the Plaza as a porn theater for a while. The answering machine had the hilarious message for the managers line"This is you know who, and Im you know where doing you know what , with you know who, so you know what to do” or something like that.
Grier ran a small store front theater in Dilworth that showed porn, and regular movies. It had vending machines for a concession stand.When it closed, he went to Florida, bought some kind of a franchise deal where he showed midnight movies onsite at apartment complexes. He was from the Haddon Brick Company family in Charlotte. His 85 year old father used to sit in the concession stand and sometimes sell tickets. He wore an expensive suit sometimes.
Grier also ran the Trans Lux Theater in Kannapolis as a dollar theater for a little while, after Entertainment World closed it. ( see trans lux inflight theater)
He kept monkees in a cage behind the Plaza for several years.
THis Theater used to have a nortorious night club next door called the Cest Bon Club. I believe it was connected to the guy that ran the porn bookstore on Independence at Pecan: Joy Adult Books. He converted this theater to the Climax one and Two ( Im not kidding) as well as the Trans Lux in Kannapolis NC to Joy Adult Theater.They had the Burlington Trans Lux as well, also porn.
All of these were taken over by Entertainment World of Durand Michigan, owned by the notorious Virgil Phil Mahoney, late of Las Vegas Porn Museum fame.
( see Durand Dirties) ( see wickipedia entry) He converted the Climax to Cinema Blue, added a porn bookstore, peep show and huge game room. It was a porn shopping mall. They had a stage in one auditorium, and on Sunday nights they had an amateur strip show that was very popular with college students and service industry people. It was hosted by a redheaed woman in her 60’s called “Bubbles”, who would also to a tassle strip tease act. Drag Queens, amateur strippers, strippers from strip clubs all came to this. The famous Morgana used to perform here ( she got famous doing college lectures, she has enormous Russ Myers breasts, and they were natural)
They took over the former Cest Bon club, and added it to the theater complex by connecting the lobby area. There was a revolving stage in the Cest Bon space that got torn out.
Entertainment World also ran the Kannapolis and Burlington Theaters as well. They converted the Kannapolis Theater to a dollar theater format in 1978, and closed it in 1980 ish.
They used Ogden Food Service to handle the concessions.
They later had a video tape rental club that was over 6000 square feet, and had over 40,000 members, .It was in the area that started out as a game room. Sometime in mid fall 1978, Parade magazine did an expose on the three biggest pornmograpers in the world, and Phil Mahoney was one, along with Ruebin Sturnim, who ran a porn bookstore in the same shopping center, just past Zayres ( soddomland shopping city was this places nick name, more beacuse of the gay bat Oddysey located at the end than the porn places.
There was a funny local news item where they interviewed people in the shopping center, on the sidewalk, up by Zayres, and NONE of them expressed any negative views about any of these businesses..ahh, the 70’s….
Porn stars frequently appeared here, one of them was Mahoneys girl.