Cineplex-Odeon/Plitt Regency Twin

200 Monument Road,
Jacksonville, FL 32225

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tannemi on August 3, 2017 at 4:48 am

I was the last location manager at this theater. It was sad closing it down. I was transferred over to Baymeadows Cinema 8 which I had also help open as an usher in 1984. There is a lot of reflection here on what these institutions served. Technology has been very beneficial but has been the death knell for these old theater formats.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 11, 2015 at 6:23 pm

Thanks, csmindspring. As Steve McQueen’s movie was released in October, 1968, and I believe it opened nationwide, and the Regency was a first-run house, the theater must have opened in late 1968. Exorcist was released in December, 1973, so the twinning must have taken place in early 1974. Living int he west I never got to attend any of ABC’s Ultravision theaters, but I’ll bet they were very impressive.

csymindspring on December 11, 2015 at 1:29 pm

Hi Joe…..I can verify that one for you. I remember this theater since it first opened. First movie I ever saw there was “Bullet” with Steve McQueen.

Yes, it was a single screen theater for the first few years of operation. A CINERAMA theater, in fact. It had the biggest indoor screen I had ever seen, or have seen since. “The Exorcist” was the last film that played there as a single screen theater. When that one closed, they shut the place down for a few weeks and “twinned” the place, dropped the ceiling a few feet, and formed two smaller theaters.

corgi on July 18, 2015 at 1:45 pm

I lived in Jacksonville in the mid 70’s and I saw Jaws, Rollerball, and The Towering Inferno here. Definitely one of the nicest theatres around at that time. I made it a point to to see all the new movies here if possible.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm

The Arlington Expressway address we currently list apparently belongs to the shopping center as a whole. I think that a better address to list for the theater would be that of the Piccadilly Cafeteria that replaced it, which was 200 Monument Road. The cafeteria was built on the theater’s parking lot, and the theater’s site became the parking lot for the cafeteria, but Google Maps won’t know the difference. At least listing it at 200 Monument Road should get the pin icon out of that intersection it’s in now.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm

On this web page there is a transcription of an interview with Chuck Hankinson, a native of Jacksonville. Mr. Hankinson’s answer to question #9 lists many Jacksonville theaters he recalls, and he specifically says that he remembers the Regency both before and after it became a twin, so this house did indeed open as a single-screen operation.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 15, 2012 at 11:44 am

This 2011 article about the closing of the Picadilly Cafeteria that replaced the Regency Twin says that the cafeteria had opened on September 11, 1990. I would assume that the theater had closed early that same year or late in the previous year. The article said that the theater had been in operation for 21 years at the time it closed, which would give an opening year of 1969, or perhaps 1968.

This would make sense, as ABC-Florida State Theatres built many new houses in the late 1960s and early 1970s. But most of those were single-screen theaters, many of which were twinned a few years later. In the 1970 and 1980 views at Historic Aerials, the auditoriums section of the theater building looked like a bulged-out oval. I’m wondering if this originally could have been one of the wide-screen UltraVision theaters that were being built during that period? I believe they were in more or less oval buildings, too.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 15, 2012 at 7:56 am

great stories to read…

kcassada45 on December 14, 2012 at 9:24 pm

I have fond memories of this theater as a child growing up in Jacksonville.I remember my older sister taking me there in 1974 to see THE TOWERING INFERNO when it opened.I remember the rocking chairs and as a 7 year old at the time how they were the coolest things.I also remember that at the concession stand they used to see an orange drink served in a plastic orange.Like many others I saw JAWS with my dad and two of my cousins in that theater.Almost a decade later I remember during my sophomore year at nearby Terry Parker High School going on a 10th grade English field trip to the Regency Twin to see a special showing of TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD with Gregory Peck as a joint educational venture with Duval County Schools as part of the 1oth grade English curriculum.I am not sure if it was known as the Cineplex Odeon/Plitt theater yet or not.

Treadwell on August 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm

As RichardinTN says, it was not inside the mall, but in the northeast corner of the parking lot. (The top right corner of the shaded area in the Google map shown. Certainly not in the middle of the intersection as pictured!)

It is not to be confused with the AMC 6 that was built inside the mall in the 80s, and certainly not the multi-screen (currently 24) AMC that was built in the NorthWEST corner of the parking lot in the 90s (and subsequently renovated and expanded).

I fondly remember the rocking chairs, and, in one theater (the left one, I think), a playing card inexplicably stuck in a ceiling tile. It was clubs or spades. Preshow images were simple but mesmerizing, light shown through overlapping rotating clear discs filled with colored gels.

Among the films I remember seeing there: The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Trek III, Return of the Jedi and The Goonies.

After demolition, a Picadilly’s Cafeteria was constructed on the site (and the location inside the mall closed).

RichardInTN on February 7, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Interesting thoughts all…

I actually used to be the Assistant Manager at this theater.

It’s final name was the Cineplex-Odeon/Plitt Regency Twin Theater. I left employment there in 1989, and it was torn down a few years later (but it didn’t expand or change Parent Company anytime before that happened).

It was never more than two screens. There was a plan to subdivide one of the twins making it a “Triplex”, but when they were looking into it, they discovered that it was insulated with asbestos, and the cleanup required PLUS the splitting wasn’t feasible… especially with the number of competing screens in such close proximity… That’s when it was decided to demolish it.

The 24 screen theater that Joe Vogel mentions was a replacement for the AMC 6 that used to actually be located inside the mall.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 19, 2011 at 5:32 pm

There is an item mentioning the Regency in Boxoffice of September 22, 1975. “Jaws” had just entered its fourth month at the Regency I, and “Rollerball” had completed its second month at the Regency II.

Wikipedia’s article on Regency Square Mall has this line: “The mall also underwent a $30 million renovation in 1998, which comprised the addition of a new, 24-screen movie complex to replace the existing six-screen theater inside the mall.” I don’t know of the six-screener was the Regency Twin expanded or not, but it seems likely. I’ve been unable to find anything about it in Boxoffice, though.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 19, 2011 at 2:30 pm

I thought it expanded to Four Screens?