Carmike Plaza Cinema Twin
2415 N. Heritage Street,
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The Trans-Lux Inflight Cinema opened at Kinston Plaza Shopping Center on January 14, 1970. It was located in the middle of the shopping center that was anchored by Woolco’s Department Store and Auto Center, along with Eckerd Drugs and two supermarkets (a Big Star/Colonial grocer on one end and on the other end was an A&P Food Center). The theatre was located at the rear of a semi-enclosed corridor that featured small specialty shops and restaurants. It eventually had strong competition when S&E opened the Mall Cinema at Vernon Park Mall in March of that year, along with the downtown movie houses like the Paramount Theatre and Park Theatre, and the Bright Leaf Drive-In.
TransLux abandoned the cinema by 1974 and by 1975 Stewart & Everett took over operations of this theatre and renamed it Plaza Cinema. By that time it would replace the defunct Bright Leaf Drive-In and soon after the Plaza Cinema opened the Paramount Theatre would close, leaving the Plaza Cinema, the Park Theatre and the Mall Cinema as Kinston’s only indoor movie houses.
The movies that played at the Plaza Cinema were the standard Disney fare and it usually got the occasional ‘B’ movie fare, not to mention the odd films which got first-run billing.
By 1981, the Plaza Cinema was twinned under Stewart & Everett and renamed Plaza Cinema 1 & 2 with two auditoriums each seating 175. This occurred the same time the Park Theatre on N. Queen Street closed, leaving Stewart & Everett with a monopoly in Kinston with two indoor cinemas.
By the time Carmike Cinemas took over this theatre in 1986, it was renamed Plaza Cinema Twin. Carmike kept the Plaza Cinema Twin operating after they closed the Mall Cinema in 1999. The Plaza Cinema Twin was closed on April 28, 2000, a week after the opening of the Premiere Theatres 7 on Hill Farm Road, which marked the end of Carmike’s dominance of theatres in the Kinston area. A furniture retail store and speciality shops now occupy the former Plaza Cinema Twin.
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