Westgate Cinema IV

W.O. Ezell Boulevard,
Spartanburg, SC 29301

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I was the projectionist for the Westgate Cinema in 1979. Had two auditoriums of the same size, one red trim one blue trim. Converted later to four screens. When I was there there, it was a single projector-platter in the left one and dual projectors in the right one Xenon arc Christie autowind platter. A concesssion stand in front center.

Contributed by richard reagan

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 2, 2011 at 1:20 am

Hard to get folks in South Carolina to get on Ct.I have left several Questions about Theatres in Columbia and no response.

GMNash
GMNash on March 29, 2011 at 4:24 am

PatriciaNC… OMG, I just happened to be looking at the cinemas in Spartanburg, searching for the theatre that a friend, and former boss, of mine with Litchfield, had managed in the late 80’s, to early 90’s, and it was the Westgate. The manager around this time was Charlie Hopkins. I believe you mentioned a David Hopkins had seen some of this crime in process. David was Charlie’s son. WOW! I had no idea this had taken place…. but I had stepped out of the business in 1989, so kind of lost contact. Litchfield Theatres Ltd., had this theatre through 1990 or 1991, and Regal bought them after their owner, Foster McKissick, was killed in a plane crash at Pawleys Island SC. Body never recovered after it over shot the airport there.

PatriciaCarol
PatriciaCarol on March 29, 2011 at 4:59 am

GMNash- I was told it was one of the worst robberies many had ever heard of in the industry. Yes, David Hopkins was the off-duty employee identified as stopping by the theatre that night and finding the films showing but no employees running the theatre. You are absolutely right about Mr. McKissick’s plane going down (October 25, 1990). My father worked for Mr. McKissick for a brief time in 1980 and thought the world of him; was quite distraught over the news. Your friend, if he managed the theatre in the late 80s would have worked for General Cinema no doubt since they didn’t sell the theatre to Litchfield until 1989.

GMNash
GMNash on March 29, 2011 at 5:18 am

PatriciaNC, then it was in 1989. Charlie was here in Nashville at the Courtyard 8 from 1988 until March of 1989. Litchfield moved him back to take the Westgate Cinemas that spring, and left me as manager here. I stopped by the theatre on my way back home from Hilton Head, probably in 1990 to see them, went to grab dinner with Charlie, his wife, and David.

I met Mr. McKissick once, he came to the grand opening here in Nashville. I remember Charlie telling me of the plane going down, and signaled, once again, the end of Litchfield Theatres. I believe Regal bought them in 1991. I don’t know if the resort, Litchfield By The Sea, still remains.

GMNash
GMNash on March 29, 2011 at 5:25 am

Oh, and I think I remember Charlie telling me a new theatre was built, or was going to be built at the mall…. don’t know any specifics, though, but the theatre I was in was in need of some TLC at the time.

Grant67
Grant67 on April 30, 2011 at 9:07 pm

The original Westgate Cinema (owned by Plitt Theatres) in Spartanburg was opened on W.O. Ezell Blvd. in the 70’s beside Paul M. Dorman High School. I think I saw JAWS there in the summer of 75 and Star Wars there in 77. I remember going to see the Bill Murray movie STRIPES there over 10 times in 81. haha Saw BLADE RUNNER there in 83. Clash of The Titans, Raiders of The Lost Ark, many others. Lots of great memories. I lived across the street from the theatre in Wadsworth Hills. Just a stroll across the street and I was at the movies. In 1984 they opened the other cinema behind the mall. I saw PURPLE RAIN there. The original cinema closed sometime in 86 I believe. It was later torn down and a Barnes and Noble bookstore is there now. Dorman High School was moved to Roebuck and the Dorman Centre with a Wal-Mart and loads of other stores replaced it.

Grant67
Grant67 on April 30, 2011 at 9:23 pm

As mentioned above, sometime in the early 90’s there were two people killed at the Westgate Mall Cinema. Both were shot execution style in a robbery by two former employees who were caught soon after and each were put to death for these crimes. In 98 the Westgate Cinema was torn down during mall expansion and relocated inside the mall on the second floor above the food court. A few years later, a 16 screen theatre, the Spartanburg 16 was opened a short distance away from the mall. I thought that would be the demise of the mall theatre, but thankfully it is still going. Over the years lots of theatres have come and gone in Spartanburg. It’s hard to believe that there were 5 different operating theatres (probably single or double screens) downtown back in the 50s. I saw An American Werewolf In London at Pinewood Cinema back in 1981. That was quite a treat for a 14 year old boy. I apologise for rambling…I’ll catch you folks later on down the trail…

Coate
Coate on May 2, 2011 at 3:03 am

<<< “I was the projectionist for the Westgate Cinema in 1979. Had two auditoriums of the same size, one red trim one blue trim. Converted later to four screens.” Contributed by richard reagan >>>

<<< “The original Westgate Twins then Westgate IV…” posted by SCPP on May 22, 2005 >>>

I don’t see any evidence this particular WestGate ever had four screens.

Coate
Coate on May 2, 2011 at 4:56 pm

<<< * “I think I saw JAWS there in the summer of 75 and Star Wars there in 77.” — posted by Grant67 on Apr 30, 2011* >>>

Actually, it was those films' sequels that played at WestGate. The original “Jaws” played first-run at Hillcrest Twin, and the original run of “Star Wars” was at Royal Twin.

nmc2233
nmc2233 on May 3, 2011 at 1:26 am

Michael,

I am familiar with your extensive “Jaws” list, but where is your comparable “Star Wars” list? Obviously not the 30th anniversary one posted here and on in70mm.com

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