Comments from raymondstewart

Showing 51 - 75 of 82 comments

raymondstewart commented about Blackwell Playhouse on Apr 6, 2006 at 3:22 am

Was originally known as Canton Corners Theater and opened in the late 70’s as an independent. Was rumored to have innitally contracted as a Septum theater, but they dropped out. Got their first big break by booking Alien and did sell-out business. Shopping center changed names to Blackwell a few years later, so the theater changed as well. Original owner retired and sold out to a younger couple who ran it for quite a while. They later took over the Marietta Star Cinema/Town & Country after Lefont gave it up.

raymondstewart commented about Salem Gate Cinema on Feb 6, 2006 at 4:24 pm

Was operated by Septum for a time, not sure if it survived until the Cineplex Odeon buyout. Was later operated by Cinestar, a small independent.

raymondstewart commented about NCG Powder Springs Ten on Feb 6, 2006 at 4:22 pm

I think this may have been built by Litchfield Theaters prior to Regal(pre-bankrupcy) buying them out. A number of the surround sound speakers were stolen during construction and could be found from time to time in various pawn shops in the area. There was another of these off Austell Road, not far from the lost Marboro Drive-In, as best I can recall it was called the Austell 10 and closed when Regal built the big 22 screen down the road. Like Jack said, it was an OK place to see a film but nothing special.

raymondstewart commented about Phipps Plaza 1 & 2 and Penthouse Theatre on Jan 1, 2006 at 5:26 pm

Wow, that picture takes me back…Who wants to go to Harry Baron’s for a sandwich? If we could only go back in time!

raymondstewart commented about Cinepolis Succasunna on Nov 7, 2005 at 12:52 pm

Where is Loew’s/AMC building at? I thought it might have been by Target but the Dick’s sign went up there…

raymondstewart commented about CNN Cinema 6 on Nov 5, 2005 at 6:21 pm

IMHO, perhaps the worst place to see a movie in Atlanta during its time. It is hard to believe that AMC started this and ended up being the chain they are today!

raymondstewart commented about 202 Drive-In on Nov 2, 2005 at 12:22 pm

My first memory of going to the movies was at the 202. We lived in the West End of Chester and went often during warm weather. There were swings and other playground stuff up by the screen and all of us kids would be in our pj’s playing, waiting for the movie to start. My parents would have picked up some hoagies, we’d eat, I’d get to watch the cartoon and short, then off to the back of the Rambler Wagon to go to sleep. There was a Pancake/Waffle place out by there that was a sometime treat, they had waffles with ice cream. I can still remember falling asleep to “what’s new pussycat whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa…” in the back of the Rambler (and even later the 68 Mustang fastback). Our children have really missed out by not having drive-ins!

raymondstewart commented about Twelve Oaks Theatre on Aug 2, 2005 at 4:00 am

Thanks for your memories of the Twelve Oaks. I was only there once, at the grand opening after Storey had taken it over. A friend of mine who worked there toward the end while Storey still had it, prior to Regal #1, told me there was a plaque of some sort in the booth still that said something about Loews but he could never quite figure out how to get it out un-noticed.

Your observation about the fact that at least it still serves an audience is so true. I’d prefer to see a theatre become a club or a church rather than become a parking lot or an eyesore that is just a shadow of it’s former self. I rode by the Old National about a year ago and it is so sad to look at. You’d never know it was a real money-maker at one time looking at it now.

Again, thanks for documenting your many memories of these old theatres. They may not be treasures in some eyes, but they always will be for those who enjoyed them or worked at them.

raymondstewart commented about AMC Franklin 3 on Jul 26, 2005 at 3:34 am

Jack, I go by the Franklin about 4 times a year in my travels and it is so sad to see it now, along with the whole area. Thanks for your efforts to document some of our old treasures, even if everyone doesn’t consider them to be treasures.

When they first opened it I was about 12 or so and delivered papers along Franklin Rd. I remember walking over to deliver my papers one Sunday morning and smelling smoke and finding that everything from the small breezeway to the left was destroyed by a fire sometime overnight. (The Brandyhouse, My Fair Lady’s Spa and a few other businesses)

I worked for AMC for a short time at the Franklin. As I recall they made their entrance into the Atlanta market by buying up some of the Weis locations. As best I can recall, the back auditorium, the largest was about 550 seats, the middle was 250 and the front was 175. I still remember seeing Midway and Battlestar Galactica in “Sensurround” there. The booth hung over part of the auditorium in the big house so it was somewhat deceptively large. The last guy who ran it told me he had planned on splitting it into two, but he ran out of money.

