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The 2 Lakeside locations were open at least through 1999, and I believe until mid 2000. Esplanade was open until the GC bankruptcy in October 2000. Esplanade was one of the few dozen theatres that helped bring about the bankruptcy of General Cinema. Despite having very good presentation, one of the only THX auditoriums in Louisiana, and being a popular location during the late 1980’s and into the 1990’s, due to it’s obscenely high lease costs, it never made a profit in it’s entire existence.
This theatre closed on December 13, 2007. It was replaced by the new AMC Castleton Square 14, located 2 miles East on 82nd St at the Castleton Square Mall. The theatre is vacant, all equipment, seats, screens, etc. were removed.
The theatres didn’t close until the early 1980’s. They existed at least through early 1983 and possibly as late as 1985. The Regency and the South 31 Drive In were both demolished to make way for the Greenwood Point shopping center with Cub Foods locating on the Regency site. If someone can find out when Cub’s opened, that would be about 1 year after the Regency was closed and demolished.
The theatres had rocking chair seats.
The theatres were among the first in Indy with Dolby Stereo and also had frequently played films with Sensurround in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Rollercoaster and Battlestar Galactica (yes, it was released theatrically in 1980) both played in that format and were the last 2 sensurround films released if I remember correctly.
The General Cinema theatre opened in November 1974 as a triple, with one seating just over 600, the other 2 seating 325 and 285. The largest auditorium was split in 1979, giving both around 295 each. Dolby stereo was only in #3(325) and added sometime around 1983. The theatre closed with the opening of the new Greenwood 14 in March 2000.
It opened in early June 1981 and closed in April 1999. The 3 auditoriums seated (5)325, (6)330, and (7) 335. Dolby stereo was in #7.
After the reseating, the capacity of each auditorium only dropped by roughly 12 seats each. Final capacity in each was around 483, varying by a couple from #1 to #2
actually the largest auditorium seated 335.
When the theatre closed in 1994, portions of the equipment transferred to other GC locations. The General Cinema logo sign on the front that faced Keystone, was moved to Lafayette Sq 1-2 and replaced the orginal 1968 sign on the side of that mall. It was removed from there in 1998.
As to the embezzlement situation, those involved were reported to the IRS for non-reported income. The IRS did get their share. So they didn’t get off completely.
The theatre in the mall did indeed open in 1968 and was a single screen seating just under 1000. It was split into a twin at some point in the mid 1970’s giving each auditorium about 495 seats each. The triple stand alone in the S.E. parking lot was opened in 1975. It was built as a 3 screen seating between 315 to 335 each. The mall location was 1 & 2, the parking lot was 3 – 5. The mall location closed in May 1998, with the parking lot theatre closing in late 1999 or early 2000 prior to the bankruptcy of General Cinema in October 2000.
The Lafayette Square 1-2 was remodeled in stages from January 1991 to Spring of 1994. The lobby was repainted in 1991, carpet replaced in late 1991, new seats in aud #2 in 1992, and in #1 in 1993. The screens were replaced with new silver screens around that time also. The concession stand was remodeled in 1992 with a canopy added and back lit graphics added in 1993 and 1994. Computerized ticketing and concessions were added in 1997. In 1993 the dolby stereo system was dramatically updated in #2 and in 1994, DTS digital was added. In 1994 auditorium #1 also received a significant sound upgrade with SDDS digital ready components and dolby added. During the early 1990’s the arcade area expanded and around 1995 a mobile concession stand was added for a brief time. The theatre was one of the few twin theatres remaining in the country that still made an annual profit throughout most of the 1990’s and was closed in May 1998 when it’s lease expired.
The theatre opened in 1973 as a twin, and expansion started in fall of 1986 with the twin portion closing sometime just after Jan 1, 1987 and the original 2 auditoriums remodeled and then the lobby connected with the new expansion and that portion re-opened in March of 1987 with the 4 new auditoriums opening in May 1987. With that remodel, the original auditorium #2 had dolby stereo added and the new auditoriums 3 & 4 had dolby also. Auditorium #3 was actually built based on THX specifications (materials, sound proofing, hvac system, etc.) and was supposed to have been Indy’s first actual THX certified auditorium. That was dropped in the last few months of construction however, due to budget constraints and the upgraded equipment (special amps, wiring, etc.) wasn’t added.
In 1993, DTS digital was added to #3, and sometime between 1993 and 1995, SDDS digital was added to #4, DTS to #2. In 1997, dolby was added to #1, and in 1998 or 1999, dolby was added to #’s 5 & 6.
The theatre closed on January 9, 2004.
The booth was mostly stripped as was most of the concession equipment, poppers, etc. The only thing that remained in the building as of June 2004 were the seats, screens, and cabinets/counters. The building still is standing, however in June 2004 the entire mall closed and the theatre building is in a state of decay due to no one monitoring or maintaining it. The equipment was sold is generally used as spare parts by parts companies for older equipment that is still in use or purchased by theatres in other countries that are a generation or two behind the U.S., Japan, or Europe technically.
Unfortunately with the building’s neglect, it would cost several hundred thousand dollars to rehab it and probably should be demolished.
There was supposedly a plan in late 1998 or early 1999 to replace the buildling with a new 16 screen facilty sometime in 2003 or 2004. The then property owners Simon & Assoc. and the theatre operator General Cinema were supposed to have agreed to demolish the southern half of the existing mall, remove the old Cub Foods building, and build a new mega plex on the old mall property connecting it with the old portion of the mall at the food court. The mall would be again remodeled from the food court on North. The developer then would attract restaraunts and such to the perimeter of the mall property. The old theatre would be demolished to make way for new developement in addition to the Cubs site. This all fell through with Simon selling the mall property in late 1999 or early 2000 to a private owner and then General Cinema’s bankruptcy in October of 2000 and later acquisition by AMC in late March 2002.