Comments from Weatherninja

Showing 1 comment

Weatherninja commented about Joy's Cinema City 6 on Apr 10, 2009 at 8:22 am

I grew up in Texarkana in the 80s and 90s and spent a lot of time at the Joy. Until they built Movies 8, the Joy was pretty much the only theater in Texarkana. I recall it had kind of a funky layout; 3 of the screens were in the front of the building. To get to the other three, you had to walk around a corner through a hall to the left of the snack bar. You almost wouldn’t know they were back there. It had a real charm; the snack bar was kind of small, and the bathrooms were really just for one person at a time, but it was more than adequate. One of my favorite parts was the arcade with all those classic standup games and all the neon lights. The Joy was nowhere near like the modern megaplexes today.

My first memory of the Joy was actually at the drive-in. My parents took me there to see The Toy with Richard Pryor, which must have been around 1980. I also saw Return of the Jedi, E.T., Ghostbusters, Back to the Future, and Temple of Doom there, which was my first PG-13 movie.

Like I said, when they built Movies 8 it really put the hurt on the Joy. Switching to the dollar format may have kept the theater alive, but it did decline. I went to college in the late 90s, and it closed somewhere in that time. Once when I was home, my brother and I drove out there to see the theater. Apparently there had been some kind of fire, though you could still get into the property. We walked around to the back where the old drive-in concession area was, and were able to get partially into the building. I recall there was projector film everywhere, and there was really just a lot of trash around. We wanted to go into the theater proper but didn’t out of fear of what we might find or the building collapsing on us. About 5 years ago I saw where they had demolished the building, though the old sign/marquee remained. I have pictures of it, and will post them here as soon as I can.

I know the drive-in screens still stood for a long time after the drive-in closed. They may still be there; I don’t know.

I have very fond memories of the Joy and am thankful I’ve had the chance to share them. Hopefully others will post.