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Author Topic: Birmingham, AL Theatre History - comprehensive list and call for info.
Evans A Criswell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1579
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 03-18-2002 05:36 PM      Profile for Evans A Criswell   Author's Homepage   Email Evans A Criswell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
This thread is to serve the same purpose as my
"Nashville Theatre History" thread of a few days ago,
except it is for Birmingham, AL. This is from my one
trip to the Birmingham library in Decembrer 2001.

When I use a date range, I mean that the opening/closing or transfer of company happened between the two dates, including the endpoints.

I already owe Jerry Chase a great deal of thanks for sending me information about some of the theatres that were around when managed some of the Cobb locations in the 1980s. [I found out on February 14, 2004 that he did miss a couple of the dates by nearly a year (Bama 6 and Center Point 6), but the information was still very helpful in getting me started.]

As with the Nashville thread, any information about any theatres listed here is appreciated. If two theatres were actually the same location, that would be good to know.

Rave Theatres

Rave Theatres 10, Vestavia Hills,
opened November 1, 2002,
in operation.

Regal Theatres (or operated by Regal at time of closing):

Regal 16, Trussville,
opened May 5, 2000,
in operation.

Regal Wildwood 14 [Cobb], Lakeshore Parkway,
opened May 24, 1991, in operation.

Regal Festival 18 [Cobb], US 78 near Century Plaza Mall,
opened May 24, 1989 as the Cobb Festival 12, in operation.
Was Festival 12 until Jul 1992 - Jul 1994.

Regal Galleria 10 [Cobb], near Riverchase Galleria Mall,
opened May 25, 1988, in operation.

Regal Brook Highland 10 [Cobb], US 280,
opened September 30, 1994, in operation.

Theatres run by Cobb at time of closing:

Cobb Cinematique Classic, at Galleria,
opened September 1994, closed Jul 1996 - Jul 1998.

Cobb Midfield 6, Midfield,
opened Jul 1982 - Jul 1984, closed Jul 1994 - Jul 1996.
Became a 6-plex during June 1983.

Cobb Center Point 6, Carson Rd.,
opened June 10, 1983 (same day as Cobb Hoover Square 6), closed Jul 1994 - Jul 1996.

Cobb Hoover Square 6, Montgomery Hwy.,
opened June 10, 1983 (same day as Cobb Center Point 6), closed Jul 1994 - Jul 1996.

Cobb Cinema City 8, Parkway East (Center Point),
opened June 16, 1978, closed Jul 1990 - Jul 1992.

Cobb Green Springs 6, Green Springs Hwy.,
opened February 25, 1971, closed Jul 1990 - Jul 1992.
Was Green Springs 4 until Jul 1978 - Jul 1980.

Cobb Eastwood 2, near Eastwood Mall,
opened Jul 1964 - Jul 1968, closed Jul 1988 - Jul 1990.
Was oen screen until Jul 1974 - Jul 1976.

Cobb Village East 2, Oporto Rd.,
opened Jul 1970 - Jul 1972, closed Jul 1988 - Jul 1990.

Cobb Pitcher Show, Montgomery Hwy.,
opened Jul 1980 - Jul 1982, closed Jul 1988 - Jul 1990.

Cobb Roebuck 2, Roebuck Plaza,
opened Jul 1960 - Jul 1964, closed Jul 1984 - Jul 1986.
Was listed as ABC Southeastern until Jul 1978 - Jul 1980.
Was listed as Plitt Theatres until Jul 1980 - Jul 1982.
Was one screen until Jul 1972 - Jul 1974. Rocking Chair Theatre.

Cobb Cinema West 2,
opened Jul 1976 - Jul 1978, closed Jul 1984 - Jul 1986.

Cobb Cinema, 5 Pts. West,
opened Jul 1968 - Jul 1970, closed Jul 1976 - Jul 1978.
Thanksgiving 1968 likely opening date?
One screen until Jul 1974 - Jul 1976.

Cobb Brookwood 2,
opened Jul 1972 - Jul 1974, closed Jul 1982 - Jul 1984.

Cobb Bessemer 2,
opened Jul 1974 - Jul 1976, closed Jul 1982 - Jul 1984.
Listed as ABC Southeastern until Jul 1978 - Jul 1980. (Bessemer Twin)
Listed as Plitt until Jul 1980 - Jul 1982.

Cobb Hoover 2,
opened December 21, 1977 (auditorium 1), December 23, 1977 (auditorium 2).
closed Jul 1982 - Jul 1984.
Listed as ABC Southeastern until Jul 1987 - Jul 1980 (Hoover Mall 2).
Listed as Plitt until Jul 1980 - Jul 1982.

