Casa Linda Theatre

150 Casa Linda Plaza,
Dallas, TX 75218

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Showing 26 - 50 of 82 comments

Michael on November 29, 2008 at 1:57 am

The theater, per the Dallas Morning News in 1980, was located at Buckner and Garland Roads.

gsamuelwalker on April 22, 2008 at 4:25 am

The new owner/developer is committed to redeveloping the theater and shopping center. Follow the link to their site; there is a survey please voice your support for restoring this landmark theater. Thanks!

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Christinada5 on April 10, 2008 at 1:21 am

I use to live in the area where the Casa Linda use to be. Too bad, it’s just another piece of Dallas history that has slipped through the cracks.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on March 11, 2007 at 10:30 am

As they say “Money Talks and Bull Sh*t Walks”

rbiesel on March 4, 2007 at 5:32 am

Well kids, I live directly behind Casa Linda, as I drove by this morning, it looks like the old interior is being gutted. I am not certain what has been saved or drywalled over. I am very afraid the Art deco furnishings, althought in disrepair, may be gone. I also ran across this piece in the DMN.

Revamp to take Casa Linda back to its roots
East Dallas: Developers aim to restore 1940s plaza’s original flair
08:39 AM CST on Saturday, January 6, 2007
By ELIZABETH LANGTON / The Dallas Morning News
The cylindrical tower will remain, and so will the Spanish tile roof.
But decisions about what else stays and goes at Casa Linda Plaza depend largely on what patrons and neighborhood residents think.
“We want this to be a community-driven restoration,” said Steve Hefner, vice president of AmREIT, the real estate company that purchased the shopping center last month.
Mr. Hefner will attend a community meeting Jan. 16 about the plaza’s appearance and tenants. AmREIT plans to spend $5 million on renovations.

REX C. CURRY / Special Contributor
Plans for the plaza include a pedestrian-friendly design with more landscaping, lighting and signs, said Steve Hefner of AmREIT real estate, which recently purchased the center.
“We want to restore it the right way,” he said. “The right way really means in our minds a more cohesive design, an enhanced pedestrian-friendly design with more landscaping, lighting and signs.
"We want to bring the center back to its original flair.”
Casa Linda Plaza, built in the late 1940s, sprawls across three corners of the Buckner Boulevard-Garland Road intersection. Neighbors so revere its signature red tile roof and pink stucco exterior that Wachovia Bank agreed with requests to copy the style when it built there last year.
The shopping center’s sale came just weeks after other developers purchased the Casa Linda Theatre, which has sat vacant for eight years.
Neighborhood residents feel optimistic that both new owners can improve the properties and attract upscale retailers, said David Baillif, a board member of the Casa Linda Estates Neighborhood Association.
“We’re delighted,” he said. “It’s a center that we have our hearts around. As long as they don’t change the character and nature of the place, I don’t see any negatives.”
Clay Evans with SC Companies, which manages the theater property, said the interior is being gutted and converted into retail space. But the exterior â€" including the signature tower, marquee and signs â€" will be repaired and left intact.
Mr. Evans expects to finish the renovations in 60 days.
“It’s going to look like the old Casa Linda,” he said. “I think that’s very important.”
The theater opened in 1945 and closed in 1999. Preservation Dallas listed it on the group’s first most endangered properties list in 2004. Several attempts to revive it as a movie house failed.
“It’s unfortunate that the building can’t be used for its original purpose, but sometimes that’s not practical,” said Katherine Seale, interim executive director of Preservation Dallas. “I’m pleased to hear they are keeping the exterior. It’s part of what makes that neighborhood special and unique.”
Barbara van Pelt, also a Casa Linda Estates board member, said neighbors had hoped to see a theater like the Magnolia or Inwood occupy the Casa Linda site.
“We’re kind of sad about that,” she said. “I think the neighborhood would have supported it.”
Mr. Hefner said his company is committed to giving the community a voice when planning Casa Linda Plaza’s future. He has already received e-mails from people outlining their desires.
We’re not anywhere near our final design for the center; it’s just too early,“ he said. But "we want to make this center a place with lots of character, give it a sense of place.”
Mr. Baillif said the ownership changes are the latest in a string of improvements at Casa Linda Plaza. New owners of the Albertsons grocery store have transformed operations there, and Wachovia proved itself a good neighbor with its new building. And the Texas Department of Transportation incorporated residents' requests into its plans to renovate the Buckner-Garland intersection this year.
“That corner’s going to look really neat by 2008,” Mr. Baillif said. “It’s going to be breathtaking.”

texas25th on February 5, 2007 at 3:29 am

A few vintage airial shots of the theatre and some recent photos plus and old MOBILE Gas station with “Pegasus” Mobile OIL’s flying red horse. COOL!

