Charlottesville Breaking News

New life: Carmike Cinema finds market niche

Sometimes the Hook blows it, and when that happens, we try to do everything we can to correct that mistake. So, after accidentally publishing an outdated review of the Carmike theater in our Annual Manual, we decided to check it out for ourselves. We were impressed.

The bright marquee lights on the front of the Carmike Cinemas behind Albemarle Square are enticing, but it’s the sign below the lights that has been steadily drawing moviegoers since last November.

“All seats, all shows $1.50.”

When Raymond Kilburn took over as manager in the fall of 2012, the theater switched from first-run, full-price movies to second-run, discount films, which have already been shown in traditional big box theaters. The movies usually make it to Carmike about four to eight weeks after their premiere. Kilburn, who is also an artist, wanted to spread the word about the discount theater after making the switch.

“We’ve had great responses from people,” Kilburn says. “They want us to stay around as long as possible.”

With low ticket prices and affordable concessions, the theater provides customers an alternative to the pricey, albeit brand new stadium-seated Regal 14 at the Stonefield shopping center.

“Regal is top dog in the movie theater world,” Kilburn says. “It’s just a lovely theater. But here you can but a movie ticket, popcorn and a drink for the cost of just a ticket over there.”

Ticket prices haven’t be...

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The week in review

Worst spate of muggings: A 51-year-old man is beaten and suffers a broken arm and black eye in an attempted robbery around 5:30am August 10 on East Market near Lee Park, NBC29 reports. The suspects are described as two black males in their 20s. That night, a 21-year-old man is robbed in the 100-block of West Jefferson by a single thief, and a couple of hours later, according to WINA, a man and woman are held up on 2nd Street NE.

21-year-old man was robbed of his cash at around 10:40 p.m. Saturday in the 100 block of West Jefferson Street. - See more at:
21-year-old man was robbed of his cash at around 10:40 p.m. Saturday in the 100 block of West Jefferson Street. - See more at:

Worst assemblage of armed robbers: Three men wearing ski masks hit the BP station on Fontaine Avenue around 5am August 9. And early August 11, three men rob a cab driver at gunpoint in the parking lot of the Villas of...

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On set at Stonefield: They built it, but will people come?

Around noon on a recent Thursday there wasn't a soul walking the pedestrian-friendly sidewalks at The Shops at Stonefield on Route 29, the major county development that opened for business last year. Indeed, a Hook reporter was the only person walking the sidewalks. Nearby, the parking lot for Trader Joe's and Pier 1 Imports was only a quarter full.

Elsewhere in town at the same time, like on the Downtown Mall and the Barracks Road Shopping Center, things are bustling, outdoor restaurant spaces are full, and people are wandering in and out of shops. Over at Stonefield, however, the outdoor areas of restaurants, such as Burton's Grill, Travinia Italian Kitchen, and Noodles & Company, are empty. A few construction workers stepped outside to take a break from building the interiors of the shops and restaurants scheduled to open later this summer and fall – 15 in all, selling everything from jewelry, sporting goods, home and garden products, housewares, clothing, and furniture. Perhaps the streets will be bustling this fall. 

We know the Regal Stadium 14 Theater sees crowds in the evening, and during our visit that's where most people were. But the barren sidewalks, clearly designed for pedestrian strollers, prompt the question: will this place really be successful?

Messages left with Stonefield's public relations department yielded no response, but Albemarle County Board of Supervisors member Dennis Rooker, w...

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Intent to harass: Stalker pleads guilty to fake Craigslist sex ads

The former Library of Congress film preservationist, whose fake ads on Craigslist sent more than 100 men seeking sex to his ex-girlfriend's house, pleaded guilty to three felony counts August 12 in U.S. District Court.

Kenneth Kuban, 61, admitted that while purporting to be the ex-girlfriend, he'd posted at least 165 ads in the free website's "casual encounters" section, gave interested men her address in Fauquier County, told them to ignore the no-trespassing signs and security gate she'd had installed, and in some instances, directed them to perform specific sexual acts on her when they arrived at her house. Using both his home computer in Reva and his work computer in Culpeper, he set up fake email accounts to respond to inquiries.


Kuban was arrested in March and charged with four felony counts. He pleaded guilty to three of those: stalking in violation of a protective order, which carries a one-year mandatory sentence, identity theft, and violating a state protective order. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

Judge Glen Conrad questioned Kuban extensively about his decision to plead guilty. "I'm just taking responsibility for my actions," Kuban told the judge. "I did do most of the things the government said I did."...

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Where are they? Two missing girls, one suspect

Last fall, a seemingly outraged citizen walked into the Hook office portraying himself as the victim of an allegedly overzealous missing person investigation. The man talked of getting pushed out of his job and his home by dubious investigative methods that convinced even a judge he'd been unfairly tracked. Ten months after that interview, the disappearance of another young Central Virginia woman has renewed the specter of horror and brought fresh scrutiny to his claims.

The man is Randy Allen Taylor, a 48-year-old Lovingston resident, and on August 11 he was arrested and charged with the abduction of 17-year-old Alexis Tiara Murphy, whose whereabouts remain unknown.

For the family of Murphy, an attractive rising senior at Nelson County High School, the arrest provides a glimmer of hope, but little in the way of real relief from the unrelenting pain of the girl's unexplained disappearance at the outset of the school year, which began in Nelson on Monday, August 12.

"I drove my son to school, but I didn't have my daughter," said a sobbing Laura Murphy at the press conference at which authorities announced Taylor's arrest. She pleaded for the public to provide any tips on her daughter's whereabouts.

Investigators, however, contend that the man most likely to have that information is Taylor.

A thin man with a Daffy Duck tattoo on his neck, Taylor remains an enigma. Is he a kidnapper, as authorities allege? Or is...

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Editor's Note
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Editor's Note