Mission Valley Cinemas

2109 Avent Ferry Road,
Raleigh, NC 27606

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raysson on March 6, 2014 at 10:02 am

TOP GUN upon its opening at the Mission Valley Cinemas on May 16,1986 was the ONLY theatre in the state of North Carolina to present this in 70mm-6 Track Dobly Stereo engagements. Charlotte was absent from this format as well as Greensboro and Winston-Salem.

NightHawk1 on October 8, 2013 at 11:35 pm

I saw “Charlie’s Angels” (the first film) here in 2000 – the concession stand sold “BladderBuster” sodas the size of a popcorn bucket (do they still sell those?). Ambassador was running the theater then (as they still do); “Charlie’s Angels” at the Mission Valley was a better experience than at the Carolina East 4 (by then a Carmike DUMP) in Greenville a couple of months later: second-run film (previously shown in Greenville at Carmike 12) in a decaying theater at first-run prices ($6 when they should have charged $1.50 tops). Karma comes around: Mission Valley is still in business while most of those old Carmike shoeboxes disappeared in bankruptcy.

DavidDymond on August 10, 2013 at 3:58 pm

Chuck1231 I am from Canada. but spent lots of time in Raleigh/Durham North Carolina.

DavidDymond on May 1, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I visited this theatre many times when United Artists was operating it. Lovely COMFORTABLE auditoriums, extremely clean floors (tiles) under the seats — far nicer than any Carmike dump!

raysson on May 1, 2013 at 11:55 am

For further information go to this site: http://www.in70mm.com/news/2008/jedi

Further proof that cities like Raleigh,Greensboro and Fayetteville were absent from the 70mm presentations of this film.

raysson on April 30, 2013 at 12:53 pm

To: Mike Rogers and Michael Coate

I have the original newspaper ad from the Raleigh News and Observer that indicated upon it’s May 25,1983 general release that the movie RETURN OF THE JEDI did played here,but it was NOT mentioned anywhere in the ad that the film was in 70mm…NOR anywhere in the ad that film was mentioned in DOBLY STEREO. As Michael Coate quoted in on this site that the MISSION VALLEY and the CARDINAL were absent from the 70mm presentations. At the time the film opened MISSION VALLEY was a twin theater and the film played in it’s largest auditorium with a seating capacity of 515.

ONLY two cities in the state had RETURN OF THE JEDI presented in full 70mm-6 Track Dobly Stereo upon it’s May 25,1983 release:

Charlotte: Park Terrace

Winston-Salem: Thruway

raysson on November 28, 2012 at 11:23 am

The largest auditorium at the MISSION VALLEY had a seating capacity of 500 that was equipped with a full 180-degree widescreen projection that was equipped to show bigger presentations in the 70MM format.

The theatre opened on March 2,1973 as a twin cinema under Litchfeld Theatres and by 1983 expanded to five screens under United Artists Theatres and also Ambassador Entertainment Group.

raysson on November 28, 2012 at 11:19 am

This was also the same person who disrupted crowds during a screening of the James Bond “Skyfall” movie that also played at the Mission Valley Cinema that same night.


raysson on November 28, 2012 at 11:16 am

Disruption at local movie theater results in charges…. From the November 28, 2012 edition of the Raleigh News and Observer….during a screening of the new “Twilight” movie at Raleigh’s Mission Valley Cinema……

More details on this are located at this website…..


raysson on April 10, 2012 at 10:00 am

STAR TREK II:THE WRATH OF KHAN played here in DOBLY STEREO at the Mission Valley Cinemas I & II in 1982.

The second auditorium showing was the musical ANNIE.

But it was the capacity crowds that were around the block in 1982 for STAR TREK II.

raysson on February 27, 2012 at 10:35 am

Chuck 1231: I have the original ads from March 2, 1973 grand opening of the Mission Valley Cinemas in Raleigh,aka The Mission Valley Cinema I & II. Source: Raleigh News and Observer.

raysson on May 27, 2011 at 11:37 am

Speaking of the 25th Anniversary of the 1986 blockbuster hit TOP GUN, The Mission Valley Cinemas in Raleigh was the only theatre in the Carolinas that was given the showing in 70MM and 6 Track Dobly Stereo. It opened in general release on May 16, 1986.

**Source: The Friday May 16, 1986 edition of the Raleigh News and Observer.

raysson on February 21, 2011 at 1:16 pm

Did you know that a local television station is right next door to Mission Valley facing the intersections of Western Boulevard and Avent Ferry Roads?

