Cinemas 4 Pompano

3251 North Federal Highway,
Pompano Beach, FL 33064

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 16, 2013 at 11:08 pm

This house opened as the Shoppers' Haven Cinema. A small photo of the screen end of the auditorium appeared in the October, 1963, issue of International Projectionist. The house featured a maskless Schlanger screen, which suggests that theater designer Benjamin Schlanger was probably the consulting architect for the house. He played that role for Genreal Cinema’s Cinema Shoppers' World in Framingham, Massachusetts, an a number of other General Cinema projects of the period.

sporridge
sporridge on August 13, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Now 50 years after its grand opening with “Ocean’s 11,” the former Pompano Cinema is now a tavern. Plans for redevelopment are apparently on hold.

sporridge
sporridge on July 26, 2009 at 2:13 pm

As awkward as it sounds, the later name under Lockwood McKinnon/Friedman was “Cinemas 4 Pompano” (with “s”).

Also, if Beverly W. happens to find this, “hi” from your old community college newspaper, Ultravision, and Cinemas 4 Pompano friend Steve!

sporridge
sporridge on July 26, 2009 at 1:17 pm

“Further details to follow” — almost a year later.

General Cinema Corporation made its South Florida debut with the 1200-seat Pompano Cinema, North Broward County’s first indoor theater. Designed to blend in with the new suburban surroundings (GCC’s main demographic of the time), it was originally part of the Shoppers Haven center.

While designed for economy and efficiency rather than architectural splendor, the Pompano Cinema was advertised as having the largest screen in Florida. I recall the auditorium was originally lined with undecorated walls, and corrugated metal panels along the side exits (the panels were ventilated — an air conditioning recycling consideration, perhaps?)

Programming was mainly family-oriented at first, and the Pompano always scored whatever Disney product was to be had (including the original “That Darn Cat,” my earliest memory of moviegoing). Once the ABC Florida State Ultravision opened three miles north, the Pompano started running more PG and R releases. They’d rarely venture outside of mainstream fare, but had the occasional surprise such as the Broward exclusive of Spike Lee’s first film.

It would remain a movie destination (through twinning, quadrupling, and a change in ownership) for 38 years, followed by a stint as the Club Cinema nightclub.

Probably its most noteworthy moment occurred at a reunion concert of late 1970s/early 1980s South Florida bands in January 2007, honoring the late Sheila Witkin (band promoter and nurturing presence). Johnny Depp attended to play alongside his old band The Kidz.

As of 2009, the site and its surrounding strip-shop rows are slated for redevelopment. A sign on the property mentions availability of “25,000 square feet big box retail.” It’s possible the Pompano Cinema will mark its 50th anniversary as a store.

P.S.: Thanks to whomever’s keeping the lights on at this remnant of the former offical GCC site, for some background details:

http://generalcinematheatres.com/

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on July 24, 2009 at 3:52 pm

Here is a November 1973 ad.

JerseyChris
JerseyChris on January 14, 2009 at 5:42 pm

I lived in South Florida during most of the 1980’s and part of 1990’s and have many fond memories of both the Pompano Cinema and Movies at Pompano. Both were on Federal Highway. However, I believe the Pompano Cinema was actually in Lighthouse Point while Movies at Pompano was in Pompano Beach. In any case, great memories of both.

sporridge
sporridge on August 13, 2008 at 8:28 pm

Thanksgiving weekend 1998 marked the end of Cinemas 4 Pompano, after two months' attempted survival against Muvico Pompano 18 about a mile south. Held on to extended engagements of “Saving Private Ryan” and “There’s Something About Mary” as long as they could, with an attempt at booking Sony Pictures Classics fare. Final sign on the door read, “Due to circumstances beyond our control, we will no longer be in business.”

Opening date was 1960, debuting with the original Oceans Eleven.

Further details to follow…

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on August 13, 2008 at 2:46 pm

This opened as a single screen theatre in 1964. It was twinned in 1973 and became a quad in 1985.

Does anyone know what year it closed? Was it 1998 right after Muvico opened?

Agent86
Agent86 on April 10, 2006 at 3:58 am

The Cinema 4 Pompano, where I saw many films in the 80s, is now a night club called Club Cinema. Here is a link where you can read about it. View link

joemasher
joemasher on July 29, 2004 at 9:11 pm

The Pompano Cinema 4 is within walking distance on Federal Highway, just north of the Muvico/old UA site on the same side of the street. The Shopper’s Haven plaza is on the corner of Federal and Sample Rd.

Mikeoaklandpark
Mikeoaklandpark on July 29, 2004 at 7:34 am

Joe
In refernce to the Muvico 18 where was this theater?

joemasher
joemasher on July 29, 2004 at 4:39 am

This theatre was an anchor in the Shopper’s Haven Plaza. After GCC closed it, and independent from Massachusettes (Lockwood-Friedman, later Lockwood-McKinnon) opened the theatre. It was divided into a four-plex and ran first run into the early 90’s, when a megaplex (Muvico Pompano) opened down the street (replacing the UA Movies at Pompano 6). The Cinema 4 Pompano, as it was then known, reverted to second run features and eventually closed. Last I knew it was still standing, abandoned.