Westgate Cinema IV

W.O. Ezell Boulevard,
Spartanburg, SC 29301

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nmc2233
nmc2233 on May 2, 2011 at 5:26 pm

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

Coate
Coate on May 2, 2011 at 8:56 am

<<< * “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.

Coate
Coate on May 1, 2011 at 7:03 pm

<<< “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.

Grant67
Grant67 on April 30, 2011 at 1:23 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…

Grant67
Grant67 on April 30, 2011 at 1:07 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.

GMNash
GMNash on March 28, 2011 at 9:25 pm

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.

GMNash
GMNash on March 28, 2011 at 9:18 pm

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.

PatriciaCarol
PatriciaCarol on March 28, 2011 at 8:59 pm

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 28, 2011 at 8:24 pm

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.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm

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

PatriciaCarol
PatriciaCarol on November 9, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Note: I still think there must have been two different Westgate Cinemas. THere is no question that GCC built and opened the Westgate Cinemas that I’m familiar with in 1984. I think it’s a very real possibility that the ‘first’ Westgate Cinemas were also located at the same mall and were torn down. Surely someone in Spartanburg will know?

PatriciaCarol
PatriciaCarol on November 9, 2010 at 7:46 pm

PatriciaNC’s husband was the DM with GCC (my brother’s career in the movie theatre business was short-lived but he was a pretty good popcorn popper!)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 9, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Patricia NC is right The WESTGATE Cinemas were GCC theatres .I worked for GCC and I bet Patricia NC’s brother was the DM!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 8, 2010 at 7:49 pm

The WestGate 1 and 2 Theatres were a Plitt Theatre operation. Nov.2 1979 sees “FOUL PLAY” returning for a Encore Engagement and Selling Dudley Moore from his “10” hit. Also playing was “GREAT SANTINI” Midnight show was “CLOCKWORK ORANGE” and “ROCKY HORROR”.
Jan 5 1980 and “KRAMER VS.KRAMER” is showing in Theatre Number One with “1941” playing.Both on Three week runs.Midnight show was “NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD” and “ROCKY HORROR”.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 26, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I think there was CIRCLE DRIVE-In in this town real Close to I-26.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on April 30, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Mike I think I have posted before with LOEWS we could not deposit over $1000.00 at a time in case we got robbed,but I will say at times we would drop 2 or 3 bags at a time just to save time,luckly nothing ever happened that I know of.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 29, 2010 at 2:23 pm

We tend to joke around with other old employees never thinking about facing an armed robbery.Two of my friends were robbed making a drop off at the bank. They had two desposit bags hidden under their coats so the bum only got one,About a week later they think the same guy robbed our City Manager of the Imperial in Augusta.He too was dropping off a deposit. I hoped they got fried for the murders.I couldn’t read the sad chapter.

PatriciaCarol
PatriciaCarol on March 28, 2010 at 10:20 am

On the night of January 7, 1991 two theatre employees of Westgate lost their lives during a robbery. Alex Hopps, a 19-year-old USC student and usher was first forced out of the theatre by David Rocheville and Richard Longworth, former employees of the theatre. Hopps was shot once in the head and left to die. Rocheville & Longworth convinced James Todd Green, 24 years old (I believe the Assistant Manager) to let them back in and then commenced the robbery. After removing cash from the safe they took Green with them, later killing him. An off duty employee, David Hopkins, would later stop by finding films on but no employees. He also recognized Rocheville rummaging through Green’s car. Everything you could possibly want to know about this sad chapter in the history of this theatre can be found at: View link

PatriciaCarol
PatriciaCarol on March 23, 2009 at 6:51 pm

I’m confused. As far as I know, General Cinema Corporation opened the Westgate Cinemas in February 1984. Six screens. See three photos of this Westgate that I refer to at my flckr site: View link
The theatre was sold to Litchfield in September of 1989. After that I do not know. Perhaps there was another earlier theatre at this same mall? I’ve always heard it called “Litchfield Theatres” but this might not be the correct name of that chain.

sctheatremanager
sctheatremanager on January 31, 2007 at 11:15 am

I was manager of the Westgate Theatres starting in 1977, replacing Mr. Ben Smart who was retiring. The theatre was owned then by ABC theatres. I never forget my moving date, transfered the day Elvis died and was there a few years before being transfered back to the theatres in Greenville, SC. With Dorman Hight Scholl being next door we had no shortage of good help and made many friends. I ended up making Spartanburg my home for good.

SCPP
SCPP on May 22, 2005 at 9:30 pm

This is not correct.

The original Westgate Twins then Westgate IV was torn down and on the same site was built a Barnes and Noble. This site is on WO Ezell next to the Wall Mart (old Dorman High School)

The Westgate 8 described by Charles replaced the Westgate mall 6 which was torn down when the mall was refurbed back in 1998. the Westgate Mall 6 was torn down in 98, the new Westgae Mall8 by Regal was built in the Food Court in the new mall