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caryorrwelch on December 2, 2006 at 7:32 pm

Casa Linda Theater’s next role: shopping space

11:03 PM CST on Thursday, November 30, 2006

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mdmost on December 2, 2006 at 7:06 pm

Sadly, the Casa Linda Theater is officially dead as a theater. Good job Barry and Keith. Way to line up those people who wanted to revive the theater as an actual theater. Instead, they sell to a company that is going to gut it and make retail space. So instead of leasing the theater to the Alamo Drafthouse company and getting a tenant who would have made the place a huge draw for the area, they sell to someone who is going to turn it into probably a Big Lots or something terrible. At least the company that bought it plans to keep the outside in tact but they are completely demolishing the inside. I just don’t get why these guys didn’t do what they could to get the Alamo in there. What a sad, sad day.

Casa Linda Theater’s next role: shopping space

11:03 PM CST on Thursday, November 30, 2006

By STEVE BROWN / The Dallas Morning News

Developers have purchased the historic Casa Linda Theater and plan to convert the empty movie house into shopping space.

A partnership represented by Dallas' SC Companies recently acquired the 61-year-old cinema in northeast Dallas from a group of investors who had hoped to revive the theater.

The Spanish-style building at Buckner Boulevard and Garland Road anchors the Casa Linda shopping center and has been vacant for almost seven years.

The new owners plan to remodel and lease the 12,000-square-foot building to one or more tenants, Grey Stogner with SC Companies said Thursday.

“Right now we are doing some environmental abatement and demolition on the inside of the building and are marketing it to retailers,” Mr. Stogner said. “We want to try and maintain the architectural integrity of the original theater.”

Casa Linda Theater closed in 1999, a victim of changes in the cinema business. It was one of the last small neighborhood theaters operating in the Dallas area.

Since then, owners have considered converting the theater into a combination cinema and restaurant and other uses. But those deals never got off the ground.

County deed records show that the new owner, Woodstead Realty LP, bought the building in early November with a $7 million loan from Amegy Mortgage Co.

Mr. Stogner said tenants for the building would be lined up by early next year.

“It’s a great area with tremendous demographics,” he said.

“We’re glad to be there.”

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on November 6, 2006 at 2:27 am

My photograph of the final night of operation for the CASA LINDA.

cpoehler on September 11, 2006 at 7:00 pm

Mr. Peterson – If I interpret what you are saying correctly, the Casa Linda Theater is no longer capable of being profitable due to the amount of renovation that is needed to make it safe and usable? Are you also inferring that the owners are looking for someone to bail them out of this apparent money pit? I am led to believe that you have a great interest in the Theater and would likely be a champion for its restoration.

Could you propose a plan for the revival of the Theater? Can you really use the Northstar 8 theater as a comparison to Casa Linda. That theater was built in the early 80’s and has none of the charm or history of Casa Linda. I believe that there are several historical organizations that could become involved in the restoration of the theater. The same can be said of the neighborhood surrounding UA 8. I grew up there an know the area’s homes were built in the 70’s and the area is not nearly as investor worthy as Casa Linda.

The Area surrounding Casa Linda is currently in a “generational limbo”. Many of the older and original residents are being replaced by younger families with greater interest in seeing the neighborhood offer more entertainment options. It is evident by the explosion of Manhattan style residences all over the city, West Village, Addison Circle, Lowest Greenville, Old Plano, that people want a place that offers entertainment and shopping with a neighborhood feel.

Many times opportunity is a matter of timing and I wonder if the old theater’s time has returned?

gbottlerockett on August 19, 2006 at 10:51 am

Theater’s are dinosaurs. I think this theater could be kept primarily original and serve as a great neighborhood watering hole. Casa Linda needs something like that.


RWPeterson on August 17, 2006 at 6:11 pm

In its present condition, the Casa Linda is worth very little as a theatre.

I would imagine (all things considered) no national credit tenant
would consider going into this center. The owners have lost their
opportunity to have the only two qualified tenants save this landmark.

Considering the tenant allowance that would be required (about $600,000 to $700,000) and necessary repairs to bring the building up to code, the theatre still couldn’t demand more than $50,000 a year vs. 10% at a natural break point. It doesn’t make sense. No prospective tenant will put their own money into someone else’ problem â€" it would have to be Landlord money, based on Landlord worthiness. So the simple fact is â€" there is NO incentive. Plus, with the theatre closed for six years, it probably couldn’t “park” a theatre with 900 seats +/– even at a 4:1 ratio.

