Center Theatre 4
2000 Chapel Hill Road,
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The Center Theatre opened in 1966 next to the Lakewood Shopping Center, originally as a twin theater. I used to rememeber going down there a lot as a kid when they held their summer movie program. I even remember how huges and spacious those auditoriums were!
In 1983, one auditorium was split in two, making it a triple screen cinema. In 1986, the other auditorium was spilt in two, making it a 4-screen complex. This made the auditoriums seem quite long and narrow, thanks to the split-down-the-middle technique that they used. Still, it proved to remain quite a draw into the early 1990s, when a showing of “Boyz N The Hood” brought in record crowds. I used to work in a restaurant nearby and worked late hours for a couple of weeks to handle the movie-going crowd at the time.
By the following year, the Center fell out of favor and began showing second-run films in an attempt to stay afloat. Also, the surrounding neighborhood had been perceived to be a high crime area, which didn’t help draw in moviegoers needed to stay open. The Center Theatre 4 was closed by Carmike in 2001, and was later converted into a surplus store run by Duke University.
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