Galaxy Funplex International 5
4975 Jimmy Carter Boulevard,
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Greens Corner Cinemas was opened by the original Georgia Theatre Company in July 1981. While the odd layout of the five auditoriums gave it some individuality, it was not much different from the bare bones shoebox style of theatre construction started in the 1970’s. The bland Greens Corner Shopping Center is located at the intersection of Jimmy Carter Boulevard (the old Norcross Tucker Road) and Rockbridge Road and was anchored by a K Mart and grocery store. The box office and entrance doors of the theatre, all that was visible from the parking lot, were located at the southern end of the center at the end of an open air hallway flanked by a sandwich shop and a game room.
The #1 auditorium was located on the left hand side of the lobby just past the concession stand and held 370 seats. #2 was next door to it and held 120 seats. A short hallway led to #’s 3 and 4 which held 254 and 240 seats respectively. #5 was located directly off the lobby and held 400 seats. #1 had a first generation push button Dolby system from the start. In October 1982, a two channel Eprad Dolby system was installed in #5. This was later upgraded to full 4 channel. The other houses were mono. #1 was the only house with a good sized screen, but it was ruined by giving it the hand painted silver screen treatment for 3D presentations. This produced an incredible hot spot on the screen and very uneven light distribution for the picture. The projection booth was equipped with Century 35MM projectors and Potts platters, a three tier for #5 and a five tier for #1 and 2 and another five tier for #3 and 4. In addition, 3 and 4 could be interlocked.
In 1981, Gwinnett County was just beginning to develop into what for years would be one of the fastest growing counties in the US. In the fall of 1982, the Gwinnett Place Mall opened a few exits up I-85. This had the effect of sucking up the entire available teenaged employment pool for the southern half of the county. At this time, the closest theatre (other than the third run Gwinnett and Northeast Expressway Drive-Ins) was the GCC Northlake. Greens Corner did outstanding business from the very start and it was not unusual to sell out all 5 houses at once on weekend nights. After two years of this monopoly, AMC opened an eight-plex across from Northlake Mall. GCC opened a six-plex at the Gwinnett Place Mall in October 1984. Shortly after that , Plitt opened 6 more across the street from the GCC 6. Even with this competition, Greens Corner continued to do well. In those days when 6 was considered a multiplex, there were still plenty of movies to go around, and Greens Corner which was located almost exactly between Northlake and Gwinnett Place could play the same movies as either of these locations.
The beginning of the end started in 1987 when Georgia Theatre Company sold out to United Artists Theatres. Other than the Lenox 6 and Southlake and Shannon 8’s, UA was not really interested in any of the GTC locations and had no interest at all in keeping any of the employees, no matter where they worked. They were mainly interested in getting into the Atlanta market without having to build up one location at a time. Within 5 or so years, every former GTC location had been closed (except for the Lenox which held out until 1999.) By this time UA had been bought out by Regal. This location was disposed of in the great wave of bankruptcies and theatre closings of the late 90’s. It did have a brief moment of local notoriety in the early 90’s when a former employee kidnapped an assistant manager from the site and took her on a multi state odyssey before returning to Atlanta where he was captured and she was released unharmed.
Greens Corner has a happier story than most of the other GTC places. The Bollywood people have moved their operation there from the Stonemont Twin. In September 2005, I visited the theatre and the very friendly staff let me in to look around and trade stories about the past and present of this location. To their credit they have removed the hand painted silver screen from #1 and redraped #1 and #5 as well as putting in a larger screen in #5. Other than showing the usual effects of 24 years of constant public use, the theatre still looks much the same as it did opening day.
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