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A bit of trivia: This theatre was one of the few (if not the only) theatres in Tennessee to open Star Trek: The Motion Picture on release day. Tennessee had a law that forbade theatres to bid on movies that were not available to be seen by the bidder first. (A practice known as blind bidding.)
Somehow this theatre was exempt. ST was not playing in Knoxville, but it was playing in Oliver Springs. A friend got me in to see it from the projection booth.
I thought this opened as the Tri-County Twin cinema.
I lived in LA in the early 1980s. I seem to remember that Pacific Theatres operated a small theatre at the back of the Tower called the Cameo. Can’t find any references to that. Anybody?
I saw Earthquake there in Sensurround. At the time, it was a great theatre.
As a U.T. student in the mid 70s, I spend a lot of time at the Capri-70, Capri Twin, Capri Terrace, the Westown, Kingston 4, Cedar Bluff Twin, and the Downtown West 6 (which only had 4 screens at the time.) All gone except for the D.W.
Here’s a photo of the original Strand.
I believe that Consolidated started the dollar matinees in Nashville when the Cinema North and Cinema South opened, and of course Martin had to match those prices. That was great for us poor college students! I really liked this theatre design with the large screens. There were at least 4 built with this design (Nashville – 2, Knoxville, and Huntsville AL. I’m sure there were more.
The Birmingham Rewound link has changed, this should work for now.
Lots of info and photos on the Alabama and other Bham theatres. Seems like the Melba was demolished.
DavePrice – I searched and couldn’t find the article. From some other searches, it seems Lou died in 1992 at age 81, and Mamie died in 2005 at age 92. It seemed like Lou knew almost everybody in town. He had the longest Christmas commercial reel of any Martin theatre, and the police would drive him to the bank to make the nightly deposit.
There’s a lot of information here:
It says the Rivergate Twin opened in 1973.
The developer’s plan is stalled, so the theatre is going to sit there until somebody comes up with the funding to buy it and finish the restoration:
This theatre was open in 1976 when I moved to Nashville to attend V.U. It was the Rivergate 1&2 (at the mall). Its sister was the Rivergate 3&4 (at the plaza.)
In 1975 Coate’s newspaper ads will probably show the 1&2 (Rivergate Mall) and the 3&4 (Rivergate Plaza) theatres. Again, those were two different theatres.
The Rivergate 3&4 was built by Massey Theatres before Martin bought out the chain. It became the Rivergate 3&4 after the purchase, I don’t know what Massey called it.
I believe the original description is correct in that the twin became a 6-plex, and then eventually an 8-plex.
Other than the Belcourt, this is the only Nashville-area theatre from 1976 that is still operating to my knowledge. The drive-ins are all gone, and many theatres have been built and closed since then.
This theatre at the plaza was opened by Massey Theatres. It was a competitor to Martin’s Rivergate Twin at the Mall. When Martin bought out Massey, then it became the Rivergate 3&4. As the original Rivergate Twin added screens, the Rivergate 3&4 kept getting renamed.
I worked as a doorman for two summers when Lou Rubenstein was the manager. I remember very well the smoking seats in the second auditorium. We were supposed to charge 25 cents extra to sit in those seats, and often I would be sent in with a roll of tickets to collect the additional money.
I saw Star Wars at this theatre more times than I would like to admit. I really liked this theatre design, as all of the theatres had large screens. I remember the tag line on the newspaper ad for Consolidated Theatres was “Theatres of the Future Now”.
GMNash – also the same design as the University Cinemas in Huntsville, AL. Built as a 4-plex with 2 more screens added later. The building still stands, and recently has been renovated into something else.
tntim, that’s it exactly. That design could be built as two theatres, with the box office and concession stand in between the two auditoriums.
The Westown was originally a very nice theatre – large screen, good sound system, and comfy seats. I imagine the twinning process spoiled most of that.
Very similar to the Terrace Theatre in Kingsport. I believe the Terrace was an Ultravision theatre, and had rocking chair seats.
Also, the correct status would be demolished as I believe the entire Kings-Giant Plaza has now been demolished.
The Terrace was originally built as a single screen theatre, and was very similar to the Mall Theatre in Johnson City. I believe it was an Ultravision screen.
It was twinned quite badly. The seating was in curved rows oriented towards the center of the original single screen. The seats were not re-oriented during the reconstruction, and so were oriented towards the wall that was built down the center of the original auditorium instead of the new screens.
It was a very nice theatre when built with a large screen, and I saw many movies there during my time in Kingsport. I think it was twinned in order to compete with the AMC Fort Henry 5. The Martin Theatre in the Kingsport Mall was also twinned.
I think the Terrace had rocking chairs, as did the Martin.