Iwo Jima Theater

500 New Bridge Street,
Jacksonville, NC 28540

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Byrd on November 17, 2015 at 11:18 am

In 1967 I was in the fourth grade at Thompson Elementary which was 2 blocks behind Jacksonvilles largest theater The Iwo Jima with 599 seats. That year my teacher took our class for the 4 minute walk (2 by 2) to go grab some pop corn and watch “Old Yeller” as a class trip. It was so much fun!! Yes, we all cried at the end. Some 6 years later when I was 16, I got a job shoveling pop corn there. I changed hundreds of marquee’s and movie posters. I watched a parade down New Bridge Street once from inside the lobby. I stayed there for 5 more years until joining up with Uncle Sam and sailing the 7 seas for the next 20 years in the U.S. Navy’s Submarine Force. Now a Floridian at age 58, the years I spent working for Stewart & Everett Theaters, who owned Iwo Jima, was incredible. I was able to interact with thousands of customers, watch hundreds of movies from “B” films and everything in between & up to “The Exorcist” & “The God Father” all while earning 85 cents an hour. I lived on popcorn!! The Iwo was huge inside. It had 3 huge speakers behind the screen. The “Sound of Music” played there in 1965 for 12 weeks because of the huge seating capability. Don’t tell anyone but when a GREAT movie was showing, over the years now and then, after the last show let out on a Saturday night (non-school nite), my close friends and I would have our own private viewing of the film in that BIG theater. Thanks for the memories Stewart & Everett Theaters! I was able to get in for free to all their theaters…The “Center”, “Northwoods”, and especially the Drive Inn on Bell Fork road. I miss those fogged up windows!

raysson on July 22, 2015 at 9:11 am

The reserved seat engagement of THE SOUND OF MUSIC played here first-run.

robboehm on June 7, 2015 at 11:01 am

Photo of opening day referred to in the overview uploaded (Link has been removed).

NightHawk1 on November 15, 2013 at 10:05 pm

The radio station has left the former Iwo Jima Theater, it has since been converted into office space.

NightHawk1 on October 23, 2012 at 8:26 pm

I remember seeing a reference to a State Theatre in Jacksonville in a 1967 (Raleigh) News and Observer movie ad. Jacksonville’s Cardinal Theatre opened in 1969; at that point the State may have converted to second-run, grindhouse or porn. If the State and/or Onslow theaters were still operating in the 1970s, they were most likely showing porn and/or grindhouse films; Court Street was very sleazy during the 1970s. Both theaters were most likely demolished during a “cleanup” of Court Street in the early 1980s (similar to what happened to Fayetteville’s Hay Street grindhouses in the 1990s). The Iwo Jima closed in 1985, after the “cleanup” of Court Street but before Carmike took over S&E. The Iwo Jima is, to the best of my knowledge, the only downtown theater left in Jacksonville (which doesn’t have much of a downtown – Jax was a very small town before Camp Lejeune and New River Marine Corps Air Station were built during World War II).

kaykyserkenny on October 9, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Does anyone know of the existence, up until the ‘60s, of two theaters on/near Court Street, the State and the Onslow? Am I just imagining that, as a kid, I saw ads for them in the Daily News?

NightHawk1 on September 22, 2012 at 6:17 pm

The Iwo Jima Theater’s design was also used by the Wilrik Theatre in Sanford; both were Stewart & Everett Theatres.

kencmcintyre on December 16, 2009 at 1:45 pm

Apparently this museum has the old marquee:

67imprice on December 16, 2009 at 1:13 pm

I remember seeing the movie ‘Homebodies’ at the Iwo Jima in the fall of 1974 with my father. We were hoping it was going to be a suspenseful movie, which it was, but was also depressing – was about old people being forced out of their homes for new office buildings and their attempts to fight back. The weather that day outside the Iwo Jima was overcast and gloomy that day too. I was only 12 and that was my only time in that theatre.