Northpark West 1 & 2

1100 Northpark Center,
Dallas, TX 75225

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Northpark ad from January 2, 1983

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Cinema I & II was THE theater to go to in the Dallas Metroplex from its opening September 22, 1965. 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 on October 23, 1998 and the building was torn down in 2001.

Contributed by Paul Hemme

Recent comments (view all 68 comments)

pjohn on June 17, 2016 at 5:25 pm

Captainrob Jeff Linn was District Manager for GCC and had an office inside Northpark He was in that position after Lange passed it in early 1979 and was manager of Valley View theater until he had a heart attack at home in 1987 Linn was district manager until the early 1990s when they closed. you are correct about the Prestonwood they opened with 9 to 5 and supported THX however I believe the system was installed at Wallnut Hill 6 first I remember the technicians being there as I was there working for GCC and UA corp. The district manager of UA at the time was sleeping in his office all through the 1980s as his wife caught him cheating with his secretary. what a looser he was . The manger was David Tillery he had legs 10 inches long and a body of normal height. odd looking fellow. when you worked at the Prestonwood Tony was the manager his wife always cheated on him and he eventually got fired for embezzling company funds. I worked in all of the theaters in Dallas Fort Worth from 1980 to 1989 when I retired. I had all the contracts. was in every theater every week knew them all. oddly enough the nicest guy I ever met was a theater manager at GCC Richardson Square mall named Teddy Ford I wonder what happened to him? I really Miss the Cine the Playboy club was in the parking lot as well as Don the Beach Comber. Little know face in the very back of the lot was a natural spring between the US postal and theater.

CaptainRob on June 17, 2016 at 11:24 pm

My GM at UA Prestonwood was John Atchley. I first started in May 1983 was Assistant Manager there from January 85 until August 87. I went back to UA in January 94 at UA Northstar 8 in Garland. Was Tony the GM that got arrested in the lobby of the UA Prestonwood? Around 96 or 97 I was in a training seminar for UA management and got teamed with the Regional VP, Chris Taylor. Nicest guy you’d ever want to meet. He said that he had been the GM of the UA Prestonwood before Atchley. I’m not sure if he was right before Atchley or not. And he told me the story f the GM there getting arrested for embezzling. he said that one day while the GM was in the Conc stand they called all of the employees into the storeroom and the cops were hiding around the corner in the hallway. And they swooped out and nabbed him. I worked for Teddy Ford at the GCC Valley View from Spring 90 to about Spring 91. Maybe a little less. Teddy was a nice guy. But he was a lunatic. And never should have been a GM. I was told by one of our projectionists that Teddy had been an assistant for so long that the higher ups felt sorry for him. And they made him GM of all of the local theaters that would soon be closing. He was the last GM at Lochwood, Richardson Sq, officially Valley View but not really, and Caruth Plaza. He was the lat GM AT Valley View. And when he left they made me ‘in charge’ but I reported to the GM of Galleria, Greg Attaway. I did all of the paperwork and stayed at a Assistant Manager title and pay. I later ran across Teddy ten years later when he was working at the Barnes and Noble bookstore at Richardson Square Mall. Which has since been torn down. Teddy was a character and did alot of things that should have gotten him fired. He constantly told this story of when he was at the old Redbird 6 as either the GM or Assistant. And about these male employees he had that would go up on the roof on Thursday nights and smoke pot before they all screened the new movies. And this was while some of them were changing the marquee on the front of the building. And one night one of these high employees decided to try to jump to the marquee from the roof. The guy missed and landed head first in front of the box office. Killing him. And that people would come by for weeks to see where the guy died and hit the sidewalk. We asked Teddy fora few details. Like the employees were all on the clock and he was the manager on duty. These guys were all breaking the law and he knew about it. And one of them died on his watch. It just didn’t register with him. Some of our employees once asked Teddy if he had ever been in a mental hospital or said that he belonged in one. And he volunteered that he had spent a year out at the state mental hospital in Terrell. Go figure.

