I grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina. At the time there was only one theater of quality in the area. If we wanted to go to a movie, we went to the Carolina theater. Then it was safe for mom to drop us off and pick us up in a couple of hours. Lots of weekends were spent there while she shopped. We also went to many movies as a family. I saw The Jungle Book and most of the Disney classics there. I swooned in my seat to all of Elvis's movies. Our school took a class field trip to see The Sound of Music.
The smell of hot (horribly bad for you) buttered popcorn lingers in my mind. At the time it was the only place you could get Milk-Duds. My mom loved them so much she would clean out her purse before going and then fill it with packages of milk-duds so she could have them at home.
I went on my first date there. It was a play and not a movie, but it was there. Holding hands and uh, well, it was there.
The theater has claim to a lot of firsts. It was built in 1927 and was the first and only building at the time to have air conditioner in the entire state! At one time the balcony was "reserved" for blacks. It was nearly torn down until a group of people raised money to save it.
Inside there were these wonderful ornate pieces of architecture. Elaborate statues in alcoves along the wall. The seats were a deep red velvet sort of material. The curtains were huge and posh - more red velvet. There was an organ that announced the shows. It was (and probably to some degree still is) GRAND.