Cinema 1 & 2

1305 East Broad Street,
Rockingham, NC 28379

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Located in the Richmond Plaza Shopping Center, near Highway 74 East. The Cinema 1 & 2,also known as The Richmond Plaza Cinema opened its doors to the public in 1967 as a single screen theatre that was owned and operated by Meiselman-H.B. Theatres Group.

It was at one time,the second moviehouse to opened in all of Rockingham and Richmond County since the Richmond Plaza Shopping Center opened its doors to the public in 1966 as one of the first strip plazas in the county.

The theatre itself was a showplace with the huge auditorium itself that seated over 800. Complete with plush rocking chairs and a huge widescreen that was capable of showing a variety of films. By the early 1970’s,the cinema was acquired by Charlotte-based Eastern Federal Theatres Corporation.

By the mid-to late-1970’s(possibly 1978)construction started on splitting the original auditorium into two sections,using the straight down the middle technique, thus making the Richmond Plaza Theatre into a twin cinema, under the Eastern Federal banner.

By the early-1990’s,the theatre was sold by Eastern Federal Corporation and was acquired by Carmike Cinemas (which also owned and operated the Plaza Twin Theatres just across the street from the Richmond Plaza), but it was still bringing in the crowds when showing a variety of films, mostly family features. It remained that way until its closing in 1998.

Contributed by raymond

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

raysson
raysson on November 2, 2009 at 5:00 pm

The cinema was next to a record store in the Richmond Plaza which was at the time anchored by a major grocery store chain(Big Star/Colonial and later on Bi-Lo),and two major department stores(JC Penney and Belk)
and specialty stores and shops. When it opened to the public in 1966,it was one long strip of shopping centers in the entire county.

raysson
raysson on January 4, 2010 at 6:44 pm

By the late 1960’s,and throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s,and into the 1990’s,there were only three movie theatres in Rockingham:

-The Strand Theatre(Downtown on East Washington Street-closed in the late-1960’s or early 1970’s,and was reopened as the Richmond Community Theatre

-Cinema 1 & 2(Richmond Plaza Shopping Center)

-Plaza Twin(Broad Street Shopping Center-Closed/Demolished)

-Rockingham Drive-In Theatre(aka The Highway 74 Drive-In Theatre)which is not listed on cinema treasures,but it was very popular during the 1950’s through the 1970’s,before it was closed forever in the early 1980’s,which has been demolished and clear in the mid-80’s for a car dealership and a seafood restaurant where the Rockingham drive-in theatre once stood.

raysson
raysson on August 29, 2012 at 1:48 pm

CORRECTION: It was known as the CINEMA upon its opening in 1967. The theatre was next door to a record store. The Richmond Plaza opened in 1966 with a Penney’s Department Store as its primary anchor. On the other end was a Big Star/Colonial Stores grocer,and later on a Bi-Lo. There was a Roses Department Store, a Macks Department Store, a neighborhood pharmacy, Baxter’s Men Shop,Kinney Shoes,Lerner Shops and other specialty stores. And speaking of Belk’s,it didn’t open in Richmond Plaza until 1978 when the Belk’s located in Downtown Rockingham closed and moved there. As of this writing…the Penney’s is still there,as well as Belk’s and Roses. The building that was the CINEMA is vacant that closed in 1998 by Carmike Cinemas.

raysson
raysson on May 10, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Carmike Cinemas acquired this theatre in 1994 after its acquisition of Eastern Federal Corporation. It closed in 1998.

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