Thruway 1 & 2

310 S. Stratford Road,
Winston-Salem, NC 27103

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Carmike Cinemas, Plitt Theatres, Wilby-Kincey

Functions: Retail

Previous Names: Thruway Theater

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Thruway 1 & 2

The Thruway Theatre was opened on February 16, 1969, under Wilby-Kincey Corporation. It was twinned on June 17, 1977 under ABC Theatres as the Thruway 1 & 2. Carmike Cinemas acquired the theatre in 1991, and operated it until it was closed in 1994.

I worked at this theatre in my senior year of high school back in 1984-1985 (“Beverly Hills Cop” and “Thief of Hearts” were playing). Worked there as a projectionist in years following high school. Largest theatre, must have had 600 plus seats.

Many great memories….scraping toast off the ceiling after “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” midnight runs, seeing “Billy Jack” as a kid there (my first ‘walk in’ theater experience), that VERY spooky basement that had a casket stashed amid the popcorn bags and cups, making out with concession stand girl’s sister in broom closet, hearing that our old box office guy, Mr. Poplin, ‘expired’ while in the box office booth, taking crap from a cantankerous manager with a runny eye (ewwww!), changing the marquee in snowstorms and rainstorms, and SOOOOO many other memories.

Since closing in 1994, it is now a Party City store. It was also situated next to a trendy bar and steakhouse so it was not unusual to see golddiggers dressed to the nines to attract Winston-Salem’s wealthiest at all hours of the evenings. One of the former projectionists painted the projection room to resemble the cover of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side Of The Moon!

There is a time capsule (or WAS a time capsule) outside of the theater from the year theater was built in 1969 that supposedly contains artifacts from that day it opened.

Contributed by Michael Hicks

Recent comments (view all 29 comments)

mmvonr on August 27, 2013 at 11:08 am

I was the manager after Mr. Mumford

raysson on October 10, 2013 at 8:38 am


1969-1971 Wilby-Kincey Corporation/Paramount Theatres

1971-1978 ABC Southeastern Theatres

1978-1987 Plitt Southern Theatres

1987-1991 Cineplex Odeon/Plitt Southern Theatres

1991-1994 Carmike Cinemas

raysson on October 10, 2013 at 8:41 am

Opened on February 16,1969 as a single screener with a seating capacity of 600. Named the THRUWAY THEATRE or THE THRUWAY ULTRAVISION THEATRE

Second Auditorium opened in 1977 with a seating capacity of 350,and was renamed the Thruway 1 & 2 under ABC Theatres.

Carmike Cinemas closed this theatre in 1994.

raysson on May 22, 2014 at 12:58 pm

June 1,1984…..

“STAR TREK III:THE SEARCH FOR SPOCK” was the Thruway’s only 70mm-6 Track Dolby Stereo presentation in the Carolinas. The film played first-run in its largest auditorium seating 600 for its Triad Exclusive.

raysson on May 22, 2014 at 1:04 pm

I have the original ads. Contact INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM did not play first-run at Winston-Salem’s Thruway Twin Theatres.

Winston-Salem and Greensboro were absent from the 70mm-6 Track Dolby Stereo engagement presentations of “Temple of Doom”. Only Raleigh and Charlotte upon its opening on May 24,1984 were the only two cities in North Carolina that presented “Temple of Doom” in 70mm.

“TEMPLE OF DOOM” played first-run at Hanes Mall Cinema on 2 screens on May 24,1984. It did not play at the Thruway.

TonyF on October 3, 2014 at 7:52 am

You might be the guy that wouldn’t let my Buddy and me in to see Porky’s because we were only fifteen. I had to wait for the beta.

rivest266 on April 10, 2023 at 5:00 pm

Reopened with two screens on June 17th, 1977, with a marathon showing of “For the love of Benji” and “A Bridge Too Far”. Grand opening ad posted.

MSC77 on April 18, 2023 at 12:06 pm

The overview lists a seat-count of 950. However, grand-opening newspaper coverage lists 780 as the seat count of this venue in its initial single-screen configuration. “New Thruway Theater Will Open Tonight,” Winston-Salem Journal, February 20, 1969, p27.

Anyone familiar with this theater know which figure is correct?

MSC77 on April 27, 2023 at 6:21 pm

A chronology of Winston-Salem’s 70mm presentations has been published. The Thruway gets several mentions in the article.

raysond5366 on May 25, 2023 at 8:44 pm

A lot of 70mm presentations played first run at Winston-Salem’s Thruway Theatre during the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when it was a 780 seat single screen ULTRAVISION theatre.

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