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Hey, Randy, how have you been? Done any shooting lately?
In transitioning to the new format, many comments have been deleted/lost.
At any rate, here’s a link to a shot on my flickr page that has a view of the old Fox in the extreme lower left, red neon sign turned on. Check the vintage of some of the cars on Elm.
Randy, that was the name of the club that occupied it right after the theatre closed. IIRC, late 70’s?
Here is a photo of the Circle Theatre as it sits today, in the block of Storey LANE (NOT Storey Street) presently identified as the 2700 block, NOT the 2100 block.
Never mind my question, SiliconSam has already answered it, above!
Cool, Randy – like what you did with the flashlight. I wonder if the McClendons tore down that original screen tower (if it was built in ‘49, I can almost guarantee that 1964 shot isn’t the original screen tower) and build 4 new ones, or did they just keep the original Downs screen and put up 3 new ones?
Status of this theatre should be changed to “closed/demolished.”
Right you are; the greatest design feature of I&II, IMO, was no shared wall between auditoriums.
It really wasn’t. No inspiring architecture, absolutely nothing to look at if the movie was bad (it usually wasn’t). It just had flawless projection, incredible sound, a fantastic concession stand/staff, high presentation standards, excellent comfort, and usually ran movies everyone wanted to see…oh, wait…I think that all means it WAS one heck of a theatre.
I’m sure other factors contributed to the theatre’s demise but light pollution, while it certainly degraded the picture, didn’t seem to be affecting ticket sales as long as I attended (up through end of 1978). If you couldn’t see the picture, and that was a definite problem on all 3 screens, you could usually find something else to do.
Many thanks, Chuck!
Never mind – I just checked and the Encore was at 4519 Maple. What did it become?
Chuck, do you have any info on this theatre that might possibly identify it as having originally been the Encore Theatre?
RE: Richard Keiffer’s 2005 comments, above. The Forest was neither the largest neighborhood house in Texas, nor was it the last theatre built by Interstate Theatres, in Texas OR in Dallas – don’t know your source but Interstate built many new theatres in Dallas and other locations after 1947, including the Medallion, Cameo, and Westwood, all in the late 1960’s. In fact, the Medallion was intended as the first of a new generation of prestige first-run venues intended to replace the old downtown venues (Majestic, Tower, and Palace) which were already slated for closing. There was to be a new single-screen Palace near LBJ and Montfort but the trend away from single-screens to multiscreens put the kabosh on those plans.
Does anyone know why this theatre was torn down after only nine years' operation?
Now, Chuck, doesn’t that look like an old theatre building? Ha-ha, this is so much fun!
Chuck – any idea where that older Circle Theatre was located?
I believe this theatre originally opened as the Parkway Theatre in 1921, part of vaudevillian Eddie Foy’s chain of neighborhood theatres. Foy also opened the Oak Lawn, which was later renamed the Lawn, as well as several other Dallas area venues.
This was never known as the Denton Drive-In; from its opening in 1950 to its closing, it was ALWAYS the Denton Road Drive-In.
ken mc’s photo is interesting because it shows how the Starlite was modified for the projection of cinemascope movies – simply stretched the screen tower out from the left edge, as evidenced from the different shade of shingles (probably asphalt) used for the extension. Other styles of screen towers didn’t lend themselves to such a straightforward modification. Some had to have a second screen mounted on struts extending out from the original square one; this allowed for installation of a curved screen, something the Starlite and others of this style obviously didn’t have.
This was NOT the Guild; the Guild was another theater, built in 1950 about a block away, which opened as the (new) Columbia, soon renamed Avenue, still later renamed Guild. It was the newer theater that switched to XXX fare (as the Guild) in the 1970’s.
By that time, THIS Columbia had long since 1)been re-named Rita and then 2)been shuttered as a film house.
The AKA needs to be changed from Guild to Columbia, this theater’s original name – it was NEVER the Guild.
Status should be changed to “Closed.”
I’m sure most Dallas theater enthusiasts know this, but the neon artist’s palette that used to be above the Esquire’s marquee now hangs on the outside wall at a building in Las Colinas near Irving, just outside Dallas. Here’s a link to a picture of it on flickr.
Status can be changed to “Closed/Demolished” since I can remember many good meals at the Kip’s Big Boy built on the site as soon as the drive-in was torn down in the early 60’s.
Mixed feelings on that one, Adam – in my heart I know it could never again compete as a movie theater unless the Alamo Drafthouse thing had worked out – but a grocery store? At least the address will be occupied and the deterioration will cease. Hope the new tenants keep the tower.