Cobb Midfield 2, Midfield,
opened Jul 1972 - Jul 1974, closed Jul 1982 - Jul 1984.

Cobb Vestavia Theatre, Park South Plaza,
opened Jul 1972 - Jul 1974, closed Jul 1980 - Jul 1982.

Cobb Capri Theatre, Center Point,
opened February 14, 1965, closed Jul 1974 - Jul 1976.
Listed as Bowie Theatres Jul 1974 (Cobb previously).
Two screens in Jul 1974 listing, one screen previously.

Cobb College Theatre, (Art Theatre),
opened Jul 1945 - Jul 1950 (?) , closed Jul 1970 - Jul 1972.
Waters ran it before Cobb.

Carmike theatres (or run by Carmike at time of closing):

Carmike Summit 16, I-459 and US 280 (The Summit shopping center),
opened November 14, 1997, in operation.

Carmike Colonnade 10 [Consolidated], I-459 and US 280,
opened June 16, 1989, closed during or since Jul 1998.

Carmike Wynnsong 12, Lakeshore Parkway,
opened September 26, 1997, in operation.

Carmike 10 [Consolidated], Lorna Rd.,
opened December 10, 1982 as the Riverchase 6,
became a 10-plex during July 1990 - July 1992,
in operation.

Carmike Bama 6 [Consolidated], Center Point Plaza Shopping Center,
opened June 24, 1983, closed during or after Jul 1998.

Drive-In theatres:

Fair Park Drive-In [Cobb],
opened September 30, 1948, closed Jul 1984 - July 1986.
Waters Theatres was original company. Not operating Jul 1980?

Mustang Drive-In [Cobb],
opened Jul 1964 - Jul 1968, closed Jul 1984 - Jul 1986.

THC Drive-In, Hwy. 78 West,
opened Jul 1950- Jul 1954, closed Jul 1978 - Jul 1980.
Not listed Jul 1966 - Jul 1976.

Robinwood Drive-In [Cobb], Tarrant-Pinson Rd.,
opened Jul 1954 - Jul 1958, closed Jul 1978 - Jul 1980.

Thunderbird Drive-In [Cobb],
opened October 4, 1968, closed Jul 1976 - Jul 1978.

Bama Drive-In [Cobb],
opened December 25, 1965, closed Jul 1976 - Jul 1978.

Airport Drive-In [Cobb],
opened April 20, 1965, closed Jul 1972 - Jul 1974.

Skyview Drive-In,
opened Jul 1954 - Jul 1958, closed Jul 1970 - Jul 1972.

Shades Mountain Drive-In,
opened Jul 1945 - Jul 1950, closed Jul 1968 - Jul 1970.

Starlite Drive-In,
opened Jul 1950 - Jul 1954, closed Jul 1968 - Jul 1970.

Other Theatres:

Celebrity Dinner Theatre,
listed Jul 1978, Jul 1980.

Lincoln Theatre, 1st Ave. Bessemer,
listed Jul 1964, Jul 1968, Jul 1978

Carver Theatre, 17 St. N,
opened Jul 1950 - Jul 1954.
closed Jul 1972 - Jul 1974.
Listed as operated by Cine Cinemas in Jul 1972.
Listed Jul 1978 also.

Fairfield Theatre, Gary Ave.,
opened Jul 1940 - Jul 1945.
closed Jul 1964 - Jul 1968.
Listed Jul 1978 also.

Cobb Mart 2, Clanton, listed Jul 1978.

Roebuck Mart Cinema, opposite K-Mart,
opened Jul 1970 - Jul 1972, closed Jul 1974 - Jul 1976.
Cine Cimemas listed as company Jul 1972.

Holiday Dinner Theatre, listed Jul 1972, Jul 1974.

Auto Movies No. 1,
opened Jul 1935 - Jul 1940, closed Jul 1970 - Jul 1972.

Festival Cinema, (X-rated), South 7th Ave., listed Jul 1970.

Midfield Theatre,
opened Jul 1964 - Jul 1966,
closed Jul 1972 - Jul 1974.

Famous Theatre,
opened Jul 1950 - Jul 1954.
closed Jul 1968 - Jul 1970.
always listed with Carver. Same location, and associated with them?

Grand Theatre, Bessemer,
opened Jul 1945 - Jul 1950 (?). Closed Jul 1960 - Jul 1964 (?)

Gary's West End Theatre,
Opened Jul 1950 - Jul 1954, closed Jul 1960 - Jul 1964.

Homewood Theatre,
opened ?????
remodeled/reopened April 3, 1941.
closed Jul 1954 - Jul 1958.
Listed as Homewood Art Theatre Jul 1958.

