Rolling Acres Cinema

Rolling Acres Mall,
2400 Romig Road,
Akron, OH 44322

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Rolling Acres Cinema

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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 The theater was characterized as outdated, particularly at a time when Regal and Cinemark were on a multiplex building spree in the region.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 offered first run movies at discount prices, presently $6 for evening shows (6pm and after), $3.50 for matinee, and $3.50 all day Tuesday. It was closed around 2008.

Contributed by ra

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

markp
markp on March 2, 2008 at 10:22 pm

I have relatives who live near this theatre, and they inform me that the last 2 big anchor stores are going to close. This mall, other than the 2 anchors and the cinema is empty. I guess its only a matter of time before this theatre is gone for good.

markp
markp on August 12, 2009 at 8:39 am

Just back from a visit to family out this way. The theatre is most definitly closed, as is the entire mall. Only J.C. Penney and Sears remain, only because they own the stores. A May auction of the mall got no bidders at all. A shame too, since photos show it being a rather nice mall, but my relatives said crime in the area killed it years ago.

markp
markp on August 21, 2012 at 12:28 pm

I was in Ohio last week visiting, and went by this mall. The entire mall is closed and vacant including the theatre. Only store still in operation is the former JCPenney outlet store.

JCharles
JCharles on November 29, 2012 at 12:36 pm

Backing up the previous comments, you can see in this video that the theatre is indeed closed: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vcgFkJ9RBI

djsteveakron
djsteveakron on June 28, 2013 at 7:20 am

True story. we were at Rolling Acres Cinema for probably one of the last, if not the one, movies there (The Pink Panther, the first remake) And all the workers left during the movie (they werent even doing tickets, just some old guy making random hashmarks on a clipboard sheet)

Well we didn’t know they had all left till after the movie, we went out, and it being over around 10PM… found we were LOCKED IN!! thats right, and we were dancing and making a scene aound the security office, trying to poke in the store with all the swords and sharp shiny things, just trying to be noticed by SOMEONE (this was back in the days we weren’t attached to the hip by cell phones)

Finally someone inside stocking Target heard us pounding on thier door, and we left thru Target… lol that was my last visit to Rolling Acres, there was nothing left after that.

The mall is deserted and stripped of anything valuable.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on June 28, 2013 at 12:35 pm

You couldn’t have gone out an emergency exit inside the auditorium?

Chris1982
Chris1982 on May 21, 2014 at 5:58 pm

This Cinema should be changed to closed.

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