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 80 comments)

matt54
matt54 on December 31, 2010 at 3:11 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 9:16 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 9:41 pm

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

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on April 14, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Thats a great shot Don.

RoadsideArchitecture.com
RoadsideArchitecture.com on September 7, 2011 at 7:43 pm

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

jrdarr
jrdarr on April 7, 2012 at 7:24 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 11:07 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 31, 2013 at 12:07 am

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.

bjelliott
bjelliott on April 1, 2015 at 1:58 pm

This information is incorrect. The theater and entire Casa Linda Shopping Center was developed by Carl and Howard Brown. They also owned the land as well as developed Casa Linda Estates.

beverlysigns
beverlysigns on April 1, 2015 at 5:05 pm

My Father, Howard D. Brown and Carl Martin Brown, my Grandfather owned all the land that was to become Casa Linda Plaza and Casa Linda Estates from before WW2. They had to put in water, electricity and sewer before roads or the shopping center could be started. Barton Mc Lendon was a local attorney and he agreed to lease the theater if they built it and Bart agreed to have his son Gordon over see the management. When the war broke out Dad enlisted in the Army and materials were in short supply so everything was put on hold till the war ended.

Once Dad came home from the war, the Plaza and houses began in earnest and they were on their way. I remember the theater as being a great place to go on Saturday mornings or Friday or Saturday night with my friends as I became a teen. As my family died out, the center was sold by my father in total and Dad retired in 1978. In 1981 Dad died with the Plaza and all the homes he build in Casa Linda area and Garland still being there and to this day the Brown Family legacy lives on in what my Dad and Grandfather dreamed and accomplished.
McLendon lease on the theater was up in the late 1990' s and the theater is now a food store.

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