Meyerland Plaza 8

100 Meyerland Plaza,
Houston, TX 77096

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Meyerland Cinema

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Although there were at least three other General Cinemas two-screen complexes with the same “butterfly” design (e.g. the Northline and the Gulfgate cinemas) the Meyerland was the only of the lot to survive the auditorium splitting of the 1970’s and 1980’s. The proprietors of the Meyerland Shopping Centre allegedly had a rider on the GC contract stating that at least one of the theatre’s two auditoriums must remain intact.

Whatever the reason, the “un-twined” auditorium was one of the top five spots to screen a flick up until the early-1990’s. By then AMC had opened a 14 screen multiplex near by in Meyer Park and GC needed more space to compete. The Meyerland was gutted and eight screens were placed in the existing shell. Although not too bad of a make over, the auditoriums were very small and lacked the magnificent of the original two-screen complex.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

williamburge
williamburge on August 14, 2006 at 7:00 am

I remember the opening of the meyerland general cinema twin auditoriums. the date was march 15,1965. the two films that were shown that day was walt disneys mary poppings with julie andrews and dick van dyke the other film was by unitied artist release called mister moses with robert mitchium and carroll baker. Inside one of the auditoriums the screen had four sides and there was a soft light blue color shown on the screen. before the film was to begain a symbol of a projector reel would appear and under the reel would be the letters saying general cinema corporation and when the projector reels would move in a circular motion then the letters coming attractions would appear the previews would start. after that they would show a loney toons cartoon with bugs bunny. I also saw the first planet of the apes movie in 1968 with my favorite actor charlton heston. the admissions were 60 cents for children and $1.25 for adults. small cokes were 75 cents and small popcorn was 75 cents and candy 35 cents.

williamburge
williamburge on August 26, 2006 at 8:58 am

I came across an old ad for the grand opening in 1963 for a general cinema in the mt prospect area in chicago. the website is View link

williamburge
williamburge on September 11, 2006 at 8:31 am

Here is another photo of the new meyerland general cinema 8 plex that opened in 1997 and closed on dec 31,2003 as nova theaters to view photo go to
View link

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 1, 2007 at 6:37 am

According to this article, the Meyerland Plaza 8 closed in October of 2000.

“General Cinema to Close Its Last Houston Movie Theater.

Source: Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Publication Date: 10/17/2000

Author: Parks, Louis B.

Oct. 17—After 35 years of popcorn and matinees in southwest Houston, the Meyerland Plaza movie theater will close after its final show Thursday.

With it will go the last Houston presence for General Cinema, once one of the area’s most prominent theater chains. General Cinema’s numerous locations included a high-profile complex inside the Galleria.

General Cinema, based in Newton, Mass., filed for bankruptcy reorganization last week, blaming a market oversaturated with multiscreen megaplexes.

“With the boom in megaplexes, it’s a tough time for the industry,” said General Cinema spokesman Brian Callaghan. Megaplexes are theaters with 20 or more screens.

There will be no final curtain to bring down. Meyerland was one of the first “modern” Houston theaters built without curtains.

The Meyerland I & II, along with its sister theaters Northline I & II and Gulfgate I & II, were Houston’s first theaters with more than one screen when they opened in April 1965. It was then a revolutionary idea to offer two screens in the same theater. The three facilities opened on the same day with Mister Moses on both screens and the next day added Mary Poppins.

The original Meyerland cinema later expanded to three screens. In March 1995, the original building was torn down and replaced by an eight-screen complex.

Callaghan said he did not know what would be done with the Meyerland building, which is in the shopping center’s southwest corner.

General Cinema has closed 36 theaters recently, including its location in Webster. Callaghan said the final number of General Cinema theaters would be 77, down from 133 before reorganization.

Several other chains also have filed for bankruptcy this year, including United Artists Theater Co., Edwards Cinemas and Carmike Cinemas".

sraskin
sraskin on November 15, 2007 at 5:59 pm

I work at the Meyerland Cinema staring in May 1970 with the opening of MAS*H. It was one of the best jobs even though it did pay much. I startes out at $1.00/hr. I worked as usher, doorman, cashier and concessions.It was a great place to meet people.

We had a World Premier of Catlow.You Brenner came and was a great guy

The concession prices were

Cokes Small .25 Medium .35 Large .50
Popcorn Smallbox .25 Cup .50 Bucket 1.00

The Meyerland Cinema has since been torned down and replaced with a strip center

robsan
robsan on January 20, 2009 at 12:04 am

The AMC 14 in Meyer Park, the nearest competitor – about 5 minutes drive from Meyerland Plaza, closed in 2007.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 8, 2009 at 12:47 am

The Meyerland Cinema I and II was being designed by Boston architects William Riseman & Associates, with local architect Thompson McCleary associated, according to a Boxoffice Magazine item of July 20, 1964.

William Riseman designed many multi-screen theaters for General Cinema and other companies during this period. It’s likely that all the “butterfly” style twins GC built at the time were Riseman’s work.

williamburge
williamburge on October 21, 2011 at 7:40 am

I was at the last showing of the meyerland general cinema 3 . the film was interview with the vampire sunday evening sunday jan 15,1995. after the film I went over to talk to the manager mr potter to thank him for providing a great film that night. Being the last night of the cinema I gave mr potter some newspaper clippings from the houston post showing the opening days ads for april 1965 -marry poppings and mister moses. also a couple of dec 1968 ads for planet of the apes. I spent my childhood in that theatre. Enjoyed a lot of films there like the bible, wait until dark, the war wagon,the jungle book ,skyjaced. It was great place to see a film because the screens had a shadowbox effect with light blue lighting and soft music. Before each film they would show the company logo with blue background with a white projector turning then stopped to spell the letters comming attractions then after that they showed a loney tune cartoon then the movie would start.most Most movies back in 1966 cost 60 cents. All i can say is this was my favorite theatre. I am sad that it no longer exist. Just wonderful memories of this great general cinema theatre.

williamburge
williamburge on October 21, 2011 at 11:27 am

If you want to see the general cinema corporation-feature presentation-1977 film go to you tube.com and under search punch in the above company name the film runs 28 seconds and has the henry mancini drum sound from 1962. also to view the two film versons from the late 1980s general cinema candy band trailer -one runs from 1.14 seconds and the other 58 seconds. these general cinema films brings back good memories as a kid growing up.

JMoreland
JMoreland on July 28, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Great memories here. Last film I saw there was “Yentl.”

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