Carmike Yorktowne Twin

2500 Durham Chapel Hill Boulevard,
Durham, NC 27707

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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 750. 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 300. 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.

Contributed by Raymond Caple

Recent comments (view all 25 comments)

raysson
raysson on December 7, 2012 at 5:25 pm

November 22,1986 ……. STAR TREK IV: THE VOYAGE HOME at the Yorktowne Twin. See it on the Triangle’s largest auditorium on it’s largest screen in KINTEX STEREO.

raysson
raysson on December 13, 2012 at 7:09 pm

THE SOUND OF MUSIC played at the Yorktowne Theatre in mid-1973,during one of it’s many re-releases to capacity crowds.

raysson
raysson on December 14, 2012 at 4:38 pm

Steve McQueen’s THE GETAWAY played at the Yorktowne Theatre first-run on December 12,1972 as the cinema’s big christmas attraction.

PAPILLION with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman played at the Yorktowne Theatre first-run around Christmas of 1973.

A lot of great blockbusters of the 1970’s and 1980’s got first-run billing at the Yorktowne Theatre in Durham.

raysson
raysson on February 15, 2013 at 4:43 pm

From the May 28,1969 advertisement of the Durham Herald.

OPENING WEDNESDAY! GRAND OPENING OF DURHAM NEWEST ENTERTAINMENT ESTABLISHMENT IN EASTERN NORTH CAROLINA….

THE BEAUTIFUL YORKTOWNE THEATRE-Durham Chapel Hill Blvd. THE THEATRE OF TOMORROW BRINGS YOU A NEW WORLD OF EXCITEMENT AND WONDERFUL ENJOYMENT IN THE TRIANGLE

-Years ahead in comfort and design

-The Completely modern Rocking Lounger Chair Theatre!

-Perfect vision from any seat with the finest projection

-Super Panavision Widescreen

-Full Stereophonic Sound

-Open Air Concession Stand For Your Convenience

-Year Round Air Condition Comfort and Format

-ACRES OF CONVENIENT FREE PARKING

THE PREMIERE ATTRACTION OPENS TOMORROW NIGHT AT 8:00
“HARD CONTRACT” with James Coburn and Lee Remick

AND THE BIG ATTRACTIONS ARE COMING TO THE YORKTOWNE!!!

-Gregory Peck in “THE CHAIRMAN”

-Richard Benjamin and Ali MacGraw “GOODBYE COLUMBUS”

-Omar Sharif in “CHE”

-William Holden and Ernest Borgnine in “THE WILD BUNCH”

-Don Knotts in “THE LOVE GOD”

-Goldie Hawn and Walter Matthau in “CACTUS FLOWER”

AND MANY MORE TO COME!!!!

Coming Soon! The Movie Musical Event of the Year is coming to the YORKTOWNE THEATRE…“PAINT YOUR WAGON”

raysson
raysson on September 10, 2013 at 5:49 pm

THEATRE HISTORY OF THE YORKTOWNE:

Opened on May 28,1969 under Schneider-Merl Theatres as a 750-seat single screener named the Yorktowne Theatre. The opening attraction for its grand opening was James Coburn and Lee Remick in HARD CONTRACT. It operated as a single screen theatre from 1969 to 1975. Among the biggest blockbusters that played here were “THE GODFATHER”, “CHINATOWN”, “THE LAST DETAIL”, “PAPILLON”, “THE GETAWAY”, “LADY SINGS THE BLUES” not to mention “LOVE STORY”,“SAVE THE TIGER”,“FRITZ THE CAT”,and “THE GODFATHER PART II” just to name a few. When it was a single screen theatre it played a lot of “X” rated films during its midnight screenings.

By June 20,1975,Schneider-Merl went under and the Yorktowne was under new management under Atlanta-based Martin Theatres. A second auditorium was built right next to the original,keeping the original auditorium of 750-seats intact. The second auditorium seated 300 and it was renamed the Yorktowne Theatres 1 & 2. The June 20,1975 grand re-opening was on Auditorium 1 “Jaws” with Roy Schneider and Richard Dreyfuss. Auditorium 2’s opening attraction was Gene Hackman in “French Connection II”. By 1977,it was renamed the Yorktowne Twin Theatres under Martin Theatres. Not only did “JAWS” broke all Durham movie attendance records,but also on July 1,1977 the original “STAR WARS” movie shattered the previous all-time movie attendance record in the history of this theatre. Among the movies also played here were the original “STAR TREK” movie.

By 1982 the Yorktowne became one of several theatres acquired by Carmike Cinemas after its acquisition of Martin Theatres.

By 1987 it went from showing first-run films to becoming a dollar run discount house until its closing in 1995. It became a megachurch until 2005. And by 2008 it was demolished.

1969-1975 Schneider-Merl Theatres

1975-1982 Martin Theatres

1982-1995 Carmike Cinemas

raysson
raysson on September 11, 2013 at 4:18 pm

The Google location is all wrong.

The address is 2500 Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard and the zip code is 27707. At the corner of Bedford Street and Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard(at U.S. 15-501 Business)

The theater was right next door to the E.F. Hutton Building(which is now the headquarters of Mutual Savings and Loan building),and across the street from the Shrimp Boats Family Seafood Restaurant.

raysson
raysson on September 11, 2013 at 4:28 pm

A lot of “X” rated films played here first-run at the Yorktowne. “EMMANUELLE” Starring Sylvia Kristel played here first-run in 1974 as well as the sequels starring Sylvia Kristel with “EMMANUELLE 2:THE JOYS OF A WOMAN”,and “GOODBYE EMMANUELLE”. The notorious “X” rated “CALIGULA” played here in 1979. Not to mention a TON of soft-porn flicks like “TROPIC OF CANCER”, and “FLESH GORDON”,and the explicit “ANDY WARHOL’S FRANKENSTEIN”,and “THE STORY OF O” too.

raysson
raysson on December 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm

The theater was located on the opposite end of the Durham-Chapel Hill Boulevard near Bedford Street across from the Shrimp Boats Family Seafood Restaurant.

raysson
raysson on December 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm

NOW SHOWING AT DURHAM’S YORKTOWNE THEATRE-(12/25/1974)

Francis Ford Coppula’s “THE GODFATHER PART II”

Sorry,No Passes or Spec. Admission Discounts Accepted

Please be informed that due to the running length of this movie,there will be a short intermission. There will be three performance showings for this feature.

Theater will be cleared after each showing.

Management suggest patrons to avoid capacity crowds,please come early for the best seats. AVOID THE CROWDS….ATTEND OUR MATINEES!!!!

raysson
raysson on September 29, 2014 at 5:17 pm

Heading should be Carmike Yorktowne Twin 2500 Durham Chapel Hill Blvd. Durham, NC 27707-2866

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