Carmike Other Center 7
4000 McCain Boulevard,
North Little Rock,
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This cinema opened as a twin on March 14. 1975 and closed as a seven-plex but its largest point was when it was known as the Other Center Cinema 13 from July 27, 1986 to 1989. It was the Rand Theatre Circuit chain’s most ambitious cinema in terms of screen count. W.A. “Tony” Rand lived in North Little Rock and used the 1980’s multiplex as his example of how he could transform his little-known – yet – fast-growing Arkansas-based circuit into a 400 to 600 screen Southern or national circuit.
The non-descript seven auditorium house became a gangly 13-screen multiplex with an oddly laid out floor plan. The expansion allowed Rand to close the neighboring McCain Mall Cinema I & II. The Other Center Cinema 13’s design and equipment selection might have been the earliest tip-off that the Rand’s expertise was more in deal brokering than true theater operation. The Rands would make land deals in Arkansas followed by Texas, New Mexico, Illinois, Tennessee, Delaware, and Florida in their expedited expansion.
By the late-1980’s and with creative financing, the Rands opened theaters in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, San Antonio, Austin and two in Tennessee. But the Rands would make the Wall Street Journal for all of the wrong reasons as the creative practices were becoming quite apparent and were worrying investors and the film industry.
By late-1989, the circuit was accused of not paying proper revenue to all major studios. The Other Center Cinema had some of the most unusual bookings trying to fill as many of the 13 auditoriums as it could mostly from studios who are largely forgotten today.
The Other Center Cinema 13 closed in December of 1989 with just five auditoriums in use at the very end just as the entire 126-screen circuit was shuttered for non-payment of taxes and checks that didn’t clear. The circuit’s headquarters in Little Rock was auctioned off in 1990 with Mr. Rand and his sons heading to prison. The Other Center Cinema 13 would have the distinction of having more screen count than any other Rand Theatre in the circuit’s brief life.
Carmike would take on the Other Center 13 scaling it back to the original seven-plex, with its two largest 300-seat houses equipped with DTS. It reopened May 17, 1991. Carmike shuttered the Other Center on February 22, 2002. It was replaced by a Barnes & Noble Bookstore.
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