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 Northpark 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 equipted 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 53 comments)

thebrat on December 10, 2011 at 11:40 pm

I wish somebody can rebuild this place to its original splendor. I’ve never been to this place before, but it sounds like it was just amazing. That’s that.


rivest266 on December 11, 2011 at 12:29 am

I uploaded an 1965 grand opening ad with an picture to the photo section of this theatre.

Logan5 on February 20, 2012 at 6:52 am

According to the book Future Noir: The Making of “Blade Runner” by Paul M. Sammon, the 2nd sneak preview of “Blade Runner” was held at the Northpark on Saturday, March 6, 1982. Other sneaks were at the Continental in Denver the previous night (3/5/82) & the Cinema 21 in San Diego (5/8/82).

barakepstein on April 20, 2012 at 6:30 am

this was indeed the best theater in Dallas during the 80’s and 90’s in terms of presentation. Were making some strides down in Oak Cliff to try and get close!

Refman67 on May 26, 2012 at 11:32 pm

I saw a lot of great presentations of films at the Northpark during my time in Dallas in the ‘90s, some first-run; others one time only presentations—TOP GUN, TERMINATOR 2, ALIEN, ALIENS, GIANT, DUNE, SPARTACUS, APOLLO 13, and SCHINDLER’S LIST, among others. A few I’ve listed were even shown in 70mm. I saw JURASSIC PARK there when it first opened and will never forget the sound of the t-rex attack-at-night scene.

My favorite memory of this theater though was seeing STAR WARS and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK there on May 27, 1993(all three films in the original trilogy played). It was, without a doubt, the best presentation I’ve ever seen of the original film. In early 1997 I also saw the Special Edition of STAR WARS there as well, playing to a sold out audience.

The best presentation I ever saw there though was TITANIC in 70mm. As with all of Northpark’s films, it was in razor-sharp focus, had a very bright image, and, of course, sounded spectacular, which brings me to one final thought. The above article claims that the Northpark never had a presentation flaw during it’s history. Not true. During my third viewing of TITANIC there in early ‘98, the music track went out on the reel when Jack is sketching the portrait of Rose. I don’t think most of the audience even noticed, particularly those seeing it for the first time. I informed the manager, and as the audience exited at the end of the film, the employees handed each person a voucher for a free popcorn and drink on their next visit. That’s the kind of classy place it was. Every presentation mattered.

Movies-N-Things on June 24, 2012 at 11:05 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 7:56 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 2:58 pm

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 15, 2015 at 12:43 am

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 7:48 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.

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