Janus Theatres

1416 Northwood Street,
Greensboro, NC 27408

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Help us make this street view more accurate

Please adjust the view until the theater is clearly visible. more info

Janus after closing.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

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 15 comments)

canibfrankwithyou
canibfrankwithyou on September 18, 2011 at 1:30 pm

The “Janus” underwent a continuing evolution of projection and sound technologies as the owner always wanted whatever was cutting edge at the time. The original two screens each had twin 6000' “Century” projectors with “Strong” X-16 Xenon Lamps. The booth also implemented among the first “EPRAD” Automation systems. 35mm 4Track Magnetic Sound was also used. Later in the 70’s the treatre had two of the first “DOLBY” CP-50 sound processors in the state for “STARWARS”. The early 80’s brought about the change to platter type film transports versus reel to reel changeovers. Another change brought about by platters was adding synchronous motors to projectors to allow a single print to be run in more than one auditorium at once. This feature became invaluable during the opening weeks of popular films due to the dimenished seating capacity of modern cinemas. In the 90’s “DOLBY” Digital Sound was added for a new “STARWARS” title. “DTS” also known as “DIGITAL THEATRE SYSTEMS” processors were also added to accomodate prints recorded in that format. Different film companies at that time used proprietary digital sound formats. Today a film print can contain all three digital soundtracks as well as the standard optical analog track. With the later addition in the 70’s, of screens 5,6,7, “CINEMACANICA” V-14 Italian projectors with 16,000' reels were installed. Screen 7 projection booth was located in a closet at the back of the auditorium. Film on these projectors were rewound directly on the projector without removal. Later when the screening room was added a “Century” projector mounted on a “Christie” console was installed in an inclosed space on the roof projecting into a front surface mirror to reflect into the rear screen panel. A “Christie” platter on the lower level fed film on a path of rollers attached to the ladder leading to the roof level. Sync motors and rollers were also in place to accomodate single print use between the “Century” and the two “Cinemacanicas” on the lower level. After a fire in 93 that destroyed the booth in screen 5,6, and the screening room all the projectors were replaced with “SIMPLEX” turrets mounted on “Cinema Film Systems” Consoles. The screening room projection booth on the roof was enlarged to accomodate the platter as well. The ladder access was maintained to accomodate print sync. Having been in this business for over 40 years and having traveled the entire U.S. in the cinema equipment field, this was one of the more unique cinemas I’ve had the pleasure to work with.

Malin_Archia
Malin_Archia on February 26, 2012 at 5:00 pm

The Janus was the only theater in the Winston-Salem/Greensboro area to show the infamous movie ‘Showgirls’ when it was released in 1995. Controversial at the time, my husband and I went to see it opening weekend. A local newschannel was waiting outside of the theatre, asking patrons how they liked the movie and if it was as shocking as rumored. We ducked and ran to the car, embarrassed and afraid that members of our church would see that we had gone to see ‘Showgirls’!

raysson
raysson on February 27, 2012 at 10:30 am

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 8:36 am

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 21, 2012 at 7:07 pm

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 12:34 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 12:39 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 12:09 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 1:25 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 9:40 am

December 20th, 1968 grand opening ad uploaded here.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater