Northpark West 1 & 2

1100 Northpark Center,
Dallas, TX 75225

Unfavorite 12 people favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 58 comments

markp
markp on March 7, 2016 at 11:29 am

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

CaptainRob
CaptainRob on March 6, 2016 at 11:42 pm

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
markp on March 5, 2016 at 5:37 am

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

markp
markp on March 5, 2016 at 5:35 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.

philman
philman on March 4, 2016 at 11:39 pm

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

CaptainRob
CaptainRob on December 16, 2015 at 11:48 pm

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.

kongler
kongler on December 14, 2015 at 4:43 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.

stevencday
stevencday on May 29, 2013 at 6:58 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…

DonE
DonE on February 14, 2013 at 11:56 am

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.

Movies-N-Things
Movies-N-Things on June 24, 2012 at 3:05 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.

Refman67
Refman67 on May 26, 2012 at 3:32 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.

barakepstein
barakepstein on April 19, 2012 at 10:30 pm

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! www.thetexastheatre.com

Logan5
Logan5 on February 19, 2012 at 10:52 pm

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).

rivest266
rivest266 on December 10, 2011 at 4:29 pm

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

thebrat
thebrat on December 10, 2011 at 3:40 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.

Favorited.

jamestv
jamestv on September 19, 2011 at 2:33 pm

I was the projectionist on the night of the “Beyond The Poseidon Adventure” premiere; the movie was pretty bad. Irwin Allen was there and came up to the booth before the show to check on everything. I was threading up the first reel when he opened the door and came in. He didn’t see me but I saw him; so being the jokester I am, I started exclaiming “Warning—-Danger Will Robinson!” (which was a line the robot in “Lost In Space” said in practically every episode). Needless to say, he was a bit startled but then a wide grin came on his face! Two things quite noticeable about him—-he was a small man and he wore white cotton gloves like film editors wore! Ah the good old days.

matt54
matt54 on September 17, 2011 at 12:17 pm

I was gone from Dallas by the time “Beyond The Poseidon Adventure” premiered and I have never caught the film (I am a fan of bad movies, the REALLY bad ones) but I have heard of this particular event from a friend who was present and his story jibes with yours, egcarter. Wish I’d been there. Shades of “Meteor” and “Rollercoaster!”

egcarter
egcarter on September 17, 2011 at 11:46 am

Having lived about 2 minutes away from this venue back in the late 70’s, I recall my team from TI attending the opening night of SUPERMAN at the Northpark II (600 seats, I think) on 12/14/78. The presentation was flawless, but it was indeed a 35mm print. The labs were way behind schedule with the 70’s on that one due to the late delivery of the final cut. NY and LA got the 70’s from day one, ‘natch. The house was upgraded with a 70mm Dolby Six-Track split-surround print about a week or so later. I did go back!

I also recall when Northpark I was upgraded with Dolby Stereo (big 1100 seater) and attended the opening day of INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS there.

I did also attend the notorious, big splashy preview “premiere” (complete with searchlights) of BEYOND THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE. The packed audience literally laughed it off the screen. The horror. WB was already writing off the investment…

matt54
matt54 on February 27, 2011 at 5:32 pm

Right you are; the greatest design feature of I&II, IMO, was no shared wall between auditoriums.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on February 27, 2011 at 5:24 pm

You doggone right,something lacking in these monster 30 Plexes.

matt54
matt54 on February 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm

@MikeRogers:

It really wasn’t. No inspiring architecture, absolutely nothing to look at if the movie was bad (it usually wasn’t). It just had flawless projection, incredible sound, a fantastic concession stand/staff, high presentation standards, excellent comfort, and usually ran movies everyone wanted to see…oh, wait…I think that all means it WAS one heck of a theatre.

kmurdock40
kmurdock40 on January 15, 2011 at 10:18 am

I saw every big picture there was at this theatre from that late 60s until it’s demise. I remember attending a one day screening of the Star Wars Trilogy on May 25, 1985. I believe that was the first time all 3 films were screened together. I skipped college that day to stand in line all morning to get tickets. I got a really bad sunburn on one side of my face much like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters, but it was worth it. The Fox studio reps handed out buttons and posters to the first 200 in line. I still have both. I drive by Northpark everyday on my way to work. It makes me sad to know it’s no longer there. Most modern theatre just aren’t the same. Thank you to all the folks that worked at the Northpark I & II over the years that helped make it such a magical movie going experience, and for sharing your stories on this site.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 3, 2010 at 5:19 pm

Keep these stories coming the Northpark must have been a heck of a theatre.

Mark_L
Mark_L on July 25, 2010 at 10:43 am

The Northpark was considered to be one of the very very best theatres in the country. I regret I never was able to see it in action. It’s one of the most tragic losses of this era.

BradMiller
BradMiller on July 24, 2010 at 10:46 pm

Hi everyone. I will chime in here with a few corrections and answer any questions I can.

The projectionist team in the 90’s was Ron Beardmore, Jim Green and myself. Ron and I did all of the tech work and sound tuning ourselves. We also did a LOT of upgrades to the original sound system.

The shadowbox was painted with a flat black paint. There was no felt. There was also no masking for 1.85 “flat” films, but Northpark was generally booked with “event” movies and the majority of them were scope.

For the record, we ran Raiders a couple of years prior for a midnight show.

The final day of operation to the public was October 21, 1998. The movies shown were A Night at the Roxbury in Cinema II and Simon Birch in Cinema I. I was the projectionist that night.

Ron was the gentlemen who gave tours behind the screen that final night of the “private invite only” double features. I was busy disassembling the prints in the booth at that time.

Ron has since moved on to working with film archives and gave up on exhibition once the Northpark was closed. Jim got out of the business altogether and sadly I have not seen him since. I continued in the industry, formed Film-Tech in 1999 and continue to provide technical services to this day along with my crew.

The initial sound system design was by Tomlinson Holman. It was one of the only three he installed himself. As I stated above, Ron and I gave the system lots of upgrades from there. We also re-calibrated the sound system for each movie…literally every single one. That was our policy and is largely why this theater was so well known for its sound system.

The stage speakers, Dolby processor and THX crossover system from the Northpark Cinema I sound system ended up going into my private screening room in my Rockwall house. There are pictures of it on www.film-tech.com listed as Film-Tech Screening Room, and there are also pictures of the GCC Northpark on the site, including the projection booth. I have since moved from the Rockwall house, but the speakers, Dolby processor and THX crossover system are very much intact for a future buyer of that house (although it will most likely be converted to a blu-ray screening room by a future owner).

On the morning of October 22, 1998 we ran an advance screening of Meet Joe Black for the movie studio, which was for film buyers only. I am pretty sure it was Jim that ran that show, but it might have been Ron.

Later that night, the day after we closed to the public, we did indeed run a private double feature of Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark to the staff and close friends. I was the projectionist that night as well. Everyone at the Northpark couldn’t bear to have the final memory as Simon Birch / Roxbury, so we unanimously decided to delay the tear-down of the equipment one day so we could all have that one last final memory and went out with a bang. Words cannot describe how difficult it was for me to shut that douser for the last time though. I don’t recall seeing anyone get up when the credits started and I would guess it was also about 10 minutes before anyone finally got up out of their seat once the credits were over. Everyone just sat there in silence knowing that was it, forever.

On March 7, 2001 the demolition began on Cinema II. On March 9th, Cinema I was knocked to the ground.