Northgate Twin Theatres

1058 West Club Boulevard,
Durham, NC 27701

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The Northgate Shopping Center was built in 1960 by W. Kenan Rand Jr., and it became Durham’s largest and most popular shopping center that was anchored by a Big Star/Colonial Grocery Store, along with a Kerr Discount Drugs, a Roses Department Store, a Thalhimers' Department Store and a line of specialty shops and select businesses.

The Northgate Theatre, located on the Northwest corner of the shopping center next to Ballentine’s Cafeteria, opened on December 23, 1962, with a special preview of Durham’s newest and most modern theatre that was for invited guests and government officials along with a special screening that was made for those attending. The official opening of the Northgate Theatre took place on Christmas Day of 1962, and was open to the public with the featured screening of “Jumbo” starring Doris Day and Stephen Boyd. The single screen theatre had a capacity of 700, and was equipped with full stereophonic sound and a super widescreen projection equipment that was capable of showing 35mm and 70mm presentations. The theatre was owned and operated by Charlotte based Consolidated Theatres.

It remained a single screen theatre until around June 17, 1975, when the original auditorium was split into two 350-seat sections creating shoebox auditoriums with smaller screens. It was renamed Northgate Twin Theatres with the opening attractions “Pippi Longstocking”, and “The Other Side of the Mountain”. Martin Theatres took over the Northgate Twins operation, and in 1982, Carmike Cinemas acquired the theatre, operating it until its closing in 1986 when the theatre was demolished to make way for renovations to the expansion of Northgate Mall.

Contributed by raymond

Recent comments (view all 34 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 3, 2010 at 4:34 pm

In our city certain Theatre chains got certain movies,ABC/Plitt got alot of Warner Bros. Georgia Theatres took all the United Artist product and Weis got Paramount.Sure it was the same way here in Durham.Time i got over to GCC in 1982 it seemed the product was split with everyone.

raysson
raysson on November 5, 2010 at 3:15 pm

CWalczak:
The Northgate Cinema 10 is not a expansion/renovation of the former Northgate Twin Theatres. The listing is on the cinema treasures site under “Phoenix Cinema 10” which will be updated. Due to my extensive knowledge of Durham movie theatres,the original Northgate Theatre was on the opposite end of the shopping center,next door to Sears facing Guess Road and Club Boulevard. The Northgate Cinema 10,which opened in 2005 is located on the opposite section of the mall. The cinema opened in what was the former Belk Leggett Department Store,former Hecht’s Department Store and former Thalhimers. The Northgate Cinema 10 is owned and operated by East Coast Entertainment Corporation and I heard that Regal Cinemas is set to take over operations which will be the first-ever Regal movie plex in Durham.

raysson
raysson on November 5, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Mike Rogers:
Speaking of certain movies or theatre chains that got them,in Durham the only ABC/Plitt movie chain(the Lakewood Center)was the outlet for Warner Bors.,Columbia, and Twentieth Century-Fox.

The Carolina Theatre(Downtown Durham)was the outlet for not only United Artists films,but was also the outlet for Universal too. A lot of the James Bond 007 films(1962-1974)played here.

The Yorktowne Theatre(Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd.)was the outlet for a lot of films released through Paramount Pictures and sometimes catered to independent films.

The Northgate Theatre(Club Boulevard)was the outlet for Disney and MGM.

The Riverview Cinema(Roxboro Road)catered to blaxploitation, adult, and kung-fu flicks. All theatres mentioned are on this cinema treasures site.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 5, 2010 at 7:15 pm

thanks raysson. I didn’t include COLUMBIA Pictures,But we played alot of Columbia Pictures at Columbia Square 1 and 2.I hate we never played UA because I WAS such a big 007 fan.We would pick them up sometimes third run after the Georgia Theatres Drive-ins in town would finish.By then the prints were not the best for a first run Twin in the seventies.

raysson
raysson on January 25, 2013 at 12:45 pm

From the Durham Herald-Sun ad from February 25,1970:

DIRECT FROM IT’S LONG RUN ROADSHOW ENGAGEMENTS WITH EVERY SONG AND SCENE..ALL THE LOVE AND LAUGHTER..DURHAM FINALLY GETS TO SEE BARBRA AS FUNNY GIRL AT POPULAR PRICES…EVER TICKET HOLDER IS GUARANTEED A SEAT…. NO RESERVED SEATING…..PLENTY OF FREE PARKING…… SEE THIS COLOSSAL EVENT ON THE SUPER WIDESCREEN IN COLOR AND FULL STEREOPHONIC SOUND…A TRIANGLE EXCLUSIVE!!!!

“FUNNY GIRL” In TECHNICOLOR AND PANAVISION…Rated G

TWO PERFORMANCES DAILY….WITH AN EXTRA SHOWING SATURDAY

HURRY BEFORE IT LEAVES…..YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS IT!!!

raysson
raysson on July 16, 2013 at 12:27 pm

When it was twinned in 1975, the original auditorium of 700 was split down the middle into two sections with the seating capacity at 350 each in both auditorium until it closed in 1986.

DavidDymond
DavidDymond on August 11, 2013 at 6:04 pm

Durham Theatre Operation — During the many many times I visited Durham, each of the competing theatres played the same films day & date or at the same time. Films would play at Carmike, South Square, etc.all at the same time!

raysson
raysson on November 4, 2013 at 11:30 am

Chuck1231: This theatre couldn’t hold back the capacity crowds when they played “SUPERMAN:THE MOVIE”(1978)…not to mention the lines snaked around the cinema for “RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK”, “E.T.”,“TEMPLE OF DOOM”, “FIRST BLOOD II”,and “BACK TO THE FUTURE”.

raysson
raysson on December 3, 2013 at 3:50 pm

The theatre got a lot of the Disney product not to mention a LOT of the Disney re-releases too. Disney classics “TREASURE ISLAND”,“THE PARENT TRAP”, “OLD YELLER”,“SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON”,“KIDNAPPED”, “MARY POPPINS”,“20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA”,along with “THE LOVE BUG”,and a lot of the animated Disney classics were either shown as double features or second-run venues at Durham’s Northgate Theatre.

I fondly remember coming to the Northgate Theatre in 1969 as a child for the showing of the first Charlie Brown movie “A BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN” that had special door prizes and contests along with special extra showings which included an early weekend matinee shows!!!!

When it was twinned by the mid-1970’s,the Northgate also got “RACE FOR YOUR LIFE CHARLIE BROWN!” in 1977,and the final Peanuts theatrical feature “BON VOYAGE CHARLIE BROWN,AND DON’T COME BACK” in 1980.

raysson
raysson on December 3, 2013 at 3:51 pm

MARY POPPINS was a crowd favorite at the Northgate!!!

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