Carmike co-founder dies at 88

Carl Lloyd Patrick, former patriarch of one of the largest motion picture theater companies in the nation, died Wednesday at the age of 88.

His funeral will be at 1 p.m. Friday at St. Luke United Methodist Church with interment following at Park Hill Cemetery. The family will receive friends today from 6 to 8 p.m. at Striffler-Hamby Mortuary.

Patrick grew up in Virginia and Maryland. His father died when he was 10, so he went straight to work after graduating from high school at age 16, supporting his mother, sister and two brothers.

Patrick entered the Army in 1941 as a private but graduated from Officer Candidate School at Fort Benning in 1942, the same year he completed paratrooper training.

The war took him to Italy, where he was seriously wounded in Sicily in 1943. He returned to Fort Benning to recover and left the Army in 1945 at the rank of major.

His uniform, complete with bullet holes, is among the collection of the National Infantry Museum at Fort Benning.

Patrick married Frances Wynn of Columbus in 1943. The couple had two sons, Carl Jr. and Michael, who would later join their father in the family business.

In 1945, Patrick joined Martin Theatres, a Columbus-based company, and in just three years was promoted to general manager in charge of all operations.

He was named president of Martin Theatres in 1969, the same year Martin was sold to Fuqua Industries, which later named Patrick as its president and chief operating officer. Under his leadership, from 1970-78, Fuqua’s annual sales rose from $300 million to more thanover $2 billion.

In 1973, while still with Fuqua, Patrick helped form a motion picture production company that produced movies such as "Walking Tall" and "The Great Santini."

In 1982, Patrick and his sons bought Martin Theatres back from Fuqua and created Carmike Cinemas, which would become of the industry’s leaders.

In addition to his work in motion pictures, Patrick also served on the boards of directors of CB&T, Burnham Service Corp. and Callaway Chemical.

Away from the boardroom, Patrick and his family have been long known for philanthropy and public service. Last year, former first lady Rosalyn Carter came to Columbus to recognize the Patricks for their giving. The Carl and Frances Patrick Heart Institute at St. Francis Hospital and the Carl Patrick Hall at Columbus Technical Institute are two examples of their generosity.

Patrick also served as chairman of the city’s Board of Public Safety in the 1960s and on the boards of Columbus Tech and as a trustee of Columbus State University.

Patrick is survived by his wife, two sons, two grandsons and a brother.