Preston Royal Theatre

114 Preston Royal Shopping Centre,
Dallas, TX 75230

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Cover photo from 12/7/1959 Boxoffice magazine

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Preston Royal Theatre was designed by Harold Berry, architect and opened in 1958. The theatre was probably converted into a twin sometime in the mid-1970’s. The theatre was closed by McLendon Theatres in 1985 and is currently leased to Blockbuster video.

Contributed by Jack Coursey

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

legsdiamond
legsdiamond on March 25, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Actually, “Village” was never part of this theater’s name. It was located in the “village”, but it was simply known as “Preston Royal”. What ever happened to the Park Forest?

lrostochil
lrostochil on June 17, 2009 at 11:44 am

The Park Forest is now an antique mall. Here’s a photo of what it looks like today:

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jamestv
jamestv on June 7, 2010 at 4:47 pm

I was a projectionist here in the mid-70’s when it was still a first-run screen—I also worked the Park Forest also. This theatre would book 70MM as much as possible—it ran Woodstock in 70 in Spring 1970 for quite a few months. I ran both That’s Entertainments, The Wind And The Lion and return runs of Patton and Camelot all in 70MM!
Camelot trivia: this film’s original running was something like 193 minutes. When it was was reissued around 1976, we played it—unfortunately, Warner Bros. decided to shorten it in order to play more shows (shades of the 1954 Judy Garland A Star Is Born!). We played it one show a night starting about 7:30 with an end time around 11. When I checked the 70MM print, I thought something didn’t seem right—shouldn’t it have had more reels?—but the show must go on! Imagine the manager, the audience and my surprise when the show ended around 10! Warners’s had taken out the Overture, Intermission, the second-half overture and the walk-out music at the end plus a couple of songs and quite a bit of the movie story itself to make a compact 143 minutes! Everyone was pissed and, needless to say, it only played a week and was kicked out for Patton!
This theatre was twinned in the early-to-mid ‘80’s and that was it.

David_Burgess@att.net
David_Burgess@att.net on August 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm

I am quite doubtful of the 1995 closing date. I got into home video in 1985 and was soon (at least by 86 or 87) renting videos there at the Blockbuster, so the Theater had to be gone by then.

matt54
matt54 on September 17, 2011 at 12:25 pm

@ jamestv: I benefitted from your superb projection of “The Wind and the Lion” and you have my compliments! Great picture on the big screen, great projection, great house! Also saw “Where Eagles Dare” here in 1968, but can’t recall whether it was/was not in 70mm. As far as you know, is the original length “Camelot” on DVD, or is it lost?

perceval
perceval on April 28, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Yeah, it was closed by the mid-80s. One thing I loved about it was the aquarium.

kaufman3d
kaufman3d on May 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm

The first movie theater that I remember going to was the Preston Royal, being dropped off by Mom with a few siblings to see some ‘kid’s film’ and waiting in a very long line that snaked around the building, to enter the 1,000 seat theater.

The theatre graced the cover of the December 7th, 1959 issue of Boxoffice magazine. The seven photos in the issue scream 1960’s to me, with one wall heightened by floor to ceiling fiberglass draperies, figured with hour glass designs in black, turquoise and tangerine on a natural background; a mirrored wall above the theater doorway; another wall of Honduras mahogany paneling and vinyl. Tear drop lighting fixtures hanging down in the 30' x 50' lobby, suspended at random heights and in random placement in red, turquoise and yellow venetian glass, the spotlights on the inside foyer ‘garden area,’ with walls of ledge stone, plastic plantings, a waterfall and aquarium; the Ladies lounge with natural wood wainscot with gold vinyl wall covering and powder bar backed by a mirrored wall and I must mention the marbleized vinyl in large tiles below your feet (all photos black and white.) Of course today they build restrooms w/o mirrors since they will just get scratched with grafitti.

The text on the cover: Dallas' first new indoor theatre in more than a decade, the Preston Royal was opened last month – a $265,000 project developed by B.R. and Gordon McLendon, a father-son team. the McLendons, who also have TV-radio interests and a motion picture production company, placed the theatre in a new shopping center. The solar screen above the marquee is backed by a wall which is lighted with floods on a power dimmer.

Inside text: One of the most beautiful theatres of recent years is the Preston Royal, just opened, the first new conventional theatre built in Dallas, Tex., in twelve years, a period in which the population of that city more than doubled. It is located in the new Preston Royal Shopping Village in one of the never sections of North Dallas with a population of 25,000 within three miles of the theatre, and the area served is composed of top income families. It is owned by well-known showmen, B.R. and Gordon McLendon, father and son. The theatre building is of reinforced concrete construction with masonry curtain walls. It was built at a cost of $140,000, and equipment, including air conditioning, ran to another $125,000.

luckeebreak
luckeebreak on November 11, 2012 at 1:04 pm

This was the place to go for junior high kids the the mid 60ies. I saw “The Blue Max” every Friday night about a dozen times.

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