Janus Theatres

1416 Northwood Street,
Greensboro, NC 27408

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Janus after closing.

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The Janus Theatres in Greensboro North Carolina opened its doors to the public on December 20, 1968 as a twin theatre. It was the South’s most elegant theatre and it was the second twin theatre to open in North Carolina. At the time of its opening the Janus 1 & 2 was one of the first modern ultra theatres in the South between Washington and Atlanta. to have full automated projection and stereophonic sound. The first films shown were “Yellow Submarine” and “Elvira Madigan”. By 1970 it expanded to four screens and by 1975 three more screens were added to expand to seven screens. By 1981, it eventually grew to eight screens and was Greensboro’s top entertainment showplace when it closed in 2000. It was demolished to make way for luxury condos and speciality shops. The Janus Theatres showed many first-run blockbusters and well as smaller independent and art films, as well as special features of interest.

Contributed by John Brannon

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

raysson
raysson on February 27, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I saw SHOWGIRLS where it played in the Raleigh-Durham area when it was released in 1995 at the Imperial VI Cinemas in Cary. SHOWGIRLS only played in selected theatres upon it’s release. But SHOWGIRLS wasn’t the first movie to have a controversial following in the Carolinas,especially in the greater Greensboro area.

The Janus also was the ONLY theatre in the greater Triad area in 1990 to show the controversial and explicit frank and sexually graphic film HENRY AND JUNE that was in the first movie to be released with the MPAA’s new “NC-17” rating(originally “X”). It was one of four cinemas in North Carolina that show it during its theatrical release. The others were in Charlotte, Asheville,and Raleigh.

Carprog
Carprog on June 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm

The Cinema Theater was not downtown but on Tate St. near UNC-G. I saw “The Getaway” there in 1972 or 3, first run.

raysson
raysson on June 22, 2012 at 3:07 am

Carprog: The Cinema Theater is listed on this site located on Tate Street near the UNC-G campus. I also saw “The Getaway” there around Christmas of 1972,first-run.

raysson
raysson on June 26, 2013 at 8:34 pm

The Janus Theatres 1 & 2 was the South’s most elegant theatre when it opened on December 20,1968 as North Carolina’s second twin theatre after Charlotte’s Charlottetowne Mall Cinema 1 & 2 that opened in 1963.

These new back-to-back theatres are the first to open in the South between Washington and Atlanta to have full automated projection and stereophonic sound in both auditoriums. By 1970,it expanded to three screens and by 1975 four more screens were added when it expanded to seven screens. It became a eight-screen theatre by 1981. It closed in 2000 as the Janus 8.

raysson
raysson on June 26, 2013 at 8:39 pm

It opened on December 20,1968 with the exclusive Eastern North Carolina engagement showing of “Yellow Submarine”,which was an animated cartoon featuring the voices of The Beatles.

Janus II had the Swedish foreign film “Elvira Madigan”.

The Coming Attractions for the Janus 1 & 2 were:

-Richard Harris in CAMELOT

-Alan Arkin and Rita Moreno in PAPI

-Malcolm McDowell in Lindsay Anderson’s IF

jayology
jayology on July 14, 2013 at 8:09 pm

After the Janus closed, the buildings were razed and the lot sat empty for over a decade. All that remained was the old parking lot until 2012, when First Citizens Bank built a fine looking branch at the location.

Star Wars opened at the Janus on June 17, 1977. In a (spoiler-rich!) review from that days Greensboro Daily News, staff writer Russ Edmonston, who had attended a special showing the night before, wrote, “The [Janus] management has installed a dolby-stereo [sic] sound system to enhance the sound effects of specially prepared film. It is the only theater so equipped in North Carolina.”

On a personal note, the Janus was the theater where I saw Star Wars for the first time in summer of 1977. When the Special Edition was released twenty years later, I saw Episode IV in the exact same auditorium. Great memories!

raysson
raysson on July 19, 2013 at 9:25 pm

The Janus not only showed “STAR WARS:SPECIAL EDITION”

but the special editions of “THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK” and “THE RETURN OF THE JEDI” too.

rivest266
rivest266 on November 10, 2013 at 5:40 pm

December 20th, 1968 grand opening ad uploaded here.

raysson
raysson on October 18, 2014 at 12:56 am

Other movies that got first-run exclusive billing:

ALIEN-where it played on 2 screens in DOLBY STEREO

APOCALYPSE NOW-Directed by Francis Ford Coppula

The original STAR TREK:THE MOTION PICTURE

Steven Spielburg’s “E.T.”-played on 2 screens-DOLBY

“BACK TO THE FUTURE”

“TOP GUN”

Not to mention the North Carolina exclusive engagement showing of Steven Spielburg’s THE COLOR PURPLE

raysson
raysson on October 18, 2014 at 12:58 am

The JANUS also got the adult “porn” films too. It got the only exclusive showing of the notorious adult picture EMANUELLE IN AMERICA first-run showing with complete matinees in early-1977.

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