Cinemas West 5

1408 Hudgins Street,
Gainesville, GA 30501

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I remember this theatre opening in the late-1970’s as a 3 screen cinema. Another auditorium was added on the right side. I began my many trips to the movies in February of 1981, seeing the “Adventures of the Wilderness Family-Part 2”.

It was operated by Fairlane-Litchfield for several years,Then the name changed to Litchfield Theaters, then it was operated by United Artists until they folded then I think Storey ran it until Georgia Theaters took over Storey.

I seen many great movies there on their 4 screens. There were two auditoriums on each side one small and one large. This is one theater that still used reels on the projectors instead of platters making the operator do rewinds after each show. Also I noticed they did most of their popcorn popping on Saturday afternoon when I usually attended. They bagged up the corn in huge trash bags and stored it till it was needed, but it was still good popcorn. I saw “Getteysberg” a four and a half hour long movie there. That was the longest movie I ever seen in a theater. The two auditoriums on the left side had Dolby sound and the two on the right side were mono.

After “A Few Good Men” finished its run there the big auditorium on the right side was split down the middle creating 2 long and narrow auditoriums with very small screens. However the cinema 5 projector used a platter and had Dolby sound installed in it. I saw “Indian Summer” and “Notting Hill” in that auditorium. I never seen a movie in the other tiny theater but I peeped into it once and saw the tiny microscreen.

In the mid-1990’s it became a dollar theater. The local Pontiac-Buick-GMC dealer wanted the property for his car lot and it was sold to him and the theater closed on Labor Day 1999. I attended a movie on their final day of operation. I saw “Lake Placid” in the small auditorium on the left side. I remember how sad the staff were that day. The theater was being remodeled just before it closed, I noticed new seats with cupholders were in the theater where I saw “Notting Hill” the Thursday before they closed. They had planned on closing the Thursday before Labor Day but decided to remain open until Labor Day. I went Thursday and Labor Day to see movies since I knew it was the end of a great movie house. Well the car dealer used the parking-lot to store his cars and the building sat empty. Finally the theater was demolished and the car dealer no longer uses the lot today. I noticed the property is for sale now. If you turn off Browns Bridge Road onto Hudgins Street and look to your right the only sign of the theater that remains is the huge parking-lot lights that no longer work.

Contributed by Arlin Wheeler

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on February 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Thanks Arlin,Georgia theatres had a habit of ruining some of our best Theatres in the State.

jwfletcher
jwfletcher on August 1, 2011 at 11:36 pm

I grew up in this theater. My dad was the manager from 1981 until 1997, with a brief hiatus during UA’s money issues in about 1989 or 90. I remember seeing countless movies here, playing on the arcade games, and running around being a terror.

It’s a shame they sold and demolished this place.

Couple of interesting tidbits, during the “split” of the big house on the right side, my dad was injured by falling from the roof (1993) and the theater never really ran the same after that. After Dad was forced to leave by management (1997), they converted it to a dollar theater and sold out to Hardman a few years later.

keypher
keypher on May 24, 2013 at 2:05 pm

Hey jwfletcher, I managed Cinema West in 1996 after I left Blueridge were I managed for 2 years 1995-1996. Jackie was at Cinemas west for at least 3 years before me 1993-1996. A

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