Melba Theatre, downtown,
opened Jul 1945 - Jul 1950, closed Jul 1982 - Jul 1984.
Cobb after Jul 1970 - Jul 1972.

Empire Theatre,
opened Jul 1925 - Jul 1930, closed Jul 1980 - Jul 1982.
Cobb after Jul 1970 - Jul 1972.

Alabama Theatre,
opened ????,
closed Jul 1980 - Jul 1982.
Listed as ABC Southeastern Jul 1968 - Jul 1970 until Jul 1978 - Jul 1980.
Listed as Plitt Jul 1978 - Jul 1980 until closing.

Ritz Theatre, 2nd Ave. North,
opened Jul 1925 - Jul 1930,
closed March 23, 1933
reopened ???,
closed Jul 1976 - Jul 1978
Originally RKO Ritz.
Lited as ABC Southeastern Jul 1968 - Jul 1970 until closing.

Lyric Theatre,
opened 1912, closed Jul 1960 - Jul 1964.

Royal Theatre,
opened ????,
rebuilt and modernized 1942 (Acme Theatres)
showed western movies.

Picadilly Theatre,
opened around January 15, 1926, closed before July 1930?

Ensley Theatre,
opened 1927 (opened or remodeled?),
closed ????

Sublett Hall [Crystal Palace?],
opened October 14, 1972.
First show: East Lynne. (playhouse)

Jefferson Theatre,
opened March 7, 1900?
closed ?

Five Points Theatre,
existed in 1925.
closed Jul 1954 - Jul 1958
remodeled (A/C, new projectors) with formal opening
May 28, 1936 (Waters Theatres was the company)
Theatre burned around December 22, 1931.
Theatre burned around December 11, 1942.

Strand Theatre,
opened ????,
Closed August 22, 1953.
Operated by Acme Theatres.

Theatorium,
opened 1907?
First theatre in Birmingham?

East Lake Theatre,
opened May 21, 1938,
closed Jul 1950 - Jul 1954.
Operated by Waters Theatres.

Orpheum Theatre,
Built 1907 or 1908? Was a skating rink?
Reopened as theatre several years later?
Closed in 1916?

Galax Theatre,
opened November 16, 1945.
closed by 1952.
Operated by Acme Theatres.
Fire at theatre February 16, 1945. (implies theatre existed before then)

Bijou Theatre
opened 1898.
closed ?????

Avon Theatre
opened February 13, 1928.

[ 02-16-2004, 07:09 PM: Message edited by: Evans A Criswell ]

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Jerry Chase
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1068
From: Margate, FL, USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 03-18-2002 08:17 PM      Profile for Jerry Chase   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Regal Galleria 10 [Cobb], near Riverchase Galleria Mall,
opened 1988 I think.

Cobb Midfield 6, Midfield,
opened Jul 1982 - Jul 1984, closed Jul 1994 - Jul 1996.
Jul 1982 or a little before opening date became a sixplex. Had been a single, twinned, then four more added screens.

Cobb Center Point 6, Carson Rd.,
opened Jul 1982 positive, closed Jul 1994 - Jul 1996.

Cobb Hoover Square 6, Montgomery Hwy.,
opened Jul 1982 positive, closed Jul 1994 - Jul 1996.

Cobb Cinema City 8, Parkway East (Center Point),
opened Jul 1976 - Jul 1978, closed Jul 1990 - Jul 1992.
Late May 1978 likely opening date? Went to dollar operation in 1982 July.

Cobb Green Springs 6, Green Springs Hwy.,
opened February 26, 1971, closed Jul 1990 - Jul 1992.
Was Green Springs 4 until Jul 1978 - Jul 1980.

Cobb Eastwood 2, near Eastwood Mall,
opened Jul 1964 - Jul 1968, closed 1988 I think, a little before the time of Gallaria opening.
Was one screen until Jul 1974 - Jul 1976.

Cobb Village East 2, Oporto Rd.,
opened Jul 1970 - Jul 1972, closed 1988 as did Eastwood.

Cobb Pitcher Show, Montgomery Hwy.,
opened Jul 1980 - Jul 1982, closed 1988 or maybe before.

Cobb Roebuck 2, Roebuck Plaza,
opened Jul 1960 - Jul 1964, closed Jul 1984 - Jul 1986.
Was listed as ABC Southeastern until Jul 1978 - Jul 1980.
Was listed as Plitt Theatres until Jul 1980 - Jul 1982.
Was one screen until Jul 1972 - Jul 1974. Rocking Chair Theatre.

