Winter Haven Mall Twin

Citi Centre Street,
Winter Haven, FL 33880

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Jerry Lewis Cinemas

Previous Names: Jerry Leweis Cinema, Winter Haven Mall Cinema

Nearby Theaters

The Jerry Lewis Cinema was located at the Winter Haven Mall on Third Street (which the road leading to the parking lot is now Citi Centre Street) and opened its doors as a single-screener on September 19, 1972 with Robert Redford in “The Candidate”. It was first managed by Sidney Pink. The theatre was taken over by the Florida West Amusements Incorporated of Englewood in 1977, and the theatre was converted into a twin the following year in 1978.

On April 13, 1985, at approximately 10:47 PM Eastern Time, the manager of the theatre, 37-year-old William Thompson, and the clerk, unknown-aged Lori Edstrom, were both robbed and abused by an unidentified man inside the manager’s office.

The incident goes as follows: The man first walked to the men’s bathroom nearly 20 minutes before the incident. A few minutes later, Thompson walked inside the bathroom where the suspect was in one of the stalls. After using the bathroom, the suspect followed Thompson behind around the lobby. Meanwhile, both manager Thompson and the clerk Lori Edstrom were both smoking a cigarette in the manager’s office near the lobby until the suspect suddenly opened the door and pulled out a semiautomatic firearm. He pointed the gun in Thompson’s back. While Thompson continued to struggle for another several minutes, the suspect stole a total of $2,000 and a walkie-talkie. Finally, after stealing the amount of money and the walkie-talkie, the suspect locked Thompson in handcuffs and bound Edstrom’s hand with duct tape. The incident occurred during the screenings of “Ladyhawke” at Screen 1 and “Desperately Seeking Susan” at Screen 2, but the suspect was so frustrated beforehand “for the word go”. It was unknown why but it could be the meaning of the suspect refusing to leave the theatre. Despite the horror in the theatre, nobody was killed or injured in the incident and the suspect was not identified at all.

The Winter Haven Mall Twin was mainly a first-run theatre for many years, but in 1990, the theatre switched over to a second-run policy. This didn’t last long at all, and the Winter Haven Mall Twin closed for the final time on October 25, 1990 with Bill Crosby in “Ghost Dad” at Screen 1 and “Gremlins 2: The New Batch” at Screen 2.

Contributed by 50sSNIPES

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

CJ1949 on August 20, 2023 at 6:09 pm

This appears to have been originally a Jerry Lewis Cinema. According to the Boxoffice article below, it opened in Feb. 1972, and was operating under the JLC name as of May 1972. Most likely the opening Sept. 19, 1972, per commenter 50sSNIPES, was when the name change occurred. The theatre could have been closed for a short time before Sept. 19, but we know it was operating in May ‘72.

If * the * Sidney Pink, the movie producer, operated this theatre, he may have stepped in when this name change occurred. Pink’s page on IMDB says he was a Florida resident, died in 2002 in FL., and operated theatres in FL and Puerto Rico. It’s very likely it’s the same fellow.

Here’s the Boxoffice article from 5-22-72:

    1. Johnson Managing Winter Haven JL Cinema

WINTER HAVEN, FLA.—Richard E. Johnson, assistant manager of the Jerry Lewis Cinema in the Winter Haven Mall, has been promoted to manager, according to Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Walters, owners of the Winter Haven and Melbourne Jerry Lewis cinemas.

Johnson, a native of Rockford, Ill., came here in 1968 but has been connected with the motion picture theatre business only since the February opening of the local JLC. Al Radlein, who has been manager here since the opening, will return to Cocoa and take over as manager of the Melbourne Jerry Lewis Cinema.

Johnson said in an interview that no changes in the present staff will be made but that he is planning special features and promotions for the theatre and local charity and civic groups.

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