Asheboro Cinemas 1 & 2

1513 North Fayetteville Street,
Asheboro, NC 27203

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cphillips on November 2, 2013 at 5:37 pm

I was the first Manager of the Cinema II Theatre in Asheboro, NC and was present during it’s construction and grand opening – I was transferred from the Park Theater in Kinston to open and manager the theater. It originally opened as a single screen in October, 1971 with 500 seats. Our first movie on the screen was John Wayne’s “The Cowboys”, which opened to a sell-out capacity crowd. The theater was originally owned and built by Winyah Bay Theaters of Easley, SC, who had previously bought out the Eastern Federal Theater group.

When the Cinema II opened, it was the “latest and greatest” in movie entertainment – sound system, digital projection equipment, state of the art concession, etc. etc. As part of the construction process, I actually had duct work installed directly over the popcorn machine and piped into the auditorium. We had a “caliope” type popcorn machine that was ooooooo sooooo good…. Just after the feature film would start, I would make sure we popped an entire kettle of fresh corn… you could smell it throughout the auditorium. Also, about half-way into the film, I would do the same thing – we had the largest concession sales of any of Winyah’s theaters, lol. Projection equipment was on a single pan with a xenon bulb…..awesome equipment – didn’t need a projectionist!

At the time of our opening, the Asheboro Zoo was in the process of being built and the local radio station changed it’s call letters to “WZOO”, of course, being a new theater in town, we were the stations' biggest advertiser and well as a huge spender for the local newspaper. As I learned from my experience as assistant manager at the Park Theater in Kinston, we would always have some type of static or dynamic display in the lobby to coincide with the movie we were playing. We also did late shows on Friday nights, as well as kiddie movies on Saturday morning and afternoon.

There were two other competitors at the time, a walk-in called the Sunset Theater, and a drive in called teh North 220. We eventually bought the Sunset as well.

From the time from of opening through late ‘72, Winyah Bay owned both.. In early – mid '73, Martin Theaters bought it out. I left Asheboro in November '73 and it was still a single screen at that time.

Charles Phillips

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm

I always Hate to see a Twin close.

raysson on April 4, 2012 at 11:18 am

It was also known as the CINEMA TWIN.

It was also the only twin cinema in town until it’s closing by Carmike Cinemas in 1995. The reason why it closed was due to the competition of the HUGE multiplex that was bringing the business over at nearby Randolph Mall that opened in 1990.

Screen 1 seating capacity was at 620.

Screen 2 seating capacity was at 550.

Total number of seats that theatre had was at 1,170.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 15, 2010 at 5:43 pm

Asheboro is a pretty decent size town,don’t see why a mom and pop operation couldn’t have kept it running as a dollar house,most these big outfits however never want to sell to even a small time theatre owner,I have seen Georgia theatres first hand go in a tear everything out,so no one could even try to reopen.CARMIKE from what I see is not much of a theatre chain,certainly not like the pros i worked for ABC,Plitt and GCC.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 14, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Carmike loves to close theatres,do they ever try and sell them to maybe a local.