Janus Theatres

1416 Northwood Street,
Greensboro, NC 27408

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5minutes on March 22, 2017 at 5:35 pm

My favorite element of the Janus was the lighted hallways that led to the auditoriums. My friend and I would run up and down those halls pretending to be jumping into hyperspace. It was awesome.

Also that they let me get in to see the Abyss with my pockets obviously full of Andy Capp Hot Fries.

raysson on December 2, 2016 at 9:59 am

Let’s not forget the Janus' long-running engagement of ROCKY that ran from February 18,1977 to July 28,1977.
The original ROCKY movie was the Janus' second long-running engagement after “Star Wars” that ran for an astounding 64 weeks.

raysson on October 17, 2014 at 4:58 pm

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.

raysson on October 17, 2014 at 4:56 pm

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


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



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

rivest266 on November 10, 2013 at 9:40 am

December 20th, 1968 grand opening ad uploaded here.

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.

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 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

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 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.

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 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.

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’!

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.

canibfrankwithyou on September 18, 2011 at 11:56 am

The “JANUS” was independently owned by a Burlington, N.C. physician. Of note, when the theatre opened ,twin siblings were hired as ushers and dressed in the theatre colors. In the early 70’s an attached restaurant was converted to auditoriums 3&4. The seating capacity was 214 each for #1&2, and 193&176 for 3&4. Later in the 70’s a ladies apparel shop on an addjacent property was converted to three additional screens. Soon thereafter an addtional screen was added on a second level to become “The Penthouse Screening Room”. This was accompanied by “The Cinebar Lounge” which also had among the first “Advent” Videobeam front projectors. Early X&K Band Satellite Reception was available, Sports etc. Upscale food, and spirits were served. The screening room had a very luxurious and intimate feel as the seating was love seats and swivel lounges. The auditorium was fully carpeted on three levels of six inch risers. The ceiling height was only 9' therefor rear screen projection was implemented.

raysson on March 11, 2011 at 1:42 pm

The Janus was one of three theatres in North Carolina that had the exclusive North Carolina engagement showing of Steven Spielburg’s 1985 film THE COLOR PURPLE that opened on December 20,1985. The other locations were in Raleigh and Charlotte.

raysson on April 6, 2010 at 12:26 pm

The last picture shows at the Janus Theatres were on June 22,2000. When the Janus Theatres close its doors forever,it was replaced with the huge 20-plex Carousel Cinemas just down the street on Battleground Avenue.

A row of condos now stands where the Janus Theatres once stood.

Coate on December 8, 2008 at 11:57 am

This was the first theater in North Carolina to be equipped with a Dolby Stereo sound system. It was installed in June 1977 for the theater’s booking of “Star Wars.”

“Star Wars,” by the way, went on to run at JANUS 7 for a staggering 64 weeks (June 17, 1977 – Sep. 7, 1978). At the conclusion of its run, the local newspaper included a blurb in the ad indicating that “Star Wars” had been the longest-running movie in Greensboro’s history. I imagine the record still holds considering changes in distribution and moviegoing trends that prohibit movies from playing as long as they did in decades past.

raysson on July 6, 2008 at 5:49 pm

I remember going to the Janus in Greensboro as a kid to see a variety of films. The theatre closed in 2000 to make way for another cimema multiplex down the street at Battleground Avenue…The Carousel.