WRAL-TV,Channel 5 of Raleigh is right next door to Mission Valley.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 14, 2010 at 6:33 pm

I remember taking one of the marquee.I assume you live in that area. It’s funny how people will live in a place and never think to snap a picture. Got a CT guy from ATlanta on and found out he never got around to snapping a picture of NORTHEAST EXPRESS DRIVE-IN in Atlanta.Driving home to Augusta I stopped off 1-85 and took several pictures Cliff never thought to do it,but I was able to mail him copies. I will try and locate the picture,I have hundreds of pictures,mainly in the South.

Micah on April 14, 2010 at 6:22 pm

That theater was once the Varsity. I think it operated as Studio I for a brief time before it closed. Soon after it closed Studio I & II opened just down the street at 2526 Hillsborough in the Electric Company Mall. That theater closed in October of 2000. It was a very unique and very small theater. Screen 1 had just under 50 seats and screen 2 just over 50. The old Varsity sat empty for a long time after McDonalds closed and it is now a textbook store. Do you have pictures of the McDonalds? I would love to see them!

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 14, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Thanks Micah enjoyed that theatre and the old downtown theatre that was a MCDONALDS.I snapped several pictures,never saw anything like it.I know it is listed on CT.

Micah on April 14, 2010 at 6:09 pm

There used to be the Mission Valley Inn directly across the street. It closed in the 1990’s and NCSU bought it and converted it into dormitories. It is now called Avent Ferry Complex.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 14, 2010 at 6:08 pm

I visited the MISSON VALLEY while staying at a hotel across the street. Not bad. I least I think it was the MISSION VALLEY.

Micah on April 14, 2010 at 5:04 pm

raysson, The original specs for Mission Valley were around 500 seats for screen 1, and 300 seats for screen 2. Screen 2 is half the size of screen 1 and never had more than 300 seats. Auditoriums 3, 4 and 5 were all added at the same time in 1983 and all seat 288. The only other remodel that was done was in 1994-ish when United Artists took over. This was just a lobby renovation in which a kitchen was built and the concession stand was moved from a circular island in the middle of the lobby to a new stand to the right of the lobby as it stands today. There were some changes to the box office and downstairs managers office as well. The theater has not been majorly altered since, except for seat replacement and redecoration of the largest auditorium in 2007. I have all of the original blueprints from the original build and the additions in 1983.

raysson on April 14, 2010 at 4:23 pm

The Opening Attraction was “The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean"
starring Paul Newman. It was also noted,that legendary actress Ava Gardner was in Raleigh to promoted her new movie and to promoted the official opening of the Mission Valley Cinemas on March 2, 1973.
The film during its opening was shown on both screens……..

However,the official opening of Mission Valley Cinema II,came the following week with the nature-adventure documentary family film

raysson on April 14, 2010 at 4:19 pm

From the March 1, 1973 edition of the Raleigh News and Observer:




-TWIN COMFORT Rocking Chair Luxorious Seats

-TWIN PROJECTION Finest automated equipment on two mammoth widescreens!

-PERFECT VISION IN OUR TWIN THEATRES Every row is perfectly spaced for your viewing pleasure!




………..THE "BUTCH CASSIDY” HIT OF 1973…………….
with North Carolina’s Own AVA GARDNER

raysson on April 12, 2010 at 11:38 am

The Mission Valley opened on March 2, 1973 as a twin cinema (aka Mission Valley Cinema I & II) that was owned and operated under Fairlane-Litchfeld Theatres.
The original auditorium in Screen One had a seating capacity of 515,when Screen Two had a seating capacity of 490,when it was a twin cinema until 1983.

Construction began in 1983 when two auditoriums were added keeping the original auditorium intact. Later on in 1983,three more auditoriums were also added. The original auditorium remained intact with the largest screen(it kept the original auditorium for the screening of RETURN OF THE JEDI IN 1983).

Coate on January 14, 2010 at 9:52 pm

The MISSION VALLEY and CARDINAL are absent from the list of 70mm presentations included in this retrospective article on RETURN OF THE JEDI, suggesting JEDI was shown in Raleigh in 35mm.

Micah on January 14, 2010 at 9:19 pm

The largest auditorium at Mission Valley has a seating capacity of 490 (previously 500 until handicap spaces were added). Screen 2 is 260, down from the original 300 for the same reason as above. Screens 3, 4 and 5 were all added at the same time in 1983, and they each seat 288. JEDI was shown in 70mm in Raleigh, though I cannot remember if it was at the Cardinal or Mission Valley.

raysson on October 18, 2009 at 1:49 pm

The MISSION VALLEY CINEMAS opened in the early to mid-1970’s as a twin cinema under the Fairlane-Litchfeld theatre chain(which also owned and operated the Imperial in Cary). It expanded in 1983 by adding a third auditorium,and keeping the original auditorium intact(which was great for showing 35MM and 70MM films). Two more screens were added by the early 1990’s,when the Mission Valley was acquired by United Artists Theatres when Fairlane-Litchfeld Theatres folded.