Bartow Mall Twin

Southwest corner of SR 60 and US 98,
Bartow, FL 33830

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Trans-Lux Movies Corp.

Previous Names: Trans-Lux Inflight Cine, Bartow Mall Cinema

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The single screen, 350-seat Trans-Lux Inflight Cine was opened in the Bartow Mall on July 11, 1968 with John Wayne in “The Green Berets”. It was renamed Bartow Mall Cinema in 1974 and was twinned on May 27, 1978. The Bartow Mall partially burned down on April 30, 1981 causing the cinema to close. The fire was an arson attack by the owner of the mall. The Bartow Mall Twin was briefly reopened on January 14, 1983, but closed one week later.

Contributed by Andy

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 11, 2012 at 1:10 pm

This twin might have been the house opened in 1968 as the Trans-Lux Inflight Cine. The 350-seat, single screen theater at Bartow, designed by architect John McNamara, was the first opened by the partnership formed the previous year by Trans-Lux and Inflight Motion Pictures, Inc. These theaters used a 16mm projection system originally developed for showing movies aboard airliners, but had all been converted to 35mm by the end of 1972. A number of the small, single-screen houses were later twinned.

The list of theaters opened the previous year that was published in the January 20, 1969, issue of Boxoffice included the Cine, Bartow, Florida, opened by Trans-Lux. Many sources on the Internet say that the Bartow Trans-Lux house opened in 1966, but the partnership was not even formed until 1967, as told in this article from Boxoffice of November 13, 1967, so the Internet sources must be wrong. I think I might have quoted this misinformation in one or more comments on other pages at Cinema Treasures myself before discovering that it was wrong.

50sSNIPES on September 22, 2021 at 10:27 pm

Yes, This Theater Is First Known As The “Trans-Lux Inflight Cine”, And It Opened On July 11, 1968 With “Green Berets”. It Changed Its Name To The “Bartow Mall Cinema” In 1974, And Was Twinned On May 27, 1978, Renaming As The Bartow Mall Twin (Some People Liked To Call It The Bartow Mall Cinemas I & II).

The Theater Due To The Partial Burning Of The Mall, The Last Advertisements According To The Tampa Tribune Before The Bartow Mall Fire Were Delivered On April 30, 1981. The Final Films That Were Screened Before The Fire Were “Coal Miner’s Daughter” At Screen 1 And “The Devil And Max Devilin” At Screen 2.

The Burning Of The Mall Is Actually Caused By The Owner Of The Mall, 25-Year-Old Joseph H. Deutsch Of Lakeland (890 Birch Lane), Who Was Later Arrested That June 24th By The Polk County Sheriff’s Office For A Charge With 2 Counts Of Second-Degree Arson, For Spilling A Flammable Liquid In A Restaurant Adjacent To The Mall, Destroying Some Businesses And 19 Other Stores, Estimating Over $1,000,000 Of Damage. The Fire Did Not Affect The Theater. Joseph Was Taken To Polk County Jail With A $20,000 Bond. He Was Later Reported That He Was Released On Bail.

And Believe It Or Not Right After Almost 2 Years, The Bartow Mall Twin Briefly Reopened Its Doors Again On January 14, 1983. But Sadly, It Didn’t Do Much Business. The Theater Closed Its Doors For The Final Time Exactly A Week After Its Reopening. The Only Attractions They’ve Screened During Its Only Week Were “Spring Fever” At Screen 1 And “Concrete Jungle” At Screen 2, And That Is It. The Theater Closed.

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