Carmike Plaza Cinema Twin

2415 N. Heritage Street,
Kinston, NC 28501

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Former Plaza Cinema Twin marquee - Kinston, NC

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 auditoriums seating 175 and 300. 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.

Contributed by NightHawk1, raysson

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

raysson on December 6, 2011 at 3:49 pm

Interesting. It reminds me of the Lakewood Center Theatre in Durham that opened in November of 1966,that was anchored by a W.T. Grant’s Department Store and was anchored by two supermarkets too(Winn-Dixie and Kroger!)

NightHawk1 on June 28, 2013 at 6:26 pm

This was originally a Trans-Lux Inflight Cinema. It most likely opened in 1970, along with locations in Burlington, Charlotte, Greensboro and High Point. The Kinston Plaza Trans-Lux was the third shopping-center cinema in town, following the Park Theatre on North Queen Street (H. B. Meiselman, approximately 1951) and the Mall Cinema at Vernon Park Mall (Stewart & Everett, 1969). Trans-Lux’s use of 16mm equipment instead of conventional 35mm doomed their operation from the start; Trans-Lux abandoned the Kinston cinema by 1974. Stewart & Everett reopened it as the Plaza Cinema in 1975; this theater may have been the only former Trans-Lux Inflight Cinema in North Carolina to never operate as a dedicated pornhouse (Kinston severely restricted when and/or where porn movies could be shown: either late-night weekend shows within city limits – Mall Cinema – or outside of the city limits – North 11 Drive-In).

raysson on June 12, 2014 at 10:44 am

Opened as the Trans-Lux Inflight Cinema on January 14,1970. If you need to see the grand opening ad for this theatre,I have this information available. E-Mail me at

The Trans-Lux Inflight Cinema’s opening attraction was JOHN AND MARY with Dustin Hoffman and Mia Farrow.

The coming attractions or coming soon to the Trans-Lux:

John Wayne and Rock Hudson in THE UNDEFEATED

Burt Lancaster and Dean Martin in AIRPORT

Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton in WHERE EAGLES DARE

William Holden and Ernest Borgnine in THE WILD BUNCH

Clint Eastwood in HANG EM' HIGH

John Wayne, Kim Darby and Glen Campbell in TRUE GRIT

Lundjr on October 22, 2014 at 6:34 pm

The one auditorium had a seating capacity of 175 but the big auditorium could seat 300.

NBmovieman on November 20, 2014 at 2:49 pm

The newest auditorium received the seats from the Tryon Theatre (now the Athens in New Bern). They were pink because the Tryon was slated to be turned into an X rated theatre, but that never panned out.

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