Palms 8 Theatre

Babcock Street and Laurie Street,
Melbourne, FL 32935

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Kent Theatres Inc.

Previous Names: Palms Theatre

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1962 image courtesy of Walter Gregg Young II.

This theatre was built on a former drive-in lot located at the intersection of Babcock Street and Laurie Street in Eau Gallie (now Melbourne, FL). It opened as the single screen Palms Theatre on December 23, 1962 with William Holden in “The Lion”. It became a five-plex December 24, 1978. Parking lot featured a curved space layout with far more capacity than needed for the multiplex (only ½ of those spaces were maintained or lit by light posts at night), hinting at its drive-in roots. It became 8 screens May 18, 1984.

Nothing very remarkable about the building itself. It was very large from the outside. Peach-beige paint color. Inside, the lobby split in three directions: on the left it led to restrooms and at least two screens, straight ahead was a gaming area for kids, down the main hall put you past concessions and to the right led to the other six screens.

This theatre operated until the mid or late-1990’s. It was then closed down and abandoned until the building and lot were razed in the early-2000’s to make way for a public road to be put through it to connect Ballard Drive and Babcock Street more directly.

Contributed by Craig Weinstein

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

fred1 on December 8, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Was this ever a Womecto theater?

Craigfilm on January 14, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Addendum: Palms 8 Theater was purchased by the City of Melbourne in 2001 and razed for redevelopment within that same year. Fred— Supposedly this was a “Kent” theater in a chain. There was a Satellite Beach Kent, and the three others were “NASA”, “BREVARD” and “PALMS 5”. I am not sure which name this one carried. Probably one of the latter two.

jhuss1256 on January 7, 2012 at 6:47 am

. I went to the Palms Theater in the 60’s, 70’s and the 80’s. I remember that in 1969 I saw “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”, “Battle for Britain”, “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”, “True Grit” “Tora, Tora, Tora”, Kelly Heroes’” and many other great films there when it was a one screen and a two screen theater! I know it was open in the 60’s as a huge one screen Theater. It basically put the Van Croix out of Business when it expanded! I remember when the Brevard Drive-In closed they expanded to 6 screens if I remember right. I wasn’t in Melbourne when it closed. It was fun to go there, you had Dog’s and Suds and Jerry’s Pizza Palace across the street to get food before or after the films.

jhuss1256 on August 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm

They were Kent theaters. There was no NASA Theater in Melbourne! Growing up in the 60’s-80’s we had The Van Croix Theater on US 1, then the Palms. they were the only indoor theaters in Mewlbourne,. The we had two Drive-In’s, The Brevard Drive-In right next door to the Palms which was originnaly a one screen theater and the Melbourne Drive-In even though it was in West Melbourne.

mariner97 on August 3, 2015 at 5:08 pm

I grew up in Melbourne and remember going to the Brevard Drive In in the late 70’s and early 80’s. I specifically remember seeing E.T. The Extra Terrestrial when if first came out. The Drive-In was located adjacent to the Palms 5. The Palms owners demolished the drive in screen in built an addition to the original Palms 5 becoming the Palms 8. It operated into the late 90’s before finally closing.

rivest266 on May 29, 2016 at 1:24 pm

December 24th, 1978 grand opening ad as a 5-plex in photo section. It opened as a single-screen theatre in 1963.

jhuss1256, The NASA theatre opened at Babock Av. & NASA Boulevard on January 9th, 1970 by Kent theatres. I have the ad.

rivest266 on May 29, 2016 at 2:37 pm

May 18th, 1984 grand opening ad as a 8-plex in photo section.

audirs5 on February 25, 2018 at 1:57 pm

In south Brevard, Kent at one time or another owned Van Croix, Palms, Nasa, and Satellite. As far as outdoor theatrs, Kent owned Melbourne Outdoor, Brevard, and Beach Drive Ins.

rivest266 on December 17, 2021 at 1:22 pm

Kent Theatres opened the Palms and the Barn theater in Merritt Island on December 23rd, 1962. Grand opening ad posted.

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