Northpark West 1 & 2

1100 Northpark Center,
Dallas, TX 75225

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Northpark ad from January 2, 1983

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The Cinema I & II was THE theater to go to in the Dallas Metroplex from 1965 until 1998. It was one of the first three theaters in the nation to be equipped with Lucasfilm Ltd’s THX and was personally done so by Tom Holmin, who was head of that division at the beginning. The Northpark never had a presentation flaw in its 33 year run. Even Lab Spiced reels were rejected by the projection team.

The studios, having their Dallas offices not far away, had many of their screenings at the Northpark and you never knew what famous person might run into you. Harrison Ford sat in the back rows during “Blade Runner”. Carol Channing made her way down the aisles, passing out tissues during scenes in “E.T”. Benji pressed his paws in cement in the forecourt. It was said that George Lucas once said that it was his favorite place to show his films. It was one of only 20 theaters in the nation to run “Star Wars” on its opening weekend in May of 1977. It was also only one of a handful of theaters in the nation to show James Cameron’s “Titanic” in 70 mm.

Not only did the Northpark do an out standing job as a first run theater, it also had classics shown, titles ranging from “The Blues Brothers” to “The Sound of Music” graced the screen every summer during their annual Summer Movie nights. And by far the Northpark was considered the best sound system in the nation.

Sadly, General Cinema closed it in 1998 and the building was torn down in 2001.

Contributed by Paul Hemme

Recent comments (view all 58 comments)

Movies-N-Things on June 24, 2012 at 5:05 pm

I hate that I missed being able to see a movie here but I didn’t move to town till the end of 1998 and before that I never ventured much past Mesquite.I do enjoy the movies at the Northpark 15 now though.

DonE on February 14, 2013 at 1:56 pm

Having been something of a movie nerd as a teenager, I often saved my ticket stubs. Two hard-ticket (reserved seat) attractions I attended at Cinema II at Northpark — Dr. Zhivago and Oliver (about three years apart) — I noticed recently when going through some old memorabilia were tickets for the same seat. What a coincidence. I loved that theater — both auditoriums. The last movie I saw there was Platoon (Cinema I), I still distinctly remember the fantastic sound system.

stevencday on May 29, 2013 at 8:58 am

Growing up in the 80s in South Dallas, every major film that was released I saw with my Dad at Northpark. I will never forget, I was 7 years old, and I was sitting on an aisle seat when the amazing words, “A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…” came on the screen. The theater erupted in a standing ovation. It was my first step into a larger world, and what a privilege it was to have gotten to have all those amazing experiences at such an incredible theater…

kongler on December 14, 2015 at 6:43 pm

I saw all three Star Wars at N.P. 1 on opening day. So many good times. I loved that theatre. I’d go see ep. 7 there if it was still standing. Instead I’m off to Cinemark IMAX on Webbs Chapel. Near another great fave theatre back in the day Northtown 6. All gone the way of the dinosaurs.

CaptainRob on December 17, 2015 at 1:48 am

While working for GCC in the late 80’s early 90’s I had an ongoing nit to pick with the GM of Northpark 1 and 2, Anna Carros. She also served as the City Manager for Dallas. She had claimed that her theater was the first commercial installation of THX Sound. It wasn’t. she said that the equipment tags had April of 1983 dates on them. She wasn’t GM there back then. She knew that I had previously worked at the UA Prestonwood. And I told her that their equipment had March of 83 dates on them. Also I had an old issue of Box Office magazine with a Lucasfilm THX two page ad that listed all of the installations around the country and their dates. The first installation was the THX mixing stage in California. And the first commercial installation was House #1 at the UA Prestonwood Creek 5. Ass for the Northpark’s perfect presentation record. I was working for GCC when “Die Hard” came out. And over a course of a few days, they had destroyed an entire reel of the movie. And I believe it was a 70 MM reel. I wonder if they had the same problem with their soundhead that UA Prestonwood had when we ran “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom”? We had lost about ten minutes of a reel due to a manufacturing defect in the 70 MM soundhead that constantly caused the film to chip an break at the same place. I was told by my GM that the print cost over $100,000 to replace. And that was in 1984.

philman on March 5, 2016 at 1:39 am

I worked at Northpark I&II part-time while in high school in the early 1970’s, working mostly evenings and weekends. Looking back, I really enjoyed my time there, even though the wages were a bit lacking, shall we say. I remember one of the biggest movies we had was ‘What’s Up Doc’, the Barbra Streisand-Ryan O'Neal classic, in the spring of 1972….it ran for around 6 months, and was still drawing good crowds even at the end. I worked at the theater for around 2 years, made some good friends there, and always looked forward to going to work. I was truly saddened to see the place close down in 1998. It kind of felt like part of my youth had been taken from me…..PR

markp on March 5, 2016 at 7:35 am

I was curious if this was a split down the middle theatre or twinned as an add on. Also to CaptainRob, I think your old UA GM had inflated the price of that print back in 84. I just ran the Hateful 8 over Christmas in 70MM in New York City. I had been in contact with Weinstein Pictures directly and was told the entire 3 hour and 7 min print cost was just over $25,000.00. And my print ran 2 weeks with zero issues.

markp on March 5, 2016 at 7:37 am

Guess it would have helped to see the grand opening ad see it was built as a twin.

CaptainRob on March 7, 2016 at 1:42 am

This theater’s layout was that there was a lobby between the two auditoriums. The huge auditorium was on the left and the smaller 750 seat one was on the right. I remember going there as a little kid and it was always a twin. In regards to the cost figure of the “Indiana Jones” print. My former GM was known to exaggerate. Any GCC/UA manager from the DFW area in that era would probably agree with me.

markp on March 7, 2016 at 1:29 pm

Thanks for the info on the layout and the exaggerating GM’s

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