UA Prestonwood 5

5405 Belt Line Road,
Dallas, TX 75248

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Opened in November 1980, this was your typical neighborhood 5-plex located in Dallas across the street from the Prestonwood Mall on Beltline Road and Prestonwood Boulevard. Last I heard it was being remodeled into a dinner/bar/movie house by a company called Granada that operated another similar location. It was demolished in early-2012.

In its day, this way a jewel in the UA chain and being in Dallas close to a regional office, was used for testing many ideas. According to rumor, this was the first THX auditorium retrofit (# 1) for UA and was done as a test. Auditorium 2 was also certified. Additionally, there appeared to have been different screen types tested as well. Auditorium 5 actually had a screen that was slightly silver instead of pure white. Unfortunately, the 3 smaller houses were mono/surround. These were going to be difficult to modernize as the screens were pushed against the wall and the sound equipment was in boxes that extened through the exterior wall.

Location was relatively non-descript from the exterior save for the line of lights that stretched across the front. It is connected to a small strip center (very tasteful), but from the theatre side it actually looks to be stand-alone. Upon stepping inside, the lobby was slightly angled with two walls being full glass. The cafeteria style concession was in the middle and the three auditoriums were accessed from the open lobby. Behind the stand was a holding area and a wide hall that server the larger auditoriums 1 and 2. These were in the 450 -500 seat range with 1 being slightly larger. The smaller houses were in the 150 – 175 seat range. Somewhere I have picture of the exterior and interior I will try to post.

I would be curious to see if anyone has any memories or more info on this one. I was a manager there for a brief period of time.

Contributed by Mike Thompson

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

kblanco on June 4, 2009 at 2:26 am

I used to work at this thater when I was in high school, many many years ago. Really nice theater visually, and very popular. Employees had fun, but mangement could be tyranical at times. Could go on some real tears sometimes.

Remember monitors hanging from the ceilings showing trailers on a loop. After a while you memorized them and based upon where the loop was at that second, you knew what was coming next, and next and next. Got very tiring after a while as it was forever before they were changed.

Remember theme night when The Adam’s Family opened. Everyone dressed up. One girl was the spitting image of Wednesday Adams. Got so in trouble when hit the PA on the projector of theater one when my shift manager told me to. It instead turned on the PA, and JFK was playing its debut showing to Whitney Houston’s “The Bodyguard” for a minute. Senior managers, owners all came tearing up the stairs and suddenly my shift manager had no recolection of telling me to hit the PA… (shocking I know…)

Used to trade employee screenings with the AMC and GC. Would all call each other a day or so in advance when we got our movies edited together and everyone would go to each other’s theaters. Saw a mid-night showing of Star Trek VI the night before it officially came out at the AMC. Really loved that theater and its novel design.


lrostochil on June 17, 2009 at 11:50 am

I saw “The Big Chill,” and that awful Brat Pack movie … what was it … oh yeah, “St. Elmo’s Fire” here. All of my friends thought it was the best movie ever, and I thought they were completely crazy!

barakepstein on August 25, 2010 at 6:59 pm

Studio Movie Grill has closed the location as of last week
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Bruce Calvert
Bruce Calvert on August 30, 2011 at 3:59 pm

The address posted above on Arapaho road is incorrect. That address was for the AMC Prestonwood 5. The correct address for this theater is/was Belt Line Rd. & Prestonwood Blvd. 5405 Belt Line Rd. Dallas, TX 75248

Filmwrath82 on April 29, 2012 at 8:51 pm

I remember first visiting this theatre in March 1995, me and the Fam bam just moved to Dallas (from San Diego). The first I saw at this theatre was BAD BOYS (1995) w/will smith.

Later that summer I saw Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The movie (1995)

In summer 1996, I saw THE PHANTOM (1995) w/Billy Zane, altgough I thought’d suck the movie didnt do as well which caused the film to be yanked and sent back :( Same thing happened with JUDGE DREDD (1995) lol

I really enjoyed going to this theatre the most because it was down the street from my apartments. Always got a good walk when wanting to see a movie at this classic gem. I remember the theatre closed during sometime in late 2000, last movie I watched was STARSHIP TROOPERS (1997)

I always preferred this theatre and the general cinema one in The Galleeia compared to the AMC Prestonwood theatre….that theatre looked crummy by 1998 and didn’t look all that great.

barakepstein on May 22, 2012 at 1:56 pm

Update: The theatre has been bulldozed.

Filmwrath82 on July 11, 2012 at 10:35 pm

I was cruising around the north dallas area and I couldn’t believe my own eyes, the area where the UA Prestonwood/Studio grill theatre has now been demolished :( I Will cherish the memories of all the great films I saw there.

Longhorn1 on July 17, 2014 at 2:58 pm

This was the best of the Prestonwood theaters (including GCC and AMC). The nicest and also got the best movies. There was a transgendered person who worked at the ticket booth; this was the first transgendered person I ever recall seeing.

dallasmovietheaters on December 27, 2014 at 8:41 am

The third of the theaters to have the Prestonwood nameplate in North Dallas was initially announced in September of 1978 as a project for Loews Theatres. The $2.5 million 2,000 seat theater was to have been Loews third Dallas theater but the project would stall and become a United Artists property. The launch of the United Artists Prestonwood Creek 5 on December 19, 1980 placed the theater technologically ahead of the nearby AMC Prestonwood 5 and GCC Prestonwood Village theaters.Two larger screens and its THX auditorium received attention as one of the best sounding auditoriums in the city and was one of the top grossing theaters in Dallas during the decade of the 1980s. Return of the Jedi and Top Gun in 70mm were noted for the visual and aural presentation. The three Prestonwood theaters became Dallas' second leading movie area in terms of box office other than the Central Zone as downtown theaters had collapsed. A 1987 refreshing of the property updated the lobby, carpeting, walls and lighting fixtures which took the theater through its final ten years for UA.

The 1994/6 megaplex boom took its toll on the multiplexes at Prestonwood. At the end of June 1997, the UA Prestonwood Creek shuttered and before the end of the decade, the AMC Prestonwood 5, the GCC Prestonwood Village and the Prestonwood Mall would all be shuttered. But unlike the inferior AMC and GCC properties, the UA would get one more shot at movie exhibition. Brian Schultz and his Granada Entertainment brought the movie and dining concept from his Granada Theatre on lower Greenville Ave. in Dallas transforming the Prestonwood to the Granada Prestonwood, a five-screen theater and restaurant opening in officially launching in November of 1998. The Granada would be the genesis of the Studio Movie Grill theater chain led by Schultz. The location’s lack of screens led to its demise on August 26, 2010. It was bulldozed in May of 2012 but would be home to the Look Cinema luxury cinema concept theater opening less than a year later on March 29, 2013.

CaptainRob on December 16, 2015 at 12:49 am

This was the first theater I worked for. Summer 83 and then Summer of 84 until August of 87. With 85 thru 87 working as an Assistant Manager. The word tyrant definitely describes the GM. But compared to my future GMs this guy knew his stuff better than anyone. He finally left in 94 to open the Lakepointe 10. And afterwards the Prestonwood had a revolving door for GMs. And it was run into the ground. I later worked at the UA Northstar and had occasion to pick up some stock from Prestonwood. And was disgusted with how run down the theater had become.

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