State Cinema

241 N. Main Street,
Mooresville, NC 28115

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binchwb on August 11, 2016 at 9:27 am

Most of the State Cinema ads I saw from 1980 and 1981 promoted a Friday Teen Night with dancing from 9:00pm to 11:00pm after the movie, with a lighted dance floor. Funny enough, the early-to-mid 1980 ads promoted it as “Disco” while that word is noticably absent from later ads.

I figured out that I saw this place in the afternoon on Valentine’s Day 1981 – Alligator played there from 2/13 to 2/19/81, so Saturday the 14th (now that’s a bad movie) would have been the time I was there with my family.

binchwb on August 10, 2016 at 10:58 am

This was one tough theater to track down. I had a recollection from childhood of walking down Main St. in Mooresville with my family (we were visiting from Charlotte). We came across a small theater that was closed in the afternoons which had what appeared to be a tiny lobby/concession area, woefully outdated decor, and horror/exploitation movies playing. “Alligator” was the movie playing at the time and there was a poster up for “Mother’s Day” – the original Troma version – coming soon. I remembered the movies vividly because I was around 10 years-old at the time and was a little frightened of them, especially the Mother’s Day poster with the head in a box.

Looking back, I realized I had passed by what I considered to be a (rare) NC grindhouse theater. In recent years, I’ve been curious to learn more about this place. When I saw the overview here that it closed in 1950, I thought maybe I had remembered the wrong town, however I checked through an online database for some old Mooresville Tribune newspapers from 1980 and found that this is the theater I was looking for. Here’s what I found:

  • The address is 241 N. Main St.

  • On May 11, 1955, cowboy movie star Tim Holt appeared at the State Theatre

  • The State Theatre changed its name to State Cinema with a marquee change in September 1974.

  • State Cinema closed in September 1985, the same month that the Mooresville-Davidson Drive-In closed.