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Opened for the Butterfield Theatres chain in 1968, the Wayside was designed by Louis Wiltse and could seat just over 1000. The Wayside's most famous feature was its enormous screen, measuring 56' by 24', at the time the largest indoor screen in the US.
The lobby was designed to resemble a comfortable (albeit with late 60s style decor) living room, with sofas, end tables, lamps and artwork.
In 1984, the auditorium was twinned, after Butterfield sold the Wayside to Illinois-based Kerasotes Theatres. In the five years that Kerasotes ran the Wayside, it was notorious for being poorly run. Kerasotes closed the theater in 1989.
A year later, plans were announced to convert the twin into a brew-n-view style venue, called the Wayside Cinema & Drafthouse, but this fell through. In late 1991, the theater was gutted and reopened as the Wayside Whirly Ball amusement center.