Gwinnett Place Cinema

3350 Gwinnett Place Drive,
Duluth, GA 30096

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StanMalone
StanMalone on May 31, 2017 at 10:36 am

Thanks for those pictures. They brought back a lot of memories. Based on the names of the managers listed under the logo for each theater, I can date the first Kiddie Camp flyer to 1985. I was at Northlake that summer and business was so busy that we used all three houses. Since Northlake was the only reel to reel GCC theater we were not able to interlock so we biked the reels from house to house starting shows every 30 minutes.

As for the movies themselves, Neverending Story was a big hit and I think we ran it every year. Annie was also very popular but it did not run as often because it was over 2 hours long. The bulk of the business for most of the theaters was from day care centers who would bring kids in by the bus load and more than 2 hours, especially at Northlake where the last show started at 11, caused them to get out too late.

Charlotte’s Web was another big hit. I think that the only thing that kept them from running it every year was print availability. Every projectionist dreaded the arrival of these prints, as well as the midnight show ones because the condition of the prints so poor. Sometimes it would take hours to inspect and repair a print and you had to do it since you were finished if you had a print break while running interlock especially at Akers Mill which had a very primitive, heavily modified interlock system. (Remember, this was in the day before the arrival of the polyester / mylar prints starting in 1996. Those were unbreakable which brought about its own set of problems, but that is another story.)Since GCC ran this program circuitwide, there were not always enough prints to go around even though they staggered the order and rotated the prints around the country.

The second Kiddie Show flyer is sometime after 1988 since it includes Hairston 8. Hairston was the citywide champ for kiddie show business. I worked there several times even after they did not use union operators regularly since the manager did not trust his staff projectionist to run it. They ran shows at 10, 12, and 2. At 10 we would interlock 7 of the eight houses, all the system would allow. At noon they would cancel the first show on four movies and run the kiddie show in the four large houses. At 2PM they would cancel another show of whatever adult movie they had and run it in the two big houses. All of this required a lot of print shifting and I think that my all time high was 17 print moves in one day before all of the regular movies were back where they belonged.

Like so much about this business, that was a time and experience that will never happen again.

UrbanATL770
UrbanATL770 on May 14, 2017 at 5:20 pm

So ive lived in the gwinnett place mall area for 30 years and remember going to see so many movies in this theater. How many summers i went to the kids summer movie specials in the 90’s. Movies like the first teenage mutant ninja turtles movie, land before time, neverending story, and the sandlot to name a few. Anyway im posting because a few weeks back there was a dumpster out in front of the theater and seeing as it has fallen into disrepair and all for sale signs have been long removed i figure they are getting ready to tear it down this year. I found a few papers floating around and took some pictures of them and posted them here. It made me very happy to find the summer movie listings.

StanMalone
StanMalone on May 11, 2012 at 9:57 am

I believe that I remember you Ginger. I worked the booth here from 1997-99, starting when Aaron retired until they did away with the union operator. In those days Lynn Zieburtz was the manager, and I can remember about four different assistant managers, two male, two female, but I can not recall any names. I always liked working for Lynn, especially the way she scheduled the booth in a way that allowed me to work all of the union hours in only 3 days, Thursday through Saturday.

I recognized you at Gwinnett because I also remember seeing you when I worked at Parkside from 1995 on. Lynn managed some there as well, but the regular manager was Steve Crisp. In fact, I am sitting in that booth right now, on a Friday morning, waiting for a late arriving print to show up so I can put it together.

Happy to see that you stumbled onto this site. There are plenty of my former employees and co-workers that would have some fine stories to tell if they only knew it was here.

Ginger Whatley
Ginger Whatley on May 10, 2012 at 11:00 pm

I worked here from 1995 until 2000 when the theater closed. This place had great managers. It served as a “training ground” for GCC managers. We were never that busy. We didn’t even accept credit cards at the end. I was an expert at giving directions to the ATM on the other side of the mall. They never really invested much money in the place. I remember that the blue roof was busted for years. We also had an abandoned car in the lot for years. This building still sits there waiting for something to open in its place. Too bad the area is dying. Mike – I grew up at the Regency 8. I would love to see the photos.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 7, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Alonzo you must have sneaked in an old exit door like i did at REGENCY 8 Cinemas.

jeterga
jeterga on August 6, 2010 at 11:50 am

Here a aerial photos.

View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 25, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Sandrea,Don’t know if your interested in Augusta,But there is a GCC 8 plex fully equipped last time i snuck in an exit door.It is owned by the Board of Education.But it is not in a good part of town.

