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October 1st, 1971 grand opening ad in the photo section.
The franchise deal allowed for GP, but not for R. Still, by the early seventies most big hits were R or X and Disney was in its nadir.
Well,it opened with the kind of movies Jerry did not want,he found out quick in the 70’s very little G product.both movies mentioned above were GP which in those days were for Adults,Today’s PG is kid friendly.
The Jerry Lewis Cinema in Burnsville, MN opened Fri. 10/1/71 with “The Anderson Tapes” and “Lawman” (not Billy Jack as stated at the top) There was also a weekend matinee of “Journey to the Center of the Earth”. At least a few years ago, the building was still standing and being used for other purposes.
Those of you interested,Jerry explains his Failed Cinemas on JERRY LEWIS CINEMAS. Canton.CT.
(Jerry Lewis cinemas were franchised. Jerry Lewis himself said they were “the most significant contribution to the movie industry of this decade”.)
Significant indeed. The failed Jerry Lewis franchises resulted in a lucrative nationwide chain of porno theatres that lasted until the 80’s and made blockbusters out of “Deep Throat” and “The Devil in Miss Jones”. He inadvertently, or otherwise, did more to bring mafia run porn to the suburbs that anyone else in the industry.
The September 13, 1971, issue of Boxoffice reported that the Jerry Lewis Cinema at Burnsville was nearing completion and expected to open within a couple of weeks.
Dave, I think Jerry Lewis sold his theatres way before 1978. But iam sure someone on CT has the right date. I still wish we would have gotten one in Augusta.
There was a JERRY LEWIS THEATER where I grew up, in Mableton, Ga. It was the only theater in our town (an Atlanta suburb) so I saw many film there. To the best of my recollection it opened up in 1970, give or take a year. It had definitely been open for a while by 1972, because that’s when I saw the “Superstars of Shock” triple feature there (a re-release of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Mark of the Vampire, & The Mask of Fu Manchu). Now I own the one sheet poster for it, so I know that was 1972.
Also, Lynyrd Skynryd played there in 1972, in a ‘Battle of the Bands’ competition.
It was one of the first theaters in the metro Atlanta area to get Dolby sound in the mid-seventies, which was strange considering how off the beaten track it was for most Atlantans. By 1978, it was no longer part of the Jerry Lewis chain, as it began showing x-rated films.
We were set for a JERRY LEWIS THEATRE here in Augusta,Ga. But when Georgia Theatres heard the news they quickly built SOUTHGATE CINEMA. I wonder how often this happens,Make plans for an area then have the locals expand to keep you out of the market.
Here in New Jersey, we had several Jerry Lewis Cinemas. One was a twin, where my father was a projectionist, that seated 300 in each theatre. This was in Carteret. The others were all single screens, in Hillsborough, Union, Freehold, and Kinnelon. All were opened between 1970 and 1972. And as was stated above on Aug 11, 2007, that was the basic policy of these theatres.
There was a Jerry Lewis Cinema at the Westgate Shopping Center in McKinney, Texas.
If I remember correctly, the Cinema opened in 1973 or 1974 and the very first movie that played was “American Graffiti”
The show “Happy Days” was a spinoff of this movie.
Again, if I remember correctly, the Cinema closed around 1989 and the building was eventually torn down. A CVS Pharmacy currently sits where the Cinema once stood.
I remember a Jerry Lewis theater in the Thunderbird Mall in Virginia, MN open in the 70’s
Jerry Lewis cinemas were franchised. Jerry Lewis himself said they were “the most significant contribution to the movie industry of this decade”.
As part of the franchise, no “X” rated films could screened. And if an “R” rated film was screened in one auditorium then a “G” or “GP” (in those days PG was called GP and there was no PG-13) had to be screened in the other auditorium.
Each auditorium seated 350. The opening attractions were “Billy Jack” and “The Anderson Tapes”.
Admish was $1.75 for adults at all times, and 50 cents for children.