Survey: Should The Martin Theatre Bring Back Movies?

by March 16, 2012 • 6 comments

Residents of Panama City and Panama City Beach don’t consider themselves art lovers if they have never attended at least one show at the “Martin.” Originally built in 1936, the Martin Theatre first opened it’s door as the “Ritz”, one of a chain of movie houses that covered Georgia, Alabama and NW Florida. Early memories boast visits by such notables as Clark Gable, Constance Bennett, Michael O’Shea, William Boyd, and cowboy great Bill Elliot. The cinema operated until 1978, then sat vacant until 1987 when it was bought by the, then, chairman on the Panama City Downtown Improvement Board, H. Mack Lewis. It reopened in 1990 as an entertainment facility and to this day, the 460-seat state-of-the-art facility is known for hosting many popular plays and attractions.

But times have been a’changing.

The Martin brass is considering taking the downtown staple back to it’s roots and they need your help. Should the Martin go back to showing movies? You be the judge…

Click Here to post your thoughts.

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1 michelle March 16, 2012 at 5:33 pm

i would like to see it bring back movies that are classics (in keeping with the theme of the theatre itself) we already have current movies and the $2 older releases at the mall. lets try “nothing past 1980” and maybe have theme nights. like if you play grease everyone who come in a poodle skirt or black leather jacket gets a % off admission, names go in a drawing and the winner gets free seats to another show, etc.


2 Jamie Warren March 17, 2012 at 6:02 pm

I grew up on massalina Drive in the cove about a mile from the Martin Theater. We used to ride our bikes down there and go to the Saturday matinees when I was a kid. There was also the Downtown theater about a block away. I would love to go see some old movies there, we need some nostalgia around here.


3 monica March 19, 2012 at 12:36 pm

They should try to do something similar to the special events and programming that the “Alamo draft house” does. This place is a staple in the Austin and San Antonio markets. Very unique concept. Definitely recommend classic cinema, as they cant compete with first run theatres. Just my professional opinion 🙂


4 Deborah March 30, 2012 at 10:05 am

WORD! Love the ADH 🙂


5 De'anna March 19, 2012 at 1:22 pm

I think that would be a great idea, but they should keep doing plays as well. Have one room for plays and the rest for movies. I am not sure how many rooms they have at the Martain but I am sure they have at least two, so having a movie room and a room just for plays would be great. Best of both worlds!


6 Jamie Warren March 20, 2012 at 6:13 pm

They just have one room for the theater and then a party/reception room. Both can coexist though, just put a screen on the stage.