Comments from WilliamSpainhour

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WilliamSpainhour
WilliamSpainhour commented about Branmar Cinema on Jan 21, 2010 at 10:56 pm

I managed this house in the late-Seventies, when it was owned by George M. Schwartz Theaters out of Dover, DE, but was booked from Philadelphia. They had an odd mix of first-run with the occasional porn flick. We’d drape the windows in the auditorium doors so the teenage concession workers couldn’t see the hard core sex. The Cinemart also started as a legit house, but was running porn about the same period. Don’t know when it closed.

WilliamSpainhour
WilliamSpainhour commented about National Theatre on Jan 21, 2010 at 8:49 pm

This was a beautiful old place. Greensboro went on an urban renewal destruction rampage in the Sixties. The National was torn down for a parking lot, but for years you could see steps leading to nowhere at the sites of fine old houses. We can be thankful they saved the Carolina, another movie palace.

WilliamSpainhour
WilliamSpainhour commented about State Theatre on Jan 21, 2010 at 6:53 pm

The State was built around 1935 & fitted out for vaudeville as well as movies. It was a handsome house, but lack of maintenance put it in physical decline by the Seventies. Under David Bartholomew, and then Barry Solan, it played great films through the early Eighties. There were also live stage shows, including George Thorogood several times. Through some pretty crappy real estate machinations it was allowed to go vacant & deteriorate further before being torn down. The site sat vacant for years as the “Field of Dreams” before a mini-mall went up. Another loss for Newark, which never really seemed to care about its historic buildings anyway.

WilliamSpainhour
WilliamSpainhour commented about Colony Theater on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:32 pm

This was a rather large streamline moderne house built around 1940. It was later joined by the Miracle Theater, which was one building down. The Colony was abandoned in the 1970s and finally torn down around 2006 after part of it collapsed during an attempted renovation for condos.

WilliamSpainhour
WilliamSpainhour commented about Carolina Theater on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:28 pm

This was nice house, but not too large, built around 1927. They dinked up the facade with an ill-advised renovation around 1960. During that retrofit they also installed a curved Panavision/Cinemascope screen and enlarged the lobby, while reducing the auditorium’s size. The place had become a storefront church by 1978 and then burned. All of downtown Fayetteville’s theaters were neglected and abandoned. None of the old ones exist today.

WilliamSpainhour
WilliamSpainhour commented about Fine Arts Theatre on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:22 pm

Steve is right. There was no curtain at the Fine Arts. I was an assistant manager there in the early Seventies. The screen was shadow-boxed. During my time we had a problem with distortion at each end of the projected image. This was caused by an incorrect lens that KB wouldn’t bother to replace. I recall the director of “Sounder” going crazy during the opening and demanding to be taken to the booth. Sure enough, you had to exit the theater and go next door to get there. A strange arrangement. But it was still a fun place to work.

WilliamSpainhour
WilliamSpainhour commented about MacArthur Theater on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:17 pm

I managed this house in the early Seventies, during the 70 MM reissue of The Sound Of Music. The picture/sound facilities were great at that time. It was the only “palace” I ever ran. I’m glad I was with KB when things were still top drawer.