Showing 1 - 25 of 52 comments
What’s in the spot of this theatre now in the shopping center? Anna’s Linens?
Saw on Facebook this drive-in was demolished by a storm yesterday :(
Apparently for sale according to the UDITOA site.
Drove by this cinema the other day. Nothing was on the marquee, should be marked as closed.
The property is now owned by an animal sanctuary. They purchased in roughly 2009 and have a facility on the north west corner of the property, and use the rest to walk dogs, etc. Adding a good deal of photos of the property as it stands today to the photos section.
In talking with the proprietor of the animal sanctuary, apparently when they bought the property, it was as if everything had been untouched. Like when Hugo took the screen down in 1989, they just turned the lights off and left the property. Both projectors were still in the projection building even though the roof was caving in!
The proprietor of the property told me they took all the reels, projectors and stuff out and tried hard to sell, but no one wanted them. They even tried to donate to a museum in California, but still no takers. Unfortunately, ended up being sold for scrap. Wish I would have known, but a little too late to the game.
There also used to be an 8,700 pound small scale working train when the drive-in was called the Hitching Post. The train still remains in perfect condition and is owned and located at a gentleman’s home in Lexington, NC.
WildJoker, get in touch with me. I was scouting this location for reopening about 6 months ago. I’m not sure there is much grade left in the land and there is nothing usable on the premises in regards to structure, but I have some information on who owns the property, contact info on the last operator of this drive-in, pictures from last fall of what the property looks like, not to mention some quotes on screen, digital projector, vending equipment, etc. I’d be interested in talking with you, maybe we could work together as I’ve flirted with the idea of re-opening a drive-in in Piedmont NC for some time now. My email is
raysson, they must have reopened at some point. Here’s the article from just 10 days ago (sorry I don’t know how to condense the link on this site): http://www.salisburypost.com/article/20131104/SP01/131109870/0/SEARCH&slId=2
Apparently, this theater is closed indefinitely right now. An article from the November 5, 2013 Salisbury Post that a main sewer line has backed up in the building repeatedly over the past month, and efforts to get the problem under control through owner Namdar Realty Group of NYC have been unsuccessful.
There’s a sign supposedly on the cinema that says, “The Landlord has not responded to phone calls or letters, and there is no expectation that there will be any corrective action taken to resolve the sewage problems. So we have no choice but to CLOSE."
Hopefully, this can get worked out, would be a shame to lose another cinema for no good reason other than a lousy landlord.
I’m not sure. I actually was going to buy it, but I had promised myself to not go over $30k. I had a pre-qual drawn up to $35k just to have a little overhead. This bid was in and they wanted $33k and I stuck to my guns. I was planning on re-opening if I bought, but the ROI was suspect. I had quotes on screen ($85k), digital projector ($70k), building upfit ($100k) and new appliances in the concession stand (roughly $45k). So, roughly a $330k investment. Unfortunately, I’m not sure with a loan of nearly $3k a month, the location, the seasonal nature of drive-ins, etc. I could have really done that well. I probably could have made a living, and kind of hate I didn’t go a little higher just to have the land and see where it goes, but I am happy I stuck to my guns too. Easy to get auction fever and keep throwing the hand up.
Property sold this Saturday at absolute auction for $31,000. 6.3 acres, concession stand, ticket booth, dilapidated screen. Land is still nicely graded.
We have several decent photos of the exterior in the photos section now. Could we get one of them to replace the empty sign as the main photo? I was out there the other day and that sign has been removed too at this point.
Newtowne is actually beside the JR Tobacco Discount Outlet. It’s still standing unless it’s been torn down in the past month or two. It’s sandwiched in between the JR Outlet on the left side near the highway and the pizza place with the high pointed triangular roof that is right off the highway.
Anyone know when this closed?
I took the time to drive by the Ritz a week or so ago after work. It still pretty much looks exactly like the current Google Earth photo with the sign on one side still standing.
Unfortunately, this theater is located in a part of town that I honestly felt a little uncomfortable going to during the middle of the day. It’s a shame this part of the city hasn’t had some urban renewal efforts because it’s only about .25-.5 mile outside of the nice areas of downtown where so much is happening.
All of the buildings around it are caved in or razed now. The ones across the street are boarded up. I contacted the real estate agent for the property, as it is still for sale, and asked him a few questions. He didn’t know when it closed, but his personal opinion was that even though most everything (seating, etc) is still in the building, he things the structure is the only salvageable thing and all else needs to be gutted and replaced.
Downtown renewal is moving in that direction some, but so slowly that I have a feeling this theater will be demolished long before it has a chance to be revitalized.
Thanks for all the pics for this theater, Ken! Was it still operational in 1993 or already closed at this point?
This was actyally Starlite Drive-in. Checked with a family member who grew up in the area.
This theatre was actually the North Wilkesboro. I checked with a family member who grew up in the area.
Final day open was November 1, 1987.
Allanhowls, do you remember a more specific address for this drive-in?
Wow, wish I had a cinema near me like this! I’d be there every weekend.
That’s got to be it. Screen was gone as far back as 20 years ago looking at the aerials, though it looked like a lot of other buildings were on the property then that are now gone. Must have been used as a flea market after a theater I bet.
Wonder what happened to the beautiful marquee that donned this building in the above picture. Happy to hear it is still in operation though. Has it made the conversion to digital yet I wonder?
I didn’t realize the Newtowne was in operation as far back as 1969. Do you guys know what year exactly it opened? We used to eat at the pizza place beside it once a month or so when I was younger and I caught several shows at the Newtowne during the 1990s.
From the looks of Google Earth, this cinema has now been completely demolished.