Casa Linda Theatre

150 Casa Linda Plaza,
Dallas, TX 75218

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Casa Linda© Dallas TX / Don Lewis

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1945, the Casa Linda Theatre was the second theater in the United States to be built as an integrated part of a shopping center, a novel idea at the time. It followed another Dallas area theater, which was the first such theater to be constructed.

The theater was built and operated by B.R. McLendon, father of the legendary radio pioneer Gordon McLendon (the great Scotsman) who because famous for his re-enactments of baseball games, theater holdings, movie production, real estate holdings, and precious metals holdings.

The Casa Linda was the first portion of the shopping center to be built. Due to the shortage of building materials during and following the Second World War, construction of the theater took nearly five years.

The theater closed in early 1999 when its lease expired. The building had been sold to a potential real estate developer who later reneged on their offer to buy the theater.

Over the next two years, two other potential buyers backed out of their plans to buy the property (and the Casa Linda).

Contributed by Richard Peterson

Recent comments (view all 78 comments)

matt54 on September 9, 2010 at 6:39 pm

Oh, one other little point: someone posted that this theater was changed into a multi-screen in the 1960’s – not true. As of summer 1969 it was still in its original single-screen configuration. It was one of several McLendon theaters that hosted the world premiere of “True Grit” with John Wayne being carted around in a McLendon limo to each theater to make his appearance after the film’s showing. The other theaters were (I believe) the Preston Royal, Park Forest, and several McLendon drive-ins. Sometime in the early 1970’s is when the “twinning” or “tripling” took place, just in time for the auditorium in what had been the mezzanine (balcony, sort of) to show the reissue of “Jason and the Argonauts” in a new 35mm print (the Casa Linda had shown “Jason” during its first suburban run in 1963).

adamdonaghey on December 22, 2010 at 12:26 pm

And now it’s gonna be a grocery store: View link :(

matt54 on December 31, 2010 at 12:11 pm

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.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on March 3, 2011 at 6:16 pm

From East Dallas a photo of the Casa Linda with some of the auction announcement lettering still visible on the marquee.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on March 3, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Another view of the Casa Linda in the early morning sun.

TLSLOEWS on April 14, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Thats a great shot Don. on September 7, 2011 at 4:43 pm

From April 2011 as the theatre was being remodeled as a grocery store.

jrdarr on April 7, 2012 at 4:24 pm

Of course like most theaters in the old days, it originally had one very large screen.

Jim Miller
Jim Miller on December 30, 2013 at 8:07 pm

I managed the Casa Linda in the early 1990s. it was a very nice theatre that had been “modernized” a few times. The balcony had been converted to a theatre, and it was the best done conversion I had ever seen. In fact that auditorium had the best seats, and the best screen presentation in the place. The big main auditorium had older more basic seating that was too close together. We sacrificed quite a few rows of seats, giving more room between rows, and it made watching a movie in that auditorium much more enjoyable. Both the balcony theatre, and the main auditorium had traveler curtains on the screens. They both had electrically operated masking, too.

There were two small auditoriums that were made from what was originally storage space. One was converted well, with a nice ramp for the seating, giving a nice viewing position. The other had a basically flat floor making it tough to see the screen well if somebody in front of you was tall.

The front sign said “McLendon 3 Theatres” even though we had four screens because the city of Dallas wouldn’t let us change the signage because it was considered historic!

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on December 30, 2013 at 9:07 pm

Couldn’t have anything to do with money … I suppose its going to be a historic grocery store. In Dallas money talks and bullsh**t walks.

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