Church Street Cinemas

1807 South Church Street,
Burlington, NC 27215

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Church Street Cinemas

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in the Spoon Plaza Shopping Center, aka Zayre Plaza Shopping Center, this theatre opened on March 23, 1970 as the Trans-Lux Inflight Cinema with the premiere attraction showing of “The Ballad of Cable Hogue” starring Jason Robards with a seating capacity of 700. It was renamed the Janus Theatre by 1973. By 1976, this theatre was twinned by splitting down the original auditorium into two sections, creating shoebox auditoriums with smaller screens. It was renamed the Janus Theatres 1 & 2 and it remained that way before it closed in the early-to-mid 1980’s.

It was renamed Cinema Blue that specialized in showing XXX-rated films, and the theatre was purchased by Janus Theatres(now Carousel Cinemas). Later on, the theatre was again purchased by a High Point, NC-based company and was used as a second-run theatre for the next 10 years when it was renamed the Church Street Cinemas. By the mid-1990’s, it was later sold to a Durham, NC-based company who operated it as a Spanish language theater for two months before closing it’s doors in late-1999. It is now converted into a church.

Contributed by raysson

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

raysson on July 24, 2012 at 10:28 am

RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK played here at the Janus Twin first-run in 1981.

raysson on July 25, 2012 at 11:57 am

The Church Street Twin Cinemas was never demolished. The theatre closed in the 1990’s as a discount theatre. The building is still there but it has been converted into a mega-church that basically took up that section where it was a shopping center that was anchored by a Zayre Department Store and a Winn-Dixie grocer.

This theatre was once the Trans-Lux In Flight Cinema that opened on March 23,1970. It was renamed the Janus Theatre by 1973 and was twinned by 1976 renamed the Janus 1 & 2. By 1983,it became the Blue Moon Adult Theatre that specialized in showing hardcore XXX-rated films until the late-1980’s or early-to-mid 1990’s. By the 1990’s it became a discount movie house under Janus Theatres and was renamed the Church Street Twin Cinemas until it closed in the late-1990’s. It reopened as a Spanish Language cinema that specialized in showing Spanish films for the huge Latino crowd. By either 2000 or 2001 it closed for good. It was converted into a church by either 2003 or 2004 that is still in business.

5minutes on April 11, 2013 at 8:49 pm

A few corrections:

  1. The theater was the Blue Moon from the late 70’s until some time before 1985. I know this because this was the theater I saw Police Academy 3 in, and that movie came out in 1985 (and I was 12 years old at the time), and given my mother’s fear of even entering the same building that an evil theater had been, I’d say it had been at least a year or two.

  2. The theater was closed when the Terrace expanded in the early 1990’s, when it was purchased by Daniel Kleeberg of High Point (he owned a small string of second-run theaters in High Point, Burlington, North Wilksboro, and, I think, somewhere in Virginia. I know this because I worked for Kleeberg and the longest-running movie the theater had under his management was Cool Runnings (1993).

  3. The name of the theater during the 90’s wasn’t Church Street Twin Cinemas – it was Church Street Cinema Twin. Minor point, I know. It stayed open until late 99, when he had to close it due to lack of people to manage it (I’d left by this point, as had the long-term manager).

  4. There was only one “shoebox” screen. The large auditorium could hold about 450 people, while the smaller screen could hold around 180.

  5. The grocery store in the shopping center was never a Winn-Dixie. The oldest store I remember was a Krogers (where the infamous Blanche Taylor Moore worked) that was later replaced by a Byrd’s, which was eventually bought by Lowes Foods and then closed. Today, it’s a Aldi.

5minutes on April 12, 2013 at 6:24 am

Correction: Police Academy 3 came out in 1986, but I still stand by my original statement. I may hop down to the library at some point to check old newspapers to see when the changeover happened.

5minutes on April 12, 2013 at 1:57 pm

Did a quick look at the newspaper archives and learned that the Blue Moon had closed sometime in 1979 or 1980. On or just before January 1, 1981, the theater opened as the Janus with one screen. The first movie was “Seems Like Old Times” with Goldie Hawn and Chevy Chase.

wlasley on January 12, 2015 at 6:26 pm

Facts & confirmations:

I saw an animated Disney film at this theater in the early-to-mid-1970s.
I remember the Times-News Burlington newspaper ads from circa the late ‘70s being for the “Cinema Blue,” an X-rated theater featuring a weekly “Live Amateur Night."
I actually saw "Seems Like Old Times,”(US release date December 19, 1980) there and it was the Janus.
By the mid-'80s the two auditoriums were indeed different sizes, one being considerably smaller than the other. *The Janus continued showing first run films at this location at least as late as October 1988, as I saw Alien Nation first run there.

Note: I consider this comment a correction of any contradictory info on this page.

5minutes on December 28, 2015 at 11:30 am

WLasley is correct: it was Cinema Blue, not the Blue Moon (they used a blue moon logo on their marquee).

OCRon on July 27, 2016 at 2:10 am

Designed by the foremost John McNamara. News clip in photo section.

Mr. McNamara remembered in the New York Times on May 9, 1988:

John J. McNamara, an architect who designed and renovated some of the best-known theaters in New York City, died April 26 in Raleigh, N.C., his home in recent years. He was 90 years old.

Mr. McNamara practiced under his own name in New York for 35 years after more than a decade in the office of Thomas W. Lamb, one of the nation’s most respected and prolific theater architects.

Mr. McNamara designed the Coronet Theater, an addition to the Baronet, at Third Avenue and 59th Street; the 34th Street East Theater, near Second Avenue, from what had been a power substation, and the 23d Street West Theater, near Eighth Avenue.

He designed the marquee of the Winter Garden Theater, at Broadway and 50th Street in Manhattan.

An early project, in 1951, was the alteration of the Little Carnegie Theater, 146 West 57th Street, which was torn down six years ago.

Two Times Square movie palaces came to his drawing board for renovation in 1959: the 4,417-seat Capitol, at Broadway and 51st Street, and the Loew’s State, at Broadway and 45th Street. The Capitol was redesigned to accommodate live shows. Both are now gone, although the Loew’s State was only recently demolished.

Mr. McNamara remodeled the Palace Theater, at Broadway and 47th Street, in 1965. That renowned vaudeville house had been a movie theater for many years until its purchase by the Nederlander family, which converted it into a legitimate Broadway theater. The stage was rehabilitated and widened, dressing rooms were modernized and seats were added. The interior is now an official landmark. ‘Soft, Understated Route’

In 1973, Mr. McNamara redesigned the R.K.O. Colonial Theater, at Broadway and 62d Street, into the Harkness Theater, the first in the city devoted exclusively to dance. It closed in 1976 and has been replaced by an apartment tower, One Harkness Plaza.

Five years later, he supervised renovation of the New Apollo Theater, 234 West 43d Street. Paul Goldberger said in The New York Times that the ‘'venerable’‘ Mr. McNamara ’‘chose to take a soft, understated route with the Apollo – he wisely decided not to add too much of his own, but to let the old building speak for itself.’‘ The theater is now called the Academy.

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