Doonyman
Doonyman on July 25, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Also, before anyone responds, the one I am referring to is the one with the sloping blue overhang over the front entrance.

Doonyman
Doonyman on July 25, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I’m still confused. What is the (former) movie theater that sits in the same parking lot as Fry’s Electronics? As in, the same side of the street, same parking lot? I think it’s the one pictured above, but the sign with the name of the place has been torn down.

SANDREA
SANDREA on July 25, 2010 at 10:57 am

I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW IF THIS PLACE IS STILL FOR SALE.I’M THINKING ABOUT GETTING IT.BUT FOR HOW MUCH.AND HOW MUCH WORK NEED TO BE DONE ON IT.PLEASE WHEN YOU CAN PLEASE EMAIL AT .AND LET ME KNOW.AND IF YOU DON’T MIND WE CAN SEE ABOUT GOING FROM THEIR ABOUT GETTING TOGETHER.I’LL BE WAITING.THANK YOU

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 18, 2010 at 9:55 pm

Now Showing Midnight movies with 96 Rock,Oct 15 1988, “ROCKY HORROR” “THE WALL” “M-3D:THE MOVIE” and “BEETLEJUICE”{a very weak selection for a midnight movie.However,at that time GCC was bleeding talent that could pick Late Shows,you would have never seen me book a"KID" film for the midnight crowd}

StanMalone
StanMalone on June 19, 2010 at 1:07 pm

OK, let me see if I can make a slight correction without confusing things further. This page is for the GCC Gwinnett Place 6. It was built and operated by GCC for its entire life from 1984-2000.

It is easy to confuse it with the theatre across the parking lot which on this site is known as Movies At Gwinnett. That theatre was built as a retail store, purchased by Georgia Theatre Company, converted into a 12 by United Artists after they bought GTC and was later closed by UA. The new GTC reopened it and still later closed it again. Here is its link:

/theaters/17684/

If you will look at the second comment on this page you will see that I have confused the listings for these two myself. Concerning the pictures posted by Chuck on May 8, the first two are outside shots of the Movies at Gwinnett, not the Gwinnett Place 6. The third picture is a shot of the marquee for the Movies At Gwinnett. However, the last two are pictures of the lobby and concession stand for the theatre featured on this page, the GCC Gwinnett Place 6. Clear as mud, right?

If you go to the first comment on this page it is a picture of the front of the GCC Gwinnett Place 6. Chuck, if you can you should transfer the first three picture links above to the Movies At Gwinnett page. Mike, did you notice the bulk candy cart at the far right of one of the pictures? I saw that candy sold at the Parkside when EFW reopened it one year after GCC closed down. Free roach droppings: No extra charge.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 19, 2010 at 10:35 am

I slipped in a Exit door of the REGENCY EXCHANGE in Augusta, and both theatres being GCC the concessionstand in both theatres are a perfect match.Thanks for the photos chuck 1231.I took a bunch of pictures of the Exchange,need to get Nick Dimaggio to get them on.

elkridgecinemas
elkridgecinemas on April 10, 2010 at 3:25 pm

the theatre across the road is venture cinemas 12 all seats all shows are $2.00 showing second run films and the mall is now formaly known as venture mall and is now ( sante fe mall )

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on March 10, 2010 at 10:38 pm

Donnyman,if they closed it like they did REGENCY EXCHANGE in Augusta This GCC theatre most likely had rats running inside.I got into the EXCHANGE here in Augusta and the candy and popcorn were left in the candy room i had to dodge rats when i walked in.The booth was in perfect shape,Platters just like they were left.really a strange feeling walking around inside with a flashlight. REGENCY EXCHANGE is on CT.

Doonyman
Doonyman on December 11, 2009 at 12:22 pm

I just went to Fry’s Electronics and noticed an empty building at the end of the parking lot as I pulled in. Clearly it was an old, closed down movie theater, so I came here to learn about it.

This place still stands, but man, it is a DUMP now. After having been vacant for nearly 10 years now, you think they would have bulldozed it already. You can still see the numbered signs of the 6 theaters. Looks like years ago someone smashed all the poster frames all up. Can you imagine how much this place smells by now? How much mold has grown inside there? Disgusting.

This place is TINY and so is the parking lot. Was this place always this tiny? Where did people park? How big were the theaters inside?

Again, I can’t imagine this place lasting much longer. I think I hear the wrecking ball now…

kennyp354
kennyp354 on March 4, 2008 at 9:51 pm

I have inquired about this theatre with the property owner and they would not negotiate a new lease. They want someone to purchase the property for 4M and most likely demolish the building. I was told the contents have been heavily vandalized and sight/sound equipment is not in working condition.

