North Star Cinema

600 North Star Mall,
San Antonio, TX 78216

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The North Star Cinema was the first multiplex built in San Antonio. It opened on Christmas Day 1964. Cinema I had 958 seats and Cinema II had 526 seats. “The Sound of Music” had an 88 week run there, a still unbroken record!

I got my first job as an usher there in 1968. On the day I started Cinema II was running “2001: A Space Odyssey” in 70mm. It was the last 70mm film that North Star Cinema ran. The biggest hits always seemed to play on North Star Cinema’s screens.

In the late 1970s, Cinema I’s auditorium was split into two auditoriums. It was a poor job, and the charm the theatre once had was lost forever. It closed in 1982.

Contributed by outafocus

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Jim Miller
Jim Miller on July 4, 2006 at 7:49 am

The North Star Cinema was originally built free-standing in the North Star Mall parking lot. Later a Joskes store was built free-standing just 300 yards or so east of the Cinema. In 1969 North Star Mall enlarged and engulfed North Star Cinema and Joskes, and they both ended up inside the mall, surrounded by other stores and businesses.

rockarollaman on October 11, 2006 at 7:39 am

I had just moved to this side of town when this theater was on it’s last days. I saw FIREFOX and SUPERMAN II at this theater. It was nothing spectacular just nice memories.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 8, 2014 at 1:13 pm

The North Star Cinema was designed by William Riseman Associates. Plans, sections, and detail sheets are in the J. Evan Miller collection of Cinerama Theater Plans at UCLA’s Charles E. Young Research Library.

Coate on April 7, 2015 at 4:26 pm

It was 50 years ago today that “The Sound of Music” premiered at the North Star Mall. With a reserved-seat run of 82 weeks, it’s almost certainly the long-run record holder for this venue. (Anyone know of something that ran longer?)

TicketBoy on May 12, 2015 at 8:38 pm

I was the second manager of the NorthStar. The first, longtime and legendary manager was Mr. Ted Waggoner. (Ted insisted on being addressed as “Mr.”) Ted ruled his house with an iron fist. No one, including customers, dared challenge his authority. A projectionist told me of a night when Ted didn’t take kindly to the behavior of a particular customer. He ordered the film stopped and the house lights brought up. Ted marched down to the front of the auditorium and announced who he was and that he ruled the theatre and if anyone didn’t like it, they could leave. Half the audience got up and left!

During my tenure, I had the opportunity to screen “The Sting” for George Roy Hill, Robert Redford and the essential crew of “The Great Waldo Pepper.” They were in San Antonio filming “Pepper.” “The Sting” – which had not been released yet – had just been completed and Hill, et al had not yet seen the released version. So, they came in on a Saturday morning before opening for a screening.

After a couple of years, I was moved on to open the Greenspoint Five in Houston – GCC’s first five screen theatre. It was an abomination of a theatre! Five center aisle shoebox sized auditoriums lined up in a dead-end hall. First new theatre in NW Houston and, despite being an awful place to watch a movie, was packed every weekend, pretty much regardless of what was showing! Those were boom days in Houston!

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