Cameron Village Theatre
511 Woodburn Road,
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The Cameron Village Theatre was part of the first shopping center ever built in Raleigh, NC. The shopping center opened on November 17, 1949, and it became a destination showplace of shops and services. The stores consisted of several when it opened, among them was anchored by Colonial/Big Star Grocer, Roses 5 and 10 Discount Store, three major department stores: among them were Sears, Thalhimers and Penney’s (JC Penney), and speciality shops that included Boylan-Pierce, Balentine’s Cafeteria and the Village Pharmacy to name a few.
The Cameron Village Theatre was one of the first moviehouses to be built in what at the time was a suburban section of the city, not far from the greater downtown Raleigh, and less than three blocks from the campus of North Carolina State University. The Cameron Village Theatre was one of the South’s most modern single screen moviehouses and one of the most elegant in all of Eastern North Carolina. The grand opening of the Cameron Village Theatre was on Thursday February 22, 1951 with Ronald Reagan in “Bedtime For Bonzo”. It was located at the interesction of Cameron Street and Woodburn Road.
Beautifully designed and decorated inside and out, the Cameron Village Theatre was a showplace that had the most relaxing atmosphere in the most modern manner, that brought the Triangle area some of Hollywood’s best. At the time of its opening, the Village presented the latest projection equipment and futurist interior furnishings – a first for Raleigh and Eastern North Carolina. The auditorium itself was a huge 750-seat theatre, complete with extra wide aisles and it offered for the first ever ‘floating seats’ for maximum comfort and convenience when other patrons leave or enter your aisle. There was also acres of free parking.
The theatre was renovated in the 1960’s, and more parking spaces were added. By June, 1975, a second auditorium was created by twinning the original auditorium down the middle. It was renamed Village Twin Theatres and it was acquired by Martin Theatres chain. Operated by Carmike Cinemas, as more shopping centers were built in the city, the Cameron Village Shopping Center’s fortunes fell. During one of the Center’s many makeovers, the twin cinema closed in March 1990.
The building was gutted in the mid-1990’s, and a K & W Cafeteria was constructed inside the former cinema.
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