This Cinema opened October 7, 1981 and closed sometime in the late 1990's along with the rest of the Mall of Memphis. Around 2001 General Cinema was purchased by AMC. General Cinema disappeared from the web in 2004. General Cinema operated five screens at the Mall of Memphis. Their phone number was 901-794-2744.
This ticket was for the movie "WarGames" - showing at the cinema in 1983.
''' The Sneak-A-Peak offerings shown during Grand Opening Free Preview Days'''
October 7-8, 1981 - Cinema hosts a free "Sneak-A-Peek" Wed and Thur before Gala Opening on Friday, October 9, 1981. Showing at the preview were "Black Stallion", "3 Stooges" and color cartoons.
The first movie lineup at the Mall Cinema
October 9, 1981 - Cinema opens for business with "True Confessions", "Rich and Famous", "Cropsy", "The Four Seasons", and "Stir Crazy" with "Nice Dreams". Pricing for movies Mon thru Sat before 6pm and Sun/Holidays (first showing only) was $2.00.
September 28, 2000 - Last movies shown at the Mall of Memphis Cinema were "Bait," "Highlander End Game," "Nutty Profesor II, The Klumps," "Original Kings of Comedy" and "Scarry Movie."
In the first decade of the Cinemas life business was good. The crowds were good and the didn't concern most shoppers. In the end, before the Cinema closed it played to empty houses and snack bars not even stocked. It was slowly, then quite quickly becoming apparent that the cinema was not going to stick it out too much longer. Soon enough the gates would be closed and the General Cinema would be closed for good without a happy ending.
Cinema Grill, an Atlanta-based movie theater company that combines dinner and a movie, will remodel the former General Cinema at the Mall of Memphis and will open early this fall.
The concept gives moviegoers table space in front of their seats for refreshments and offers an extensive menu that includes pizzas and signature sandwiches.
"It should be a nice addition, not only for the mall but for the entire trade area," said Pat Kelly, assistant general manager and director of leasing at the Mall of Memphis .
Plans are being finalized on how the five-screen theater will be renovated. The costs will be between $500,000 and $700,000, with the mall paying a portion of the expense, Kelly said.
With existing seating for about 300 in each of the five auditoriums, the renovations are to include table space for moviegoers with the removal of about one-third of the seats, said John Duffy, vice president of Cinema Grill.
The company also is looking at the possibility of seeking permits to sell beer and wine, Duffy said.
In March 2000, Mall of Memphis officials announced an $18 million renovation project that included the construction of a 12-screen, 50,000-square-foot theater with stadium seating.
But with a decline in the movie theater industry, including several bankruptcies and steep drops in industry revenues, the mall changed directions.
" ... The theater industry is in a state of flux right now. We had to sort of side-step that," Kelly said.
General Cinema closed last September without notifying mall officials.
Cinema Grill, which began 25-years ago in Orlando, now goes into theaters that have been closed by the major theater companies.
"We see an opportunity, particularly with the number of theaters closing," Duffy said.
Most of their theaters are close to city centers where the demographics are still strong, Duffy said.
The company has 18 theaters across the country with plans for 25 more by year's end, Duffysaid.
- Linda A. Moore: 529-2702
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