I saw quite a few movies there, as it was within walking distance from my childhood home, and on these hot summer afternoons there was no better place to be than in a nice, cool theater watching a film.

Again, thanks for your effort and interest in these old theaters!

raymondstewart commented about AMC Franklin 3 on Jul 25, 2005 at 5:06 pm

I lived by, worked at and remember the Franklin 3 well. Was closed by the police for showing “Felix the Cat” or some other risque film of the time.

Half the shopping center it is in was gutted by a fire one Saturday night in 1975 or 1976, but the theater was un-touched.

Very 70’s style, foil wallpaper in the tiny lobby, carpeted walls in the auditoriums, non-ADA compliant restrooms upstairs by the booths. After Weis, AMC took it over. I think the Arrowhead Triple south of town was a twin of the Franklin. After AMC closed it, Storey took it over and ran it a few years, primarily as a discount house. It ran as a Cinema Grill for a while and half the seats were stripped out. Next, Capitol Cinemas ran it as a discount house. At the end it was run by one of the Capitol owners by himself as Allen Entertainment before it closed the last time. Before it closed some of the pink seats from the Phipps Penthouse found their way into one auditorium as the owner was trying to increase seating capacity.

I saw quite a few of the blockbusters there and the largest auditorium was a great place to see a film. Big screen, good projection, good sound system. I was in there a few weeks before it closed and it was in very sad shape; the projector was being run without an aperature plate, so the picture was all over the side walls and ceiling. The sadest part was that no one that worked there had any idea what was wrong or how to fix it!

raymondstewart commented about Sandy Springs Theatre on Jun 22, 2005 at 7:21 am

Were either of these locations in the old Hammond Square shopping center? 5549 shows up as inside the perimeter. I recall a theater there back in the first half of the 70’s down in the corner. I think it was a Weis. I was also told there was a theater at one time in the Sandy Springs shopping center where Johnsons Ferry, Mt. Vernon intersect with Roswell Rd. Do you recall that one?

raymondstewart commented about Marietta Star Cinema on Jun 21, 2005 at 7:42 am

Now the T&C wasn’t that bad… It did big business back in the 70’s as a twin, the split of the newer auditorium was a butcher job, funny since it was the first time I ever saw Eastern Federal spend any real money doing a twinning.

I was there the last week it was operating before it was gutted the first time. The operators at that time didn’t realize that EFC’s ground lease was about to expire. EFC pulled out all the equipment and left it gutted. Lefont took the equipment from the old Plitt Promenade, which was being gutted and turned into a Best Buy, and reopened the T&C as the Marietta Star Cinema. He operated it for a while but it was too far from his base of operations and not really his market. The independent operator of the closed Blackwell Cinema took over from Lefont and ran it until it closed as far as I know.

Went by the other day and it is being completely gutted and I was told the entire area down the “arcade”, along with the storefronts between it and the Big Lots is being redeveloped into a Goodwill store.

There are lots of fond memories among the people of Marietta about the T&C.

raymondstewart commented about South Dekalb Cinemas 12 on Jun 10, 2005 at 6:28 am

About the time UA closed this, Majic Johnson announced that he was going to build there but it never happened. I guess the new mall out in Lithonia killed that off.

raymondstewart commented about Marietta West Theatre on Jun 10, 2005 at 6:26 am

I always thought that the corner of that shopping center looked like it had a theater but don’t remember there ever being one. Maybe an old Georgia Theater Co. guy will remember it. May have even been a Martin that GTC didn’t take over…

raymondstewart commented about Cobb Cinema on Jun 10, 2005 at 6:23 am

You should have seen the North Springs booth after the platter was installed! #1 had to start before #2 because you couldn’t get to it once #2 was running.

raymondstewart commented about Phipps Plaza 1 & 2 and Penthouse Theatre on Jun 10, 2005 at 6:21 am

The switch from ABC to Plitt was before the Promenade opened, which as best I can recall was 1979.

raymondstewart commented about Cobb Cinema on Jun 8, 2005 at 10:41 am

By the late 70’s they had upgraded to an ice machine on site at the Cobb Cinema. Both the Cobb & the Miracle would do big business back in the day. There was a murder there one evening around 1977, a shotgun slaying related to a cheating spouse. Around 1979 it got new seats that were trucked up from the Royal Palm in Jacksonville as I recall when it was remodeled. By 1979 the popcorn was popped here in Atlanta for the EFC chain. There was this delivery truck that popped it en-route for a while, talk about a crazy idea! At the North Springs we had a storage room built back on the old stage behind screen #1 where we stored the bags of popcorn. If you needed more while people were in the auditorium the story was that it was popped backstage in a sound-proof room! Eastern Federal was pretty tight with funds and would do some pretty screwy stuff, but it was a fun chain to work for during those days.