Plus, as good as the Casa Linda was, this location is not far from
Garland which recently saw the North Star 8 close and has two other
theatres operating, but gasping for breath to survive. Most of the U.S.
is ( again ) grossly over-screened like it was several years ago. There will probably be more pain within the next two years as more theatres close. Theatres are, after all, a single-purpose building — not unlike a bowling alley. Expensive to change into something else.

One persons opinion is, when it comes to Casa Linda, these fellows
are just talk â€" and really waiting for a high-rise condo builder or the hospital to need a portion of the Casa Linda Shopping Center
and “that” as they say will be “that.”

R Peterson

gbottlerockett on August 17, 2006 at 5:08 pm

Does anyone know the asking price? I’m assuming it’s high. She could be a real beauty.

gbottlerockett on August 17, 2006 at 5:08 pm

Does anyone know the asking price? I’m assuming it’s high. She could be a real beauty.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on August 13, 2006 at 2:02 am

Another CASA LINDA image View link

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on August 13, 2006 at 1:37 am

My 8/9/06 image of the CASA LINDA still waiting for someone to “step up with the money” View link

JohnnyLong on August 12, 2006 at 4:16 pm

My first job was here in the summer of 1964 (I was 14 and turned 15 that August). I also worked there briefly during part of my senior year in high-school (1967). My father was actually the manager here when I was a baby, but when he and my mother divorced (around 1952) he moved on to the job he held until he retired with another firm.Because the man who took my dad’s place was a family-friend and kept the position for many years, I used to NEVER pay admission here when I was growing up, and through my teenage years made a lot of use of the two “Cry Rooms” on either side of the balcony when there was just one screen and I was with a pretty girl—(LOL..!!). One of the unique things about the trailers that were shown before each feature was that they always included one for KLIF 1190—the McClendon radio-station in Dallas (this was a McClendon theatre), and on Saturdays when the auditorium was often packed with kids who monitored rock-and-roll religiously, there was a contest during that one trailer of “cheers” vs. “boos” that got pretty loud. You see, White Rock—the area of Dallas where the Casa Linda was located—was the home of KBOX 1480, the rival station in town to KLIF. For awhile, it was more popular with kids in the 60’s, whether they were in high-school or just “teeny-boppers” then. Gradually, KLIF began to gain more popularity until finally, in January of 1967, KBOX went “country”, and Dallas had to wait another few years (until the establishment of KVIL) to have more than one choice for rock-and-roll. Ahhh—what a blast from the past..!! Like the Simon & Garfunkel song says, “Preserve your memories—they’re all that’s left you.” I’m so thankful I have mine.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on July 23, 2006 at 9:11 pm

My photograph of the CASA LINDA View link

PDFproduction on July 14, 2006 at 10:59 pm


stacyD on April 24, 2006 at 8:06 pm

A new banner has appeared on the theater. It reads “Keith or Barry – 972-231-4600.

Hopefully someone will try to reopen this theater.

stacyD on March 7, 2006 at 7:33 pm

Casa Linda Theater revival falls through

Dallas: Owner hopes abandoned movie house can still project new life

01:50 PM CST on Saturday, March 4, 2006

By DAVID FLICK / The Dallas Morning News

The most eagerly awaited coming attraction at the Casa Linda Theater now seems unlikely to make it to the silver screen.

The Casa Linda Theater, which closed in 1999, is one of the most distinctive features of the Casa Linda neighborhood on the east side of White Rock Lake.

One of the theater’s owners said his company â€" Theatre Brothers Ltd. â€" is looking for other suitors after negotiations with Austin-based Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas deadlocked.

The question was who would pay to renovate the 61-year-old structure.

Alamo Drafthouse had planned to lease the abandoned movie house and turn it into a restaurant and theater.

“I always remain optimistic,” Barry Waranch, co-owner of the building, said of the negotiations. “My business is about keeping things going.”

Nonetheless, Mr. Waranch, said, he would not dispute characterizing the Drafthouse deal as dead.

John Martin, president of Alamo Drafthouse, did not return several phone calls asking for comment.

The theater, crowned by a lighted cylindrical tower, has long been one of the most distinctive features of the Casa Linda neighborhood on the east side of White Rock Lake.

Its closing in 1999 prompted fears of a downturn in the area.

Those fears turned to elation last summer when Alamo Drafthouse signed a letter of intent. The Casa Linda structure would have housed the company’s eighth Alamo Drafthouse, high-profile cinemas that are known for hosting glitzy special events and celebrity screenings.

Last summer, Entertainment Weekly hailed the Alamo Draft- house as “the best theater in America.”

The collapse of negotiations marked another setback for the site, but neighborhood leaders said they remained optimistic that the theater would be revived.

