Winter Haven Mall Twin

Citi Centre Street,
Winter Haven, FL 33880

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Winter Haven Mall Cinema

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The Winter Haven Mall Cinema was located at the Winter Haven Mall on Third Street (which the road leading to the parking lot is now Citi Centre Street) and opened its doors as a single-screener on September 19, 1972 with Robert Redford in “The Candidate”. It was first managed by Sidney Pink. The theatre was taken over by the Florida West Amusements Incorporated of Englewood in 1977, and the theatre was converted into a twin the following year in 1978.

On April 13, 1985, at approximately 10:47 PM Eastern Time, the manager of the theatre, 37-year-old William Thompson, and the clerk, unknown-aged Lori Edstrom, were both robbed and abused by an unidentified man inside the manager’s office.

The incident goes as follows: The man first walked to the men’s bathroom nearly 20 minutes before the incident. A few minutes later, Thompson walked inside the bathroom where the suspect was in one of the stalls. After using the bathroom, the suspect followed Thompson behind around the lobby. Meanwhile, both manager Thompson and the clerk Lori Edstrom were both smoking a cigarette in the manager’s office near the lobby until the suspect suddenly opened the door and pulled out a semiautomatic firearm. He pointed the gun in Thompson’s back. While Thompson continued to struggle for another several minutes, the suspect stole a total of $2,000 and a walkie-talkie. Finally, after stealing the amount of money and the walkie-talkie, the suspect locked Thompson in handcuffs and bound Edstrom’s hand with duct tape. The incident occurred during the screenings of “Ladyhawke” at Screen 1 and “Desperately Seeking Susan” at Screen 2, but the suspect was so frustrated beforehand “for the word go”. It was unknown why but it could be the meaning of the suspect refusing to leave the theatre. Despite the horror in the theatre, nobody was killed or injured in the incident and the suspect was not identified at all.

The Winter Haven Mall Twin was mainly a first-run theatre for many years, but in 1990, the theatre switched over to a second-run policy. This didn’t last long at all, and the Winter Haven Mall Twin closed for the final time on October 25, 1990 with Bill Crosby in “Ghost Dad” at Screen 1 and “Gremlins 2: The New Batch” at Screen 2.

Contributed by 50sSNIPES
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