Beverly Hills Theatre

3203 W. Davis Street,
Dallas, TX 75211

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dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on October 29, 2013 at 6:41 am

In 1929, the Beverly Hills neighborhood was annexed from Dallas and 15 years later, it had its own movie theater: the Beverly Hills located in the Beverly Hills Shopping Center. And the B-H would be the subject of a prickly legal battle by Tri-State Theater’s Bart McClendon just four years after its August 31, 1944 grand opening. A rare wartime opening, the movies-for-morale requirement was met by an aviation plant manufacturing wartime materials in Grand Prairie roughly eight miles from the theater.

The B-H opened with “Broadway Rhythm” to an invitation only audience and then to the general public on September 2, 1944 with “Lassie, Come Home.” The 812-seat balcony-less theater was designed by Raymond F. Smith who had architected other theaters including Dallas’ Granada, Airway, and Delman. Having moved to Dallas in 1942, McLendon was hoping for big profitability from the B-H and Casa Linda that opened the following year. But falling into debt with the local banks and with his son needing a cash influx to get into the radio business, he sold off the B-H and its shopping center on June 10, 1947 to Robb & Rowley’s theater circuit for $300,000 and would also sell the Casa Linda to Interstate Theater Circuit.

Less than a year later, McClendon sued both Rowley and Interstate for $1.2 million claiming that he had essentially been frozen out of the first-run film exhibition marketplace by Rowley and United leading to $200,000 less business and $200,000 less marketplace value for his theaters. He felt that the business climate was such that he was forced to sell this theaters. He lost his suit as, among other elements, McLendon admitted to making $50,000 profit in the sale of the B-H, alone.

The B-H changed from a second-run suburban to an art cinema on January 6, 1952 closing briefly for a remodel. “Oliver Twist” opened the new art house. This policy lasts until 1960 when it closed as a movie house and new owners decided to try for live theater in the space. In January of 1961, the Beverly Hills is used for live stage plays. At some point the Beverly Hills became a place of worship, renamed and was still in operation as of the 2010s.

jkyboy
jkyboy on February 2, 2013 at 6:26 pm

I worked at the BEVERLY HILLS both at the door (taking tickets) and in the parking lot. Both were most always packed. There was a drug store next door east on the corner.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on June 29, 2012 at 8:03 am

The Beverly Hills Theatre was featured in this 1944 trade ad by Wagner Sign Services: boxofficemagazine

Driveintheatre2001
Driveintheatre2001 on January 17, 2012 at 9:23 pm

A photo I took back on August 19 2011.. Beverly Hills Theatre 2011 .. Enjoy.. Randy A Carlisle – Historical Photographer

matt54
matt54 on December 11, 2010 at 2:37 am

Yes, that certainly looks like a Casa Linda-style tower-and-ball!

fturner
fturner on July 2, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Photograph of Beverly Hills Theatre’s original appearance from the Dallas Public Library’s Dallas/Texas History collection:
View link

The marquee says “Dallas' Newest Art Theatre”. The architectural style is Art Moderne.

Bob Johnston
Bob Johnston on February 19, 2010 at 1:59 pm

•Original owner, McLendon Theaters
•Sold in 1948
•Now a church

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on March 10, 2009 at 9:16 am

This is a website for the Life Point Church located at this address.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 9, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Another issue of Boxoffice Magazine, from December 2, 1944, has an article about the McLendon circuit, and it says the circuit’s new Beverly Hills Theatre was already open, so late 1944 would probably be the correct period for the opening. The company was able to get construction materials during the war because the theater would serve workers at a major aircraft factory nearby.

The article also said that the architect of the Beverly Hills was Raymond F. Smith. The style was Art Moderne.

Silicon Sam
Silicon Sam on March 2, 2009 at 1:18 am

There’s one in Houston too. Translates to Temple of Power & Joy

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 1, 2009 at 11:19 pm

The Beverly Hills Theatre was opened in 1945 by the B.R. McLendon Circuit. McLendon opened the Casa Linda Theatre the same year. Both of these openings were mentioned in an article about recent theater construction in the Dallas area published in Boxoffice Magazine, December 29, 1945.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 30, 2007 at 6:01 pm

Looks like it’s a church. Here are photos. I get the “temple of power” part, but “gozo” is not in my Spanish vocabulary. A little help?
http://tinyurl.com/yq9zq5
http://tinyurl.com/2ymp4v