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Thanks. I did a search the other day, but it didn’t come up.
There was a theater located at the Cedar Hills Shopping Center in Jacksonville’s westside. Does any reader here remember any info about that theater?
Great pics, Harvey! In the early days of this theater, my dad took me to see a re-release of “The Ten Commandments”. That was in the days when the Norwood Shopping Center and Gateway Shopping Center (across the street) were major shopping destinations. Norwood had “Woolco” (a “Woolworth” store) and “Big Star”. Gateway had “Pennys”, “Montgomery Ward”, “W.T. Grant”, “G.C. Murphy” and others. The only “Sears” was in downtown Jax. Near the end of it’s heyday or at the beginning of it’s doomsday, I saw a marathon of all five “Planet of the Apes” movies, sponsored by the WAPE radio station (then 690 AM). They called it “The GO APE Marathon”. I also remember seeing “Diamonds Are Forever” there.
The scariest thing that ever happened at The Orange Park Five where I worked, was a hold-up and the dead woman they found in the bathroom (supposedly related to someone with the Lynyrd Skynyrd Band). In the robbery, they tied up the managers, two teenage girls who were cashiers and the maintenance/cleaning guy (he walked in on the holdup). The assistant manager literally ‘messed’ in his pants. Fortunately, no one was seriously hurt. They never arrested anyone for it. I don’t remember the details of the dead woman, but it freaked everybody out that she died in the women’s restroom at the theater. I believe that she had a heart attack.
Harvey, cool marquee picture and theatre ads. Until only the last couple of years, you could see the drive-in parking spots w/ poles from the back of the trailer park next to where the theatre was located. As a child I remember seeing “Walt Disney’s Snow White” there. In my teens, I saw “Rollercoaster” there on my first drive-in movie date with a girl.
The Village Cinema was located in a little shopping center on Kingsley Avenue in uptown Orange Park. The last time I was in the area, If the shopping center is still there, a store called “Pinch-A-Penny” was located in the front and I believe there was a Dairy Queen in the right front of the shopping center parking lot near the road or just to the right of the shopping center near the road. I think the “Pinch-A-Penny” store was once a “Winn-Dixie” before it moved to the shopping strip that faces Highway 17 near Kingsley Avenue. The theater was inside, near the rear. The floors were flat (level) with no incline. I saw “One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest” and “The Song Remains The Same” at that theater. It wasn’t part of any theater chain and actually pulled a little muscle in the early days of the Orange Park 5. OP5 lost “Smokey and the Bandit” to them. OP5 ran the trailers and even had the “Coming Soon” poster up for “Bandit”, but was denied when it released.
I remember the San Marco. I must have seen “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” there twenty times in the 1970’s. I don’t get to Florida much these days. Would like to see the San Marco Theatre, as well as what they’ve done with The Florida Theater downtown. The Commodore Theater in downtown Portsmouth, Virginia is a wonderful theater experience if you are ever in that area. I am in agreement about the mega-cinemas. Unfortunately, I think they keep the movie going experience alive.
You could see the Town and Country Theater from the Arlington Expressway. I saw “Pretty Baby” with Brooke Shields and “The Jerk” with Steve Martin at this theater.
I remember the Florida Theatre from it’s down and out days when it was playing “Shaft”, “Blacula”, “Cotton Comes To Harlem” and “Super Fly”. It was pretty run down then, but glad to see that it has been revived.
Another theatre worth checking out is the 63 Year Old San Marco Theatre in Jacksonville, Florida!
There are a few old theatres that still make it. For example, The Commodore Theatre in downtown Portsmouth, Virginia serves traditional theatre fare (popcorn, candy, drinks) in their balcony with traditional theatre seating. On the main floor they serve meals to patrons seated at tables. The screen is HUGE and the theatre has been totally restored. Their ticket prices are less than the BIG GUNS and they do extremely well with first run pics like the new Indiana Jones flick. It can be done.
Kingsley Twin opened with Dino DeLaurentis “King Kong”. Theatre seated about 500 in each of the two theatres. Stayed around long enough to help the Orange Park Five Theatres at the Orange Park Mall put the Village Cinema Twin Theatre in uptown Orange Park out of business. General Cinema 4-Plex opened across the street from the mall and helped submarine the Kingsley Twin. Shortly after the Movies 10 of Orange Park (a United Artists theatre) opened near I-295, the General Cinema 4 was closed, demolished and turned into a Toys R Us. The Orange Park Five Theaters became a mega-plex of 20+ screens and is now the only theater in Orange Park as of 2008.