Cobb Cinema West 2,
opened Jul 1976 - Jul 1978, closed 1984, maybe earlier 1983?

Cobb Brookwood 2,
opened Jul 1972 - Jul 1974, closed 1983?


Cobb Hoover 2,
opened December 21, 1977 (auditorium 1), December 23, 1977 (auditorium 2).
closed 1984 or later(I remember seeing Broadway Danny Rose there.)
Listed as ABC Southeastern until Jul 1987 - Jul 1980 (Hoover Mall 2).
Listed as Plitt until Jul 1980 - Jul 1982.

Cobb Midfield 2, Midfield,
opened Jul 1972 - Jul 1974, closed Jul 1982 - Jul 1984. Became Midfield 6.

Cobb Vestavia Theatre, Park South Plaza,
opened Jul 1972 - Jul 1974, closed Jul 1980 - Jul 1982. This became the Pitcher Show (Montgomery Highway)

Carmike Colonnade 10, I-459 and US 280,
opened 1988

Carmike Bama 6 [Consolidated], Center Point Plaza Shopping Center,
opened Jul 1982 positive, closed during or after Jul 1998.

Carmike Riverchase 6 [Consolidated], Lorna Rd. Hoover,
opened Jul 1982 positive. closed Jul 1990 - Jul 1992 did this become the 10?

Drive-In theatres:

Fair Park Drive-In [Cobb],
closed before 1984

Mustang Drive-In [Cobb],
opened Jul 1964 - Jul 1968, closed Jul 1984 - Jul 1986.
(last DI in B'ham.)

THC Drive-In, Hwy. 78 West,
opened Jul 1950- Jul 1954, closed Jul 1978 - Jul 1980.
Not listed Jul 1966 - Jul 1976.
Up by Jasper? That one reopened and operated in the 1980s during the summers.

Lincoln Theatre, 1st Ave. Bessemer,
listed Jul 1964, Jul 1968, Jul 1978
Ran sporaticly for a few years after that I think.
Reopened briefly in 1988.

Cobb Mart 2, Clanton, listed Jul 1978.
Also ran into the 1980s 84?

Midfield Theatre,
opened Jul 1964 - Jul 1966,
closed Jul 1972 - Jul 1974.
(as above)

Homewood Theatre,
opened ?????
remodeled/reopened April 3, 1941.
closed Jul 1954 - Jul 1958.
Listed as Homewood Art Theatre Jul 1958.
May have run later than that until it became a bike shop?

Alabama Theatre,
opened ????,
closed Jul 1980 - Jul 1982.
Listed as ABC Southeastern Jul 1968 - Jul 1970 until Jul 1978 - Jul 1980.
Listed as Plitt Jul 1978 - Jul 1980 until closing.
Open in 1980s for special events and the Mighty Wurlitzer.


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Evans A Criswell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1579
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 03-18-2002 09:05 PM      Profile for Evans A Criswell   Author's Homepage   Email Evans A Criswell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks again, Jerry. Every little bit helps. I have the long email you sent me back in late 2001. I printed it and put in the folder with all the other Birmingham info. All the information in my post was from ONE trip to the Birmingham library. When I go back, I can narrow down the date ranges and nail some of them. Every date I get from other sources saves me about 20 minutes in the long run since I can go straight to the grand opening ad, or at worst, only have to look through one reel. It typically takes 10 to 15 minutes to binary search down to the right reel if I don't know a date, and an extra 5 minutes or so to find the grand opening or closing date within that reel. Add an extra 5 to 10 minutes for closing dates of drive-ins, since they require more thorough checking due to closing during the winter.

You've been a very big help.


------------------
Evans A Criswell
Huntsville-Decatur Movie Theatre Information Site

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Freddie Dobbs
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 115
From: Pinson, AL, USA
Registered: Jun 2001


 - posted 03-19-2002 06:48 PM      Profile for Freddie Dobbs   Email Freddie Dobbs   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Man Jerry, I closed or was around when closed over half of the list
and I have no clue of the dates... I am in sad shape..

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Jerry Chase
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1068
From: Margate, FL, USA
Registered: Nov 2000


 - posted 03-19-2002 07:23 PM      Profile for Jerry Chase   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Freddie, the sadness is in the closings. Most of the time I'm able to remember a movie and where I saw it, which provides the date clue. Centerpoint and Hoover opened with Octopussy. I was at Eastwood for Ghandi and Flashdance.

I'll always miss the staff at Centerpoint.

What is a little frightening is that almost ALL of the theatres where I've managed or projected have closed. For a while it felt like I was running away from the grim reaper.