raymondstewart commented about Phipps Plaza 1 & 2 and Penthouse Theatre on Jun 7, 2005 at 7:53 pm

Wow, thanks for the story Stan! I never visited the Phipps before the twinning/penthouse, I bet it was a great place as a single. Back in those days there were so many theaters here in town, I hate to look in the AJC and see the few theaters left that are not megaplexes.

raymondstewart commented about Stonemont Theatre on Jun 7, 2005 at 1:56 pm

The layout of the Ben Hill was the same as the original auditorium of the Town & Country and the single Cobb Cinema. Low ceilings, Cinemechannica (sp?) projection, restrooms under the booth down some steps, etc. There was always rumors around the company about what came from what since there were so many different designs and equipment scattered across town. Going way back, when the Thunderbird drive-in was still open, that was originally a Cobb property. I was told the North Springs, Miracle, Belvedere, Cherokee and Toco Hills were built for Cobb as well. I visited a Cobb theater outside of Tampa 15 years ago and it was the same setup as those.

The Brannon Square twin was another old ABC property that went on to Septum and, while I was never in the booth, it always struck me as similar to the Town & Country/Cobb Cinema/Ben Hill setup.

raymondstewart commented about North Springs Cinema Grill on Jun 7, 2005 at 1:47 pm

Do you mean is the equipment still there, not likely. Eastern Federal had a ground lease that has expired and they usually stripped the equipment out when their lease expired, so I’d guess the stuff is gone. I know that they stripped the Town & Country and Miracle when the lease expired. The Cherokee’s equipment was found here and there in the company (I think the projection stuff went into the Baronet) and they sold the lease back to the landlord at Toco Hills with the equipment intact.

Could you install Cinerama, no. The booth was small and there was a stairway that went up the right side. There was nothing on the left of the booth but the roof of the lobby, so no room for the alpha or charlie projectors. The Miracle or the Belvedere could have handled three projectors, don’t recall the Toco Hills booth setup.

raymondstewart commented about North Springs Cinema Grill on Jun 7, 2005 at 10:52 am

Same auditorium layout as the Cherokee, Toco Hills, Belvedere & Miracle. Was twinned in 78 as I recall, seated 331 on one side, 336 on the other. Some of the sound equipment was from the Georgia Cinerama, the speaker in #2 still had the CINERAMA insignia on it!(I was Asst. Mgr. at the NST for a while) Before the twinning it had a mural of Liz Taylor and Richard Burton on the wall of the lobby.

raymondstewart commented about Stonemont Theatre on Jun 7, 2005 at 10:42 am

Did ABC also own the Ben Hill Twin? It was on the west side of town and was later operated by Eastern Federal. It looked just like the Stonemont. There was a time capsule buried at the Stonemont’s grand opening, I wonder what happened to that? It was still standing about a year ago. It did operate at the Hollywood Stonemont for a short time, then Bollywood. I think it is closed and teh Bollywood stuff moved to the old UA/GTC Green’s Crossing up in Gwinnett Co.

raymondstewart commented about Cobb Theatre on Jun 1, 2005 at 10:26 am

Was a Cobb Theaters property. I knew a guy who was the manager there at one point known as “Cobby”, who went to work for Martin and stayed on until after Carmike took over. I never knew the Cobb to be open as a theater and have heard that it closed sometime in the mid-60’s.

raymondstewart commented about Georgia Twin on Jun 1, 2005 at 10:23 am

When the Georgia was twinned Martin built a suite of offices in the back that served as their booking office well into the 80’s. A friend of mine’s dad was a VP with Martin and I can remember visiting their offices many times. (This was back in the Fuqua days before the Patricks bought them out)

The last time I was over there I think it is now a church of some sort. Before that a real estate company used it for an office and presentations.

raymondstewart commented about Belmont Theatre on May 16, 2005 at 2:21 pm

Actually a bunch older, late 50’s as I recall. Once a Martin property, then on to Georgia Theater Co. I’m not sure if it was still in operation when UA took over Georgia’s operations.

I remember seeing Murder on the Orient Express there in the early 70’s and the front of the auditorium was flooded, leaving the floor under the first 4 or 5 rows under water!