Studio Movie Grill Northwest Highway

10110 Technology Boulevard East,
Dallas, TX 75220

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dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on January 20, 2014 at 7:12 am

The $18 million AMC Grand was built by Entertainment Properties Trust (EPT) in a warehouse district of Dallas not far from what was once considered restaurant row. The 24-screen megaplex revolutionized theater business and inspired 24+ screen movie theater in urban markets around the nation. Expecting 1.5 million customers its first year, the Grand doubled its clientele. So successful was the concept that four “Gourmet Cinema” auditoriums playing independent and foreign films and one screen playing interactive Interfilm Technology releases such as “Ride For Your Life” were quickly repurposed as additional screens for blockbuster, multi-screen releases within just three weeks of the complex’s opening. AMC knew it had a blockbuster, itself, in the Grand concept.

The 85,000 square foot theater bucked the DFW trend by General Cinema to simply add a multiplex near the footprint of another successful multiplex as they had at Redbird Mall, Town East Mall, Richardson, Irving Mall, Carollton, and others in the area. The Grand’s stadium seating in all 24 houses, multichannel audio in all houses, and 13-acres of exclusive parking with valet was a destination finding people driving as much as an hour to come to that theater. With showings in the early morning and shows into the late hours, patrons likely showed up without paying close attention to the showtimes for the opening weekend of a smash hit. AMC replicated the success in DFW with the 30-screen Mesquite, 30-screen Grapevine Mills, and 24-screen Stonebriar. Meanwhile, 10-16 screen plexes opened all over the metro area by operators including AMC, United Artists, and Cinemark which along with the 24+ screen theaters would blunt the destination status of the Grand.

The uniqueness of the Grand was gone and the momentum of restaurants hopping across to the area and having success was on the downward slope as the first decade of the 2000s was closing. Restaurants and nightspots near the Grand were closing and restaurant row was in retreat, as well. The Grand’s parking lot was often virtually empty on weekdays and the writing was on the wall for the property. EPT had built 95 other megaplexes built during the ‘plex boom period but suffered its first non-renewal when AMC decided to walk away from the Grand as its 15-year lease lapsed. Almost unthinkable ten years earlier that this significant theater could have fallen so far so fast, but it was true. On Halloween 2010, AMC said “trick” and no treat closing up shop hastily. Its lease officially lapsed at the end of November as it carted its possessions away.

EPT found a new operator in Southern Cinemas who shockingly decided to spend millions of dollars to re-tool a portion of the space as the downsized 14-screen AmStar Grand Theatre 14. And almost equally shocking was that another person thought that a Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill would thrive in the other section of the complex. Southern Cinemas found Grand Opening festivities ominous as employees in tuxedos and security guards well outnumbered patrons with many of the advertised shows simply not playing on the second day of the Grand grand re-opening celebration. Things didn’t ever improve as the theater – despite high technology and dependable presentation – was a quick casualty limping badly to a two-year ending. A challenging environment for the once-king of the Dallas box office. Further, the theater housed the area’s only motion-controlled seating with its D-Box installation so Dallas/Fort Worth was motion-seat-less, to boot. Toby Keith’s Bar was also a casualty closing at the end of 2013 despite signs indicating that a re-opening was possible.

Surprisingly, Studio Movie Grill decided to take a stab at rekindling the magic quickly retrofitting the EPT Grand property as a dining-experience theater and opening just months later on December 16, 2013. The Studio Movie Grill Northwest Highway was hoping to somehow buck the trend of a faded cinema treasure location.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on October 1, 2013 at 3:57 pm

Soon to be the Studio Movie Grill Dallas.

rivest266
rivest266 on September 30, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Last day of performances: August 30th, 2013.

John Fink
John Fink on September 12, 2013 at 11:34 pm

Now closed – or at least off the AmStar’s website?

da_Bunnyman
da_Bunnyman on July 18, 2012 at 2:36 pm

Per the book “George Lucas’s Blockbusting: A Decade-by-Decade Survey of Timeless Movies Including Untold Secrets of Their Financial and Cultural Success” this theater has some historical significance as it was the very first theater designed with stadium seating with each row on a different level as opposed to the old style slope seating. It was so successful that AMC stopped some theaters in mid build to redesign them with the new type seating. An example is given of the UA theater chain who decided slope theaters were fine even for new buildings and were out of business within a few years.

Mr_PN_Guin
Mr_PN_Guin on January 14, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Seen a couple of movies here, both in 3D. Wasn’t impressed by 3D but the renovation is fairly nice. One thing I really liked, especially since I saw 2 movies in one day, is that on their digital screens that have which movie is in which theater they have countdown clocks that say when the movie is going to start even telling you how many minutes to go during previews, etc. Very helpful. Since I am across town from this theater though I probably will only go a couple times a year at most.

CinemAFuchs
CinemAFuchs on October 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm

The theatre reopened as AmStar 14 on October 14, 2011. More information available at http://bit.ly/fji1211amstar14 .

Mr_PN_Guin
Mr_PN_Guin on September 14, 2011 at 9:23 pm

I remember going to it a few times when it opened and it was always packed. Hard to believe its already gone. I went there to watch the Empire Strikes Back Special Edition, the sound was always top notch. I still to this day tease my sister because she talked me out of seeing Heat in favor of Father of the Bride 2 at this theater, what could I do I wasn’t paying, but I never did see Heat in a theater. :(

DarknessBeyondTime
DarknessBeyondTime on August 27, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Southern Theatres is taking over this location. It’s finally on their website. It’s going to be under the Amstar name instead of The Grand, and will be a 14 screen theater.

jmarellano
jmarellano on June 11, 2011 at 11:23 pm

Yep Chris its getting gutted. A newspaper online had the pics. Google it

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on June 11, 2011 at 4:29 pm

They’re gutting this place???

jmarellano
jmarellano on May 24, 2011 at 7:27 pm

Status should be updated to closed.

Also there is an article on how the theater is in the process of being gutted. TOBY KEITHS restaurant chain is opening a location in 30,000 sq feet of the building.

John Fink
John Fink on September 30, 2010 at 10:24 pm

It appears AMC is only showing films on 12 screens ?

John Fink
John Fink on June 14, 2010 at 9:23 pm

Entertainment Property Trust announced it has a signed letter of intent from another exhibitor to take over the complex. EPT had been talking about downsizing the property or maybe a VIP/dinner section there. I don’t know if that’s right for the market but it appears that the screens won’t remain dark for long.

sporridge
sporridge on June 6, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Visited The Grand when it was still new, and a groundbreaking experience. It’s my understanding that “Twister” grossed more than $1 million there alone.

Each generation of movie venue seems to be having shorter and shorter shelf lives. I’m aware of at least two other megaplexes (Crown Abacoa, Jupiter FL; Muvico Peabody Place, Memphis TN) that failed in just a few years. Perhaps The Grand’s 15 years were profitable enough for AMC to move on.

rsjones2
rsjones2 on May 5, 2009 at 5:32 pm

Wow! So this theater is basically a dead hole now? This is a legendary theater as the 1st megaplex, anyone know where it ranks in the Dallas area now? I know AMC has a big stake in Dallas already, so could this theater be at risk of being closed? What are the theaters that are close to it that compete significantly with the grand?

Bongopete
Bongopete on April 23, 2009 at 8:42 am

I dont know if it still does, but when it first opened it had speakers mounted in fake rocks out in the parking lot where music was piped out to. Sort of gained some notoriety for having a dangerous parking lot due to crime.