Ginger Whatley
Ginger Whatley on December 24, 2007 at 6:36 pm

I worked at this cinema from 1995 until it closed in 2000 as a second job. I always found that this cinema had good management, but was never given any money for renevations. When the theater closed, we still did not accept credit cards. This was a great 2nd income.

StanMalone
StanMalone on October 15, 2007 at 8:24 am

Like the Merchants Walk, Hairston, and Parkside, this location was closed down when GCC declared bankruptcy, which allowed them to break the lease. I am no lawyer, but apparently when you do that you have to just walk away and leave everything behind. Usually, when a theatre is closed, it is stripped bare, in part to either sell or store the furnishings, but more importantly to discourage the competition from coming in and reopening the site. As a result of the bankruptcy, instead of being stripped the theatres were left in operating condition, allowing the landlord the chance to market them as a turnkey operation which relieved the next operator the heavy upfront expense of equipping a theatre.

Of course “operating condition” is a relative term. I saw the Parkside after both EFW and Madstone shut down and walked out in the middle of their leases, and both times a lot of work was required to get the place in shape.

I do not know the condition of this place, but one encouraging factor is that it has not been reopened as a theatre since GCC shut down. GCC, for the most part, was honorable in the way they left the places intact. Unless the landlord has removed the equipment and furnishings it is probably in pretty good condition for a reopening, taking into account the fact that it has been closed for 7 years. Booth equipment especially has to be treated carefully when being started up after such a long shutdown.

I doubt if this is a viable location anymore. Georgia Theatre Company reopened the old United Artists 12 across the mall parking lot but I gather from the information on this site that it is now closed again. GTC also operates the Venture Mall 12 across Plesantdale Road as a dollar house. Although it had its moments, this theatre was never a blockbuster of a location. It did well given the right movie, but for the most part business was just OK. When AMC opened the Colonial 18 in Lawrenceville, the GP6 business suffered a noticeable drop. With the Discover Mills 18 having since opened up just up I-85, and a 12plex dollar house across the street, that makes 36 first run and 12 second run screens in the area.

awarner
awarner on October 14, 2007 at 2:24 pm

Any opinions about whether this theater would be a viable business now that other establishments have built around it? Does anyone know what is inside the building? Equipment, screens, Etc.

StanMalone
StanMalone on August 9, 2007 at 12:17 pm

Now, let me try to straighten out my mess.

This post is for the 6 screen GCC location.

It was opened in October of 1984 and was of a transitional design, more modern than Perimeter Mall, but not what the Merchants Walk, Parkside, or Hairston would look like. I don’t remember which one was first, but GCC and the Plitt Mall Corners opened about the same time. This location was like a set of triples backed up to a common lobby. The houses were about 400, 275, and 220 seats. One of the large houses was equipped with a Cinemeccanica V5 35/70MM projector and the rest were 35MM V8’s. I do not recall 70MM ever being run here.

This was a nice booth to work, but I do not recall anything remarkable about its history.

Closed down along with the rest of the GCC operations except the new Parkway Point in 2000.

StanMalone
StanMalone on August 9, 2007 at 11:54 am

Disregard that previous post. I should have looked at the picture first. This page and picture is for the old GCC 6 that I mentioned above. The post you see above you is to the location listed on this site as Movies @ Gwinnett.

/theaters/17684/

StanMalone
StanMalone on August 9, 2007 at 11:45 am

Started out life as a discount store in the Service Merchandise mold. Don’t remember the name but it was new to the Atlanta area and did not last long after its 1984 opening. Georgia Theatre Company took over the lease but sold out to United Artists Theatres in 1987 before doing anything with the property. UA converted the building to a 12plex and moved Richard Swank, the manager of the Lenox Square in as manager. Closed down in the late 90’s wave of theatre bankruptcies as was the old GTC and current UA Greens Corner just down the interstate. Reopened by the new Georgia Theatre Company but I was not aware that it had closed again. The design of the theatre was like two 6plexes shoved together with a box office and concession stand in between. Really not a bad place considering the fact that it was a conversion.

I was in it a good bit but the only movie I can recall seeing there was a 70MM presentation of Lawrence of Arabia.

Located across the mall parking lot from the old General Cinema Gwinnett Place 6 which opened in 1984 and closed in 2000.

The old Plitt Mall Corners 6 is located across Pleasant Hill Road from the mall entrance. Its life span matched that of the GCC 6.

WHITEFIELD
WHITEFIELD on August 8, 2007 at 10:29 pm

Here is a photo of the theatre after it closed.
View link