“There were a lot of people who were waiting in line to take over that theater,” said Cindy Bourne, president of the Casa Linda Estates Neighborhood Association.

“Hopefully, Barry Waranch will be able to get one of those people in there.”

RWPeterson on December 21, 2005 at 2:08 pm

Even though we closed the Casa Linda Theatre six years ago, I continue to get questions from folks who love this old theatre. There seems to be a lot of misinformation about the theatre so I want to take a moment to set the record strait and end the speculation.

1) At the end of primary lease for the Casa Linda theatre in 1990, our options had a termination clause that essentially made the theatre agreement a “month-to-month” lease. For this reason, I felt it would be imprudent to continue to install the new seats we had already put into one of the auditoriums. New seats are currently about $118 each plus an additional $3 to remove old seats, $10 to install new seats, and about $3 to remove and dispose of.

2) The theatre did not have balconies. Our number 2 auditorium was the original loge. It was not a stadium or riser auditorium. Because there were no parallel walls, this auditorium had superb acoustics. This auditorium also had two crying rooms that had been modified to accommodate air-handlers when the theatre was cut-up in the 1960s.

3) The Casa Linda was one of the first theatres in Texas to offer patrons 100% digital sound. We consistently spent substantial money on presentation equipment which could be easily removed when the time came for us to vacate this property.

4) The Casa Linda was loosing about $500,000 a year when we took over its operation in 1987. We changed the strategy and operation to a format we felt best served this unique neighborhood. We were profitable within about one month of making the necessary changes and continued to be a profitable first-run theatre for each and every of the twelve years we operated the Casa Linda.

5) We were instructed to leave the Casa Linda theatre in 1999 following the Christmas holiday season. We were directed by the CFO of the McLendon company to remove our personal property, but to remove none of the McLendon property (including letters) following our departure because the McLendon people were having an auction the next weekend to dispose of the equipment from the Casa Linda, the few remnants that were not fire or smoke damaged from the Astro Drive In, and the equipment from Ciello ranch from the late, great Gordon McLendon. This is why the letters were left on the marquee. If there was a buyer of the marquee letters, they were not removed from the marquee and it is my understanding the McLendon people were absolutely forbidden to come back on the shopping center property. The CFO of the McLendon companies was a wonderful, professional lady who was a pleasure to work with.

6) I have been told the McLendon people received three letters of intent to buy the theatre building (which is not a part of the shopping center â€" itâ€\s a privately owned building). The offers were said to be non binding and potential buyers simply walked away from a deal that they felt was not what they wanted to pay for. I would think the McLendon folks would want to keep us in as a rent paying tenant for the last six years, but this wasn’t up to me.

7) The building must be in horrendous condition after six years of no air conditioning and no repairs to a fifty five-year-old roof.

8) Yes, there was room behind the former Omaha Steak House for an additional auditorium. I was restricted from making any changes to the theatre building and the parking was inadequate in the center, so I did not pursue this. I had wanted to make two major changes inside the building that wold have allowed the installation of larger screens. My request to make these improvements was denied.

9) If ALAMO DRAFT HOUSE comes into the Casa Linda, you will find them to be absolutely first-rate exhibitors. They run good, clean and professional theatres and Iâ€\m sure you will find them to be excellent neighbors.

10) WHAT ARE WE DOING NOW? I am always looking for opportunities in theatres. I have a passion for them. So far I have found several, but for one reason or another have walked way from them all. Usually, a closed theatre is closed for a reason. A landlord may want unrealistic rent for an obsolete theatre, or they may want to spend $100 per square foot to convert the theatre to retail and cut it up somehow. Of the five locations I have operated in the Dallas / Fort Worth area, all were losers when I took them over and all were made profitable under my direction. Iâ€\m fiscally conservative and will continue to look for reciprocal opportunities. I have also acted as consultant for two landlords who built theatres for their tenants but that needed a theatre expert on their team to protect their interests. Iâ€\m pleased to say both locations are fabulously successful and one has added 60% more screens. In addition to continuing work on a very complex business plan that I have worked on for the past ten years that will make $ MegaBucks for me and equity partners. I have also been working on a motion picture related design patent. I also did the voice-over for “No More Joy â€" the rise and fall of New Orleans movie theatres. This is a documentary currently available on the internet with proceeds going to help hurricane victims. I canâ€\t keep my foot out of this water.

Richard Peterson

(972) 931-4161

Ron Newman
Ron Newman on August 22, 2005 at 11:44 am

The Casa Linda will reopen next spring as an Alamo Drafthouse cinema pub, according to this Dallas Business Journal article. The article says that Alamo will leave the façade and marquee intact, and “maintain the look and feel of the landmark”.