Northgate Theatre

9350 Dyer Street,
El Paso, TX 79924

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Northgate Grand Opening 1965 Ad

Viewing: Photo | Street View

In 1976 the Northgate Theatre was housed in an unremarkable and possibly the end building of a strip mall. "Northgate Theatre" was spelled out in individual red block letters on top of a marquee that reached across the front of the building.

Contributed by Billy Smith / Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 7, 2009 at 7:28 pm

Boxoffice Magazine published an article about the opening of the Northgate in its issue of July 11, 1966. An invitational preview party was held on June 23, the night before the house opened to the public, and included a screening of “The Glass Bottom Boat.”

The Northgate was designed by Nesmith-Lane & Associates. I’ve searched the Internet and can’t find anything else designed by this firm other than the shopping center in which the theater was located and an El Paso warehouse for a Coca-Cola bottler. It’s likely that this was the only theater they designed.

simbared
simbared on May 31, 2009 at 10:45 pm

Contrary to the description above, the Northgate Theatre was/is a free-standing building, not part of a strip mall. The building included a few small retail spaces to the left of the theatre entrance. The theatre was built near the Southwest corner of Northgate Shopping Center, a large and popular mall in the 1960’s. Patrons parked in the shopping center parking lot. It was the only walk-in theatre in Northeast El Paso for decades, and offered first-run movies as well as 50-cent Saturday matinees for kids. Sonny and Cher actually made an appearance there when their movie “Good Times” made its El Paso debut in 1967. It was originally a single-screen theatre, and later divied into two screens.

rivest266
rivest266 on August 31, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Grand opening ad from June 24th, 1965 is at View link

simbared
simbared on August 31, 2009 at 10:36 pm

The Grand Opening ad is a great find. I was 13 years old, and we rode our bikes over to the theater when we saw the searchlight (the old carbon arc version). There were reporters interviewing people on the red carpet. It was a big deal for an otherwise boring part of town. The date had to be June 1966, though. The movie wasn’t released until December 1965.

Coate
Coate on August 31, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Doesn’t anyone read the older comment postings??? I cited the correct 1966 opening date in my post of March 31, 2009.

rivest266
rivest266 on September 24, 2009 at 5:44 pm

my mistake. It was 1966.

diapason
diapason on October 24, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Let’s give the Northgate its due — it was a very nice high-class first-run place when it opened. It may have looked a little spartan compared to the razzle-dazzle design of older venues, but that just refelects the architectural style of its day. It fell on hard times when its neighborhood declined and the shopping center gradually went downhill and finally closed.

The Northgate not only had a great location on the parking lot of the largest shopping center in that entire end of El Paso, but it was also close to Irvin High School and right next door to a branch library. Early on, kids were known to tell their parents they would be studying at the library after school, when they really planned to hit the Northgate in a big group. Sometimes they’d swarm the box office and then surround the ticket-taker, confusing everybody while many of them slipped in without paying.

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on October 27, 2015 at 7:28 pm

Hey simbared “contrary” to what I suspect maybe even you can click on this link Northgate Theatre Photo and see why our description says “possibly” the end of a strip mall.

pnelson
pnelson on October 27, 2015 at 8:56 pm

There was another Northgate Theatre in Seattle. Also located at the end of the first mall in the country they say. Art moderne/deco. Large and high end in appearance. Neon accents in the ceiling like circles and a working curtain. Waterfall if I remember. A huge lobby and a huge marquee that stretched across the front of the building. Also deco. Should have been saved. Gone many years now. Mall is more active than ever however. The very booming Seattle you know!

raysson
raysson on October 29, 2015 at 12:42 pm

There was also another Northgate Theatre in Durham, North Carolina as well that is also listed on the Cinema Treasures site,but it is listed as the Northgate Twin Theatres. That theater opened on Christmas Day 1962 with Doris Day and Stephen Boyd in “Jumbo” that had a seating capacity of 750. It was twinned on June 17, 1975 and closed in 1986. I do have the opening ads for the Northgate Theatre’s grand opening in Durham from Christmas Day 1962. Contact me at

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