Columbia City Cinema

10205 Wincopin Circle,
Columbia, MD 21044

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Columbia General Cinemas I-III

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Built in 1972 as two screens, it was operated by General Cinemas – the Baltimore division manager was located there. After the larger auditorium had been twinned, it finally closed as a 3-screen cinema.

Contributed by dave-bronx

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

David Wodeyla
David Wodeyla on August 6, 2004 at 12:22 am

This theatre was used as a display/prototype for the Cambridge 7 Design that General Cinema started using for their upgrades in the late 1980’s. Dark walls, tivoli lights everywhere, darkened lobbies, and dark grey and blue seats replacing the white metal. I have a vague memory of visiting this one on a tour once, to show off the new design.

dave-bronx™ on October 11, 2004 at 1:12 am

This needs to be listed under General Cinema, who operated it for its entire run…….

rob97dc on November 29, 2004 at 7:23 pm

This was a General Cinema 3 screen when it closed around 2000. Demolished to make room for a senior citizen high rise complex.

JoeLinville on September 7, 2008 at 7:13 am

Please..This theatre opened as a 2 screen twin theatre, and had the larger of the auditoriums split thus creating a 3 screen tri-plex, as it remained until it’s dying day in 2000. It never had 7 screens.
I was a manager for GCC in the Baltimore/Virginia division area when it opened, and during most of it’s lifetime (I retired at the end of 1998) and know the facts first hand.

dave-bronx™ on September 7, 2008 at 8:25 pm

Mr. Pipe – Mr. Bispeck, the DM in Baltimore, was previously the manager at the Parmatown Cinema in Cleveland, he left us in the summer of 1972. His first office there in Baltimore was at the Security Sq. Cinema, then shortly after moved over to Columbia City.

JoeLinville on July 10, 2009 at 6:48 am

Dave-Bronx…Bernie Bispeck became the DM in 1972 following the resignation of Ed Dineen (who as we know eventually returned as a RVP). At that time, the division office was located at the Perring Plaza Cinema in Baltimore County. When the Columbia City Cinemas opened, he moved the division office there. He was removed as DM shortly afterwards, and was replace by the late Walter Miles. He was then assigned as manager of the Security Square Mall Cinemas (a twin at the time, located inside the mall). He never got over being removed, claiming he was returning to manager as “semi-retirement”! Eventually, he moved to Florida with GCC, with his first stop being Fashion Square, and ending at a slow twin theatre, I think was called Seminole.

With all due respect to your knowledge of GCC, the above is correct as I lived it first hand during my early years with GCC in Baltimore.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 9, 2010 at 2:58 am

Hate to have worked in a theatre with the DM there.

Holden_Pike on August 11, 2011 at 1:31 am

Don’t know where Chuck is getting his info from, but it definitely was NEVER a seven screen cinema. If you’d ever been there, you know it was barely big enough for three screens.

In early 2000 the cinema tried one last attempt to stay alive by turning into an arthouse, playing smaller indie and foreign flicks. It didn’t last, and the Columbia Cinema closed shortly thereafter. The last movie I ever saw there was Kenneth Branagh’s LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST in the summer of 2000.

When it opened in the 1970s, the General Cinema was the only movie theater in Columbia. The Columbia Palace 9 opened in 1986, sucking away what little business the downtown theater was still doing. In 1997, the United Artists Snowden Square 14 siphoned off the business from both the Columbia III and Palace 9, with the original Columbia movie theater closing in 2000 and Palace 9 in 2001.

LouRugani on August 23, 2012 at 12:12 am

The architect was Marks & Cooke of Towson, Maryland. Combined seating was listed at 1,000.

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