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Barry Floyd
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1037
From: Lebanon, Tennessee, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 03-20-2002 08:43 AM      Profile for Barry Floyd   Author's Homepage   Email Barry Floyd   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I don't know if Argo counts as a suburb of Birmingham, but the ONLY reason me and my family travel to Birmingham once a year is to attend the "Drive-In" located in Argo.

If you ever decide to go to Argo to attend the drive-in, you better eat before you go. We made that mistake last year. Generally we always spend our money for dinner at the concession stands of most drive-ins we attend, but the drive-in in Argo doesn't have ANY hot food to eat.... with the exception of Nachos.

------------------
Barry Floyd
Floyd Entertainment Group
Nashville, Tennessee
(Drive-In Theatre - Start-Up)

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Evans A Criswell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1579
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 03-20-2002 11:15 AM      Profile for Evans A Criswell   Author's Homepage   Email Evans A Criswell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have an ad for the Argo drive in from The Birmingham News, December 21, 2001, from the day I went to Birmingham. The entire movie theatre ad sectiopn was on one page. The Argo drive-in seems to be just called "The Drive-In". The ad said "Fri., Sat., and Sun. ONLY?", Ocean's 11, (PG-13), Showtime starts at 7 PM, On US HWY 11, ARGO, AL.

I should add it to my list.

------------------
Evans A Criswell
Huntsville-Decatur Movie Theatre Information Site

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Evans A Criswell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1579
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 02-16-2004 06:55 PM      Profile for Evans A Criswell   Author's Homepage   Email Evans A Criswell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
*bump*

The starting message in this thread has been edited to show the correct, specific opening dates for the following theatres:

Rave Theatres 10, Vestavia Hills
Regal 16, Trussville
Carmike Summit 16
Carmike Wynnsong 12
Regal Wildwood 14 [Cobb]
Carmike Colonnade 10 [Consolidated]
Regal Festival 18 [12] [Cobb]
Regal Galleria 10 [Cobb]
Regal Brook Highland 10 [Cobb]
Carmike Bama 6 [Consolidated]
Carmike 10 [Riverchase 6] [Consolidated]
Cobb Center Point 6
Cobb Hoover Square 6
Cobb Cinema City 8
Cobb Green Springs 6 [4]

I did this research on February 14, 2004 at the Birmingham Library. After doing the research, since the only "interesting" theatre for me to check out was the Carmike 10, which was opened by Consolidated as the Riverchase 6 in 1982. It's the only theatre left that was built by Consolidated. I went in the theatre and talked to the manager and showed him the grand opening ads and he let me check out the auditoriums. There are 6 large auditoriums (the originals), although all have been redecorated Carmike style, so there is little if any left of the original decor (I guess). Four smaller auditoriums were added on on each side at the front. I was hoping to see what the inside of a Consolidated-built theatre was like, but it appeared that the seats and drapery had all been redone. The other two Consolidateds, the Colonnade 10 and Bama 6, closed in recent years.

Adam Martin -- feel free to copy the dates and information into your web site's database if you're missing any of the dates.

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System Notices
Forum Watchdog / Soup Nazi

Posts: 215

Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 07-02-2011 01:16 AM      Profile for System Notices         Edit/Delete Post 

It has been 2692 days since the last post.


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Gregory Marshall
Film Handler

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From: Nashville, TN, USA
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 - posted 07-02-2011 01:16 AM      Profile for Gregory Marshall   Email Gregory Marshall   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Evans.... from my recollection, Consolidated only built the Riverchase and Bama 6 in the Birmingham area. I'm thinking the Colonade 10 you speak of was someone else? I opened the Bama 6 in Tuscaloosa for Consolidated in June, 1982, and was in tune to what was going on in Birmingham. I assisted with the Riverchase opening in December 1982. I had already transferred back to Nashville to Cinema South in May 1983, and Bama 6 on Center Point Rd opened a month later, so I missed that opening. That was Jedi summah!

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System Notices
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It has been 2057 days since the last post.


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Evans A Criswell
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1579
From: Huntsville, AL, USA
Registered: Mar 2000


 - posted 02-17-2017 10:22 AM      Profile for Evans A Criswell   Author's Homepage   Email Evans A Criswell   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Gregory, the Colonnade 10 was a Consolidated location. The grand opening ad has "Consolidated Theatres" on it. In my research, I got copies of many of the grand opening ads that I could find. It opened in 1989 (June 16) so that was near the end for Consolidated since their theatres got taken over by Carmike in Birmingham at some point between July 1990 and July 1992. Since I did this research, there have been more changes (closings and openings). It will be more difficult to research newer theatres since the practice of advertising daily in a printed newspaper that was archived was on the decline in the early to mid 2000s.

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