CaptainRob on June 17, 2016 at 11:55 pm

Just wanted to add: Jeff Lynn was one of those people that I wished I had never met. He had a core group of manager friends that he let get away with murder. And the rest of the GMs and Assistants were on his hit list. Which I landed on after complaining about the remodel at Galleria. None of the employees were given any overtime and I was straight salary and got virtually nothing extra. I normally worked 40 to 45 hours per week. And during the remodel I worked 84 hours one week and 87 the other week. All I got was a stupid company reward of $100 before taxes four months later. Another story was that Lynn and his boss the local Regional VP, Steve Colson, (a moron by the way) conspired to set up the first GM of the Collin Creek and fire him. Colson came in late one night to the theater as a casual visit since he lived nearby. And had someone load up a large box full of candy from the stand. And he took it home with him. Lynn showed up the next day when Moore was there and did a surprise audit. Found him short and fired him for it. And they also fired the Assistant that had been working the night before. I knew her. I had replaced her at Galleria. Colson’s only qualification was tha this wife was the daughter of one of the executives in Boston. And he spent a week or so in a theater to learn how it worked. By the way, Lynn’s office was at Northpark 3 & 4 on the East side of the freeway. And the GM there was Mickey Lang. His sister Robin was the GM at the GCC Prestonwood. And their brother Stuart I had worked with all of my time at the UA Prestonwood. Stuart’s last day was actually my last day as well. When I later worked at UA Northstar in Garland. Mickey was the GM of the Richardson 6 across the street from Richardson Square Mall. I always let him and his employees in for free. Sometimes Robin would come along too. After GCC closed down, we hired his Assistant and several of his employees. They were all very good. As for the old DM for UA. That would have been Bob Kirby. Any time he came to visit Prestonwood Creek. He had a key to the back door and snuck in and snuck out. Oh, a story about Kevin Moore from Teddy Ford was that the Christmas after he had been set up and fired. He showed up at the unofficial GM Christmas party and got drunk. Went over to Colson’s house and trenched his front yard with his pickup truck.

markbrack on July 1, 2016 at 11:35 am

To say that North Park I and II never had a flawed showing is utter BS! I was there on opening day of Superman The Motion Picture in 70mm and they were having major sound problems – I complained and they KNEW it – and were having someone flown in that night to fix the issue with there Dolby CP 100! Back before there was a Dolby CP200!

markbrack on July 1, 2016 at 11:38 am

Captain Rob – lets get real on the cost of a 70mm print – I knew some of your ‘peoples’ at UA and we ALL KNOW UA Prestonwood was THE UA house – I ran a custom made 70mm print of Star Trek III and knew YOUR Fred Fisher- he had been my boss in HS when I was a projectionist at ABC Interstate in College Station, Texas – a 70mm print runs round $30K NOT $100K. Puuuleezzz!

markbrack on July 1, 2016 at 11:39 am

BTW the first film I saw at NorthPark I&II was Warner Bros. Finian’s Rainbow in 70mm 6 Track – sure sounded lush! Way back in 1968!

Coate on May 27, 2017 at 5:06 pm

Forty years ago today, “Star Wars” opened at the Northpark (and at nine other cinemas, bringing to 43 the number of opening-weekend bookings). The now-classic movie would go on to play the Northpark for 54 weeks and wound up the 9th top-grossing engagement in the country. And, to celebrate the occasion, here’s the link to a new retrospective article which details the cinemas in which the movie played and many other tidbits about the movie before it became a franchise and merchandising behemoth.

Coate on June 19, 2017 at 2:40 pm

The Northpark (“West” / I & II) was among just eleven theaters in the United States that installed the then-new Dolby Digital sound system for their engagement of “Batman Returns” which opened twenty-five years ago today. And here’s the link to a retrospective article that commemorates the occasion.

thebrat on June 25, 2017 at 6:54 pm

How many people here favorite theaters they’ve never been? In this case I’m guilty.

MSC77 on December 25, 2017 at 5:05 pm

“The Graduate” opened here fifty years ago today. The film ran a super successful six months (one of the longest in the history of this theater). And to commemorate the classic film’s golden anniversary, here’s a new retrospective article which includes some exhibition history (and other) details.

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