Holiday I & II
949 Northcrest Shopping Center,
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Especially during the 70s and 80s, the Holiday I & II cinemas were, for my money, the best places to see a movie in Fort Wayne. Opened in 1969 as the single screen Holiday, a second auditorium was carefully added in 1970 so that the building right up its demolition looked like a purpose built-twin. It was located on the grounds of the Northgate Shopping Center.
The lobby was done in that Danish Modern/California coffeshop decor that was trendy when the theater was built which would look so retro now (or perhaps just a little tacky). I recall a fireplace in the lobby as well.
The auditoriums were large with huge, gently curved screens. There was little decor save white neon around the ceiling. They had outstanding sound systems and at least one auditorium had 70mm capability as I saw both “Close Encounters” and other blockbuster films of the late 70s and early 80s there in 70mm. I will never forget seeing “Alien” there on its opening Friday night; it was one of the most intense experiences I have ever had.
The theater survived into the 1990s and was eventually acquired by the Regal chain which closed it in 1997 or 1998, having built a rather nondescript six-plex (named the Holiday 6) just a few hundred feet away. The Holiday I & II sat vacant and forlorn for about five years, and the building was finally demolished in 2003.
The Holiday 6 is also now closed.
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