Peach Orchard Cinemas
2708 Peach Orchard Road,
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Weis Cinema Centre was a twin theatre built inside an existing building at Peach Orchard Road in Augusta. The two theatres were built on a wooden floor raised off a concrete floor. You could always tell you were walking on a raised floor.
The theatres opened August 13, 1973 with the movies, "American Graffiti" and "Golden Voyage of Sinbad". It was Augusta’s first twin theatre. It never had a marquee, and unlike other theatres in Augusta it used non-union projectionists. Not so much it was anti-union, but Local 518 were afraid it might get raided because Weis would play X-rated movies like "Story of O", and the X-rated "Dracula". The Weis Drive-In on Highway 25 did use union projectionists in the early days.
The lobby was long and enclosed in a plexi-glass tunnel that took moviegoers to the doorman, and right into the concession stand. It had a decent projection system with a dual set. The concession stand was a decent size.
Because of its size the picture was always sharp and bright. In the 1970’s the Weis Cinema Centre tried to go neck and neck with the Imperial Theatre and National Hills Theatre with late shows. The staff at National Hills Theatre would drive over to South Augusta, and put flyers on the windows of cars promoting the late show at National Hills Theatre.
They didn’t have a long run with late shows. The theatre was owned by Albert Weis out of Savannah, GA. He owned a pretty decent chain of several theatres throughout Georgia. A pretty decent chain for a local man. Screen-wise he owned Savannah. He also had quite a few theatres in Macon and Atlanta.
The Weis was sold in the 1980’s to Fairlane-Litchfield. They renamed it Peach Orchard Cinemas and tripled it, which really screwed up one side. It closed as a United Artist Theatre.
Movies of note: "Deer Hunter", "Godfather II", "Death Wish", "Camelot", "Star Wars", "Tootsie", and John Wayne’s last movie, "The Shootist".
Today it sits empty. The seats are gone and the projection room is stripped. The plexi-glass tunnel remains.
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