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Just to chronicle the whats and whys — the northwest Austin area “originally” had the Arbor 4 and at some point it was turned into the Arbor 7, run by Regal Cinemas. Sometime around then, the Great Hills 8 was opened a couple of blocks away, run by GCC. I don’t remember which came first — the Great Hills 8 or the Arbor upgrade. Both theaters featured first-run films. So then, the Gateway 16 opened and the Arbor 7 immediately switched to art house fare. Things couldn’t get any better at that point — so they got a little worse. GCC filed for bankruptcy, closing the Great Hills 8. Then things got MUCH worse — the Arbor 7 was closed, gutted and turned into a Cheesecake Factory. At this point we had a dead theater, unoriginal food and nothing nearby showing art house films or alternative films. Finally, Regal Cinemas took over the old Great Hills 8, calling it the Arbor at Great Hills. It shows art house films. We still have the Gateway 16 for first-run films, so northwest Austin is looking pretty decent theater-wise.
I doubt this theater holds 1200 people, even if you combine all 4 theaters. I’ll check this and get the information back to this website soon.
This theater was outfitted with a 70 mm projection system for the premiere of the movie “Ed TV” several years ago. If memory serves, the system was paid for with generous donations from director Ron Howard and actor Matthew McConaughey. They play 70 mm prints there when they get the chance. This is a great theater.
Chuck is right, this one was a class act. He forgot to mention that the clouds were some sort of polyester batting suspended from the ceiling — 3D clouds! Every few minutes strobes would go off intermittently as thunder sounds played over hidden speakers. Neat little lightning show.
The status of this theater should be changed to “destroyed” since it was completely gutted and replaced with a Cheesecake Factory. I never go near the place any more — it’s just too sad.