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I should correct a previous comment I made. I work as an usher at the Gaston Mall Theatre in early 1971. I was there for Bambi, Cougar Country, Joe and a few more. Just worked there a couple of months.
Didn’t even know the Belmont drive-in was still open. I thought the only still going in this area was the Kings Mtn-Bessemer City drive-in. I’ve really never heard of the story about the Diane 29 family being murdered but I’m gonna check it out.
By the way, the name Richard Hamilton sounds familiar but I can’t remember the guy in the booth at the old Gaston mall theater.
Mike, it did become a carpet outlet before they tore it down. I’ve never heard of the murder you talk about at the old Diane 29, North and South as we called them back then. However, there was a very gruesome murder not far from there in 1973 I think. The old Lincoln Academy is there at Crowders Mountain which the drive in sat next to. The girl’s name was Kathleen Smiley and I’m thinking she was from Atlanta. Very young, maybe late teens.
Not really a theater buff but I worked as an usher at the Gaston Mall Theater in 1970. I think that was the first year it and the mall were open. I was 15 and worked there for 4 months. The first movie I worked was Bambi…how the heck do I remember that! The manager at that time was Leroy Russell. He was later elected sheriff of Gaston County and served in that office for many years. This theater is gone now as the mall is being renovated and actually turned into a strip mall. I’m sure that my time there was before John Mackey. Your mention of it just took me back in time for a minute.