Cinema Blue 2

419 Eastway Drive,
Charlotte, NC 28205

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Cinema Blue 2

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in the Eastway Shopping Center, the Trans-Lux Inflight Twin Cinema opened on Charlotte’s east side on January 21, 1970. It was Charlotte’s second twin theatre in town after the Charlottetown Mall Cinemas opened in 1963. The opening attraction for the grand opening of the Trans-Lux Inflight Twin Cinemas was “Gaily, Gaily” starring Beau Bridges, which played in both auditoriums, known as Cine One & Cine Two. It was operated under Brandt Theatres.

The neighborhood and the theatre declined fairly quickly and by the mid-1970’s it was converted into one of Charlotte’s most notorious twin porn theatres, with the catchy name of Cinema Blue 2. The building is vacant now, but almost unrecognizable as a theatre. It has been tucked away in the back corner of an aging shopping center that has seen its final days.

Contributed by Mark Huffstetler, rayyson

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

ncmark
ncmark on March 24, 2009 at 4:50 am

The official name was Trans-Lux Inflight Cinema and they originally used 16mm film projectors like airlines first did. The individual screens were known at various times as cine gold & cine blue or cine 1 & 2. It was in a strip center anchored by a Zayre discount store.

drakeg59
drakeg59 on May 5, 2010 at 2:14 pm

used to change the marquee here in the early to mid 70’s……..used to get the films before they were headed out of town, or going to tv the next week……used to be famous for all night kung fu or horror marathons…

canibfrankwithyou
canibfrankwithyou on September 22, 2011 at 7:14 pm

Can remember servicing the projection equipment here. Projectors, if I remember were “Simplex” 35mm mounted on “EPRAD” Sword Reel to REEl Transports. Strippers performed stage routines while XXX films were rewound.

Jay Morong
Jay Morong on April 10, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Can anyone confirm that this theater is the building way at the back of the this shopping center? Or is it another building that sits somewhere else on the property? There is a free standing building (currently a 4545 address) that looks like it could have been the theater but it doesn’t jive with the info here. Anyone know?

raysson
raysson on August 3, 2012 at 8:51 am

I have found the ad for the grand opening of theatre. This will be corrected and posted. Any questions concerning this please feel free to e-mail at

DannyHall
DannyHall on September 9, 2012 at 9:36 pm

THis Theater used to have a nortorious night club next door called the Cest Bon Club. I believe it was connected to the guy that ran the porn bookstore on Independence at Pecan: Joy Adult Books. He converted this theater to the Climax one and Two ( Im not kidding) as well as the Trans Lux in Kannapolis NC to Joy Adult Theater.They had the Burlington Trans Lux as well, also porn.

All of these were taken over by Entertainment World of Durand Michigan, owned by the notorious Virgil Phil Mahoney, late of Las Vegas Porn Museum fame.

( see Durand Dirties) ( see wickipedia entry) He converted the Climax to Cinema Blue, added a porn bookstore, peep show and huge game room. It was a porn shopping mall. They had a stage in one auditorium, and on Sunday nights they had an amateur strip show that was very popular with college students and service industry people. It was hosted by a redheaed woman in her 60’s called “Bubbles”, who would also to a tassle strip tease act. Drag Queens, amateur strippers, strippers from strip clubs all came to this. The famous Morgana used to perform here ( she got famous doing college lectures, she has enormous Russ Myers breasts, and they were natural)

They took over the former Cest Bon club, and added it to the theater complex by connecting the lobby area. There was a revolving stage in the Cest Bon space that got torn out.

Entertainment World also ran the Kannapolis and Burlington Theaters as well. They converted the Kannapolis Theater to a dollar theater format in 1978, and closed it in 1980 ish.

They used Ogden Food Service to handle the concessions.

They later had a video tape rental club that was over 6000 square feet, and had over 40,000 members, .It was in the area that started out as a game room. Sometime in mid fall 1978, Parade magazine did an expose on the three biggest pornmograpers in the world, and Phil Mahoney was one, along with Ruebin Sturnim, who ran a porn bookstore in the same shopping center, just past Zayres ( soddomland shopping city was this places nick name, more beacuse of the gay bat Oddysey located at the end than the porn places.

There was a funny local news item where they interviewed people in the shopping center, on the sidewalk, up by Zayres, and NONE of them expressed any negative views about any of these businesses..ahh, the 70’s….

Porn stars frequently appeared here, one of them was Mahoneys girl.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 10, 2012 at 12:32 pm

A former Trans-Lux executive, Bob Maar, writing at Film-Tech Forum, says in the second reply on this forum page that the Trans-Lux Inflight Cine in Charlotte opened in June, 1968 (he also gives opening years for the other four Inflight operations in North Carolina, all of which were single-screeners.) Like the other early Inflight twins, the house had two auditoriums of 350 seats each.

This web page has an article from the November, 1961, issue of Modern Mechanix which describes the automated, 16mm projection system developed by Inflight Motion Pictures, Inc, for showing movies on airliners. A version of this system was used in the earthbound theaters which Inflight opened in partnership with Trans-Lux beginning in 1968. The first house, a 350-seat single-screener, was opened at Bartow, Florida, that year.

This article (upper left) in Boxoffice of November 13, 1967, tells about Trans-Lux’s plans for the Inflight chain. It notes that the theaters were being designed by architect John McNamara.

homeboundguy
homeboundguy on March 12, 2014 at 12:34 pm

I was 17 when I first went to Cinema Blue and it was and still is BY FAR the cleanest and nicest porn business I had ever seen. Huge store, GREAT game room (they had 10-12 pinball machines and they were kept in good condition, some of them were from the 1960’s; large theatres that were generally kept clean; and a large peep show area. The city of Charlotte closed it down when the state stregthened the laws regarding adult businesses and I had heard on the news where the city spent over $500K in legal fees and other expenses to close it down.

raysson
raysson on March 12, 2014 at 1:25 pm

THE TRANS-LUX TWIN THEATRE also have the privilege of showing exclusives that were absent from Charlotte’s reserved seat attractions of the early-1970’s. One of those features was “ANNE OF THE THOUSAND DAYS” that played here as a general release in mid-1970. The film played on two screens at general prices.

The other big attraction was when “WALKING TALL” play here to sold-out capacity crowds upon its general release on February 22,1973. The film broke all Charlotte attendance records as the longest running movie to ever played here where it stayed for 32 weeks before it ended its phenomenon run in December of that year.

The TRANS-LUX did big business until the change in mid-1975 when management decided to close this theatre and it became the notorious CINEMA BLUE 2.

“THE DEVIL IN MISS JONES” became the longest-running adult feature at the CINEMA BLUE 2 where it lasted until early-1979 running for more than five years.

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