Northern Lights Theatre Pub

3893 Commercial Street SE,
Salem, OR 97302

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50sSNIPES on March 7, 2024 at 1:27 pm

The Southgate Cinema World was originally planned by Tom Moyer, the owner of General American Theatres who operates almost all Salem theaters at the time, in August 1975 featuring three screens and a capacity of 775 seats (with 400 seats in Screen 1 and 175 for the other two auditoriums) occupying 10,000 square feet on a six-acre site. The theater was set to be named Southgate Cinema Center, but was changed a bit shortly after construction was finished.

General American Theatres opened the Southgate Cinema World on June 16, 1976 but was still under repairs at the time. Its first two screens opened with “The Bad News Bears” in Screen 1 and “Baby Blue Marine” and “Drive-In” in Screen 2. Screen 3 opened on July 1, 1976 with “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”.

  • Prior to opening, the movies “Farewell My Lovely” and the reissue of the 1939 classic “Gone With The Wind” were originally scheduled to be shown in Screen 2 and Screen 3, but both turned it down for unknown reasons at Screen 2 and major repairing inside Screen 3.

The 10,000 square-feet building is similar in construction and design to the Lancaster Quad at the Lancaster Mall but features a rain canopy in front. The $100,000 in equipment and interior furnishings at the theater features air conditioning and a motorized masking device which adjusts the amount of screen exposed for different sized films. Fred Maurer, who has been at the time the assistant manager and projectionist at Lancaster Quad, was also the manager of the Southgate. The seats of the theater are dipped in different colors in each auditorium. Screen 1 features brown seats, Screen 2 features purple seats, and Screen 3 features blue seats, with a patterned brown carpeting throughout.

dallasmovietheaters on August 28, 2022 at 5:45 pm

The Southgate Shopping Center opened theatre-less on 3893 S.E. Commercial Street in 1960. General American Theatres, operator of the Lancaster Mall Quad Cinema, two local drive-ins, and two downtown theaters constituting a local monopoly, built an addition to the plaza. The $450,000 three-screen operation with a 400-seat auditorium and 2-200 seat auditoriums was architected by Dick Ebeling & Associates of Portland. It was one of four new-build theaters being built in the area including an identical but ultimately delayed Keizer location triplex by GAT.

The Southgate Cinema Center opened on June 16, 1976 wit two theatres ready to go and Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal in “Bad News Bears “ and Jan-Michael Vincent in “Baby Blue Marine” on a double-bill with Lisa Oz in “Drive-In.” Act III Circuit took on the venue and then merged with Regal Theatres in 1998. Regal closed the Southgate in 1999 along with its sister triplex, the Keizer Cinemas 3.

On March 21, 2004, the venue was reopened under independent operation and reducing the theater sizes to 144, 86, and 70 for a total of 300 seats. It relaunched as the Northern Lights Theatre Pub. The Northern Lights Theatre Pub closed on March 16, 2020 for the COVID-19 pandemic. It reopened briefly but faded away on August 29, 2020 with its final shows being private theater rentals and the last scheduled show was a repertory run of “The Greatest Showman.” Under new operators, the venue relaunched two years later on March 24, 2022.

rivest266 on September 5, 2016 at 7:14 am

June 16th, 1976 grand opening ad as Southgate Cinemaworld in the photo section.

Trolleyguy on July 14, 2016 at 8:55 am