Rolling Acres Cinema
Rolling Acres Mall,
2400 Romig Road,
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Small screens, small theaters, and a small lobby render Rolling Acres Cinema a quintessentially 1980s box-style theater.
Opening for business shortly after Rolling Acres Mall’s opening in 1976, General Cinemas operated the theater profitably up until the late 1980s.
The cinema and mall garnered negative publicity when on March 9, 1991, a fight between two young men outside the theater incited a panic. During the scuffle, a metal sign was knocked over which was mistakenly interpreted as a gunshot. This sent panicked moviegoers and shoppers running through the mall, causing JCPenney’s and May Co. to shut the gates on their lower level entrances until police arrived. Although gangs and the movie “New Jack City” (which was letting out at the time) were initially rumored to have been the problem, in actuality the scuffle erupted over one man taking the other man’s jacket. Despite this information, mall management still requested that General Cinemas stop showing “New Jack City”, to which General Cinemas declined.
In September, 1992, the cinemas switched to a second-run, $0.99-a-show format, much to the dismay of mall management and tenants. This move was characterized as being bad for the mall, as management preferred to have cinemagoers with extra money to spend shopping, not bargain-hunters.
Citing several years of unprofitability, General Cinemas opted to close the theater with three years still remaining on the lease, on April 1, 1993. The theater was characterized as outdated, particularly at a time when Regal and Cinemark were on a multiplex building spree in the region.
The theater remained dormant until an independent group calling itself Blind Squirrel Cinema reopened the theater on December 15, 2000, with a warm reception from mall management. Interestingly enough, the theater took on hand-me downs, including screens and speaker, from Northfield Cinema (which closed in 1999). This incarnation closed in 2002.
Most recently, the theater reopened independently on November 26, 2003. It is currently offering first run movies at discount prices, presently $6 for evening shows (6pm and after), $3.50 for matinee, and $3.50 all day Tuesday.
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