2500 Durham Chapel Hill Boulevard,
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Under Schneider-Merl Theatres, the Yorktowne Theatre opened its doors on May 28, 1969 with James Coburn in “Hard Contract”. It was Durham’s premiere showplace for first-run features. The theatre had a huge auditorium with a seating capacity of 780. It had rocking-chair seating and full stereophonic sound with super widescreen projection equipment that was capable of showing bigger presentations.
It remained a single screen theater until June 20, 1975, when a second auditorium was built next to the original one, which had a seating capacity of 625. This opened with Gene Hackman in “French Connection II”. The Yorktowne Theatre did great business until 1987, when it changed its format from first-run features to second-run features. It remained that way until 1995, when the theater closed and was converted into a church. The church moved out in 2005.
By 2008, there was talk of restoring the theatre and turning it into an arthouse cinema in order to keep it afloat. It never happened and the Yorktowne Theatre was demolished in November 2008.
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