Medallion 5 Theatre

125 Medallion Center,
Dallas, TX 75214

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dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on November 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Interstate Theatres built the Medallion in 1968 opening with Butch Cassidy on October 30th, 1969. Notable exclusives there were The Godfather, The Sting, MASH, American Graffiti, Deliverance, and Chinatown. Downtown theatres struggled as the Central Zone (NorthPark, UA 150 (later Cine) and Medallion) thrived. Medallion held sneak of Jaws and Steven Spielberg cited the Medallion as his “good luck theater” and one of his most memorable moments. He also sneaked Close Encounters and 1941 before moving his sneaks to the nearby NorthPark I & II.

In 1978, Plitt acquired many of Interstate theatres and the Medallion became a Plitt property. Competition became fierce in what was known as the Central Zone as multiplexes opened nearby in the 1980s.

The Medallion was sold to United Artists, in 1986. UA closed the Medallion for two months on March 20, 1986 converted it to three auditoriums. The original screen remained intact on the south side of the theatre and two smaller screens were located on the north side, adjacent to the newly remodeled and expanded concession stand. The two northern houses remained until its closure, holding 300 and 140 patrons. When the high tech UA Plaza opened in May of 1989, the Medallion became a second run bargain theatre and the nearby UA Cine became an art house.

The Central Zone was negatively impacted in the mid-1990s when the megaplex era began. UA gave up the Medallion in 1993. Dallas-based Trans-Texas Theatre Company took over the Medallion and two other failing movie houses, Cinemark’s NorthTown and Skillman 6. Trans-Texas turned the three-screen house Medallion into a five-screen house as the original silver-beaded screen was split three ways. The move proved somewhat successful prior to the theatre being sold to the Hollywood Theatre chain in 1997.

Under Hollywood Theatres management, the theatre experimented with second run art house movies and attracted the Vistas Hispanic-oriented film festival. The owners noting the down-turned discount movie environment deleted weekday matinees before abandoning the DFW area temporarily in early 2000.

Premiere Cinema Corporation became the next owner of the Medallion. Premiere brought back matinees, regularly showed classic films and experimented with midnight films aimed at the nearby SMU college audience. It continued its connection with the Vistas Film Festival before closing the theatre.

The seventh and final operator was an independent under the management of George Jones. It became an outlet for low-budget, locally produced films, promotional showmanship (including live hypnotists, clowns, and other gimmicks used to attract moviegoers in the 1930s and 1940s) along with second run features. The theater was given a minor updating in its concession area, including a party area and paintings of movie stars.

The Medallion’s last day was December 13th, 2001 ending a 32-year run. In a nice touch, one of the Medallion’s last films was the very first film shown there, Butch Cassady and the Sundance Kid. The theater sat deserted for three and a half years until being torn down in May of 2005 to make room for a Kohl’s Department Store.

rivest266
rivest266 on October 23, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Unaltered grand opening ad uploaded here.

matt54
matt54 on January 18, 2013 at 5:14 am

This theatre had a run of 30+ years…not too shabby when you think about it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 17, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Driveintheatre2001: Cinema Treasures e-mail notifications used to be automatic if you commented on a page, but they are now an opt-in feature. If you want e-mail notifications of new comments on a particular theater’s page, you have to click the “Subscribe to this theater” link at the bottom of the page. After you subscribe, the page renews and the link converts to an “Unsubscribe” link, which you can later click if you no longer want the e-mail notifications from that page.

Driveintheatre2001
Driveintheatre2001 on January 17, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Correction, the book is called “The Old Movie Theatres of Texas”….. 8)

Driveintheatre2001
Driveintheatre2001 on January 17, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Chuck1231 – U are more than welcome. I’m getting ready to download some photos on here. Gonna try for tomorrow night… Also, My apologies for not responding sooner. I used to get emails, I thought, when someone posted a comment on a Theatre that I had posted on.. But not anymore.. A little while back, I had ask u about a book u reference from. Old Theatres of Texas.. or something like that. Is this still available? I’ve looked with no luck. I’d love to get a copy of it…. Thank you again for the compliments. They’re always appreciated to the fullest…… My Best……. Randy RAC Photography

luckeebreak
luckeebreak on November 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm

I saw “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” there about 1969. It is now a Kohls department store.

matt54
matt54 on July 30, 2012 at 5:21 pm

Well, we can add a seating capacity of 884 at it’s opening in 1969, courtesy of Tinseltoes' Boxoffice article link. Thanks for posting, I had not seen the auditorium since the late 70’s.

Driveintheatre2001
Driveintheatre2001 on January 18, 2012 at 6:19 am

A photo I took of the Medallion Theatre back in January of 2005. A KOHL’s occupies the lot today.. Enjoy..

Randy A Carlisle – Historical Photographer

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 17, 2011 at 12:33 pm

The Dallas Public Library’s Interstate Theatres Collection includes four sheets of plans for the Medallion Theatre in Dallas, by architect Jack H. Morgan. They are dated October 24, 1968, so construction probably began not long after that date.

matt54
matt54 on September 15, 2011 at 10:46 am

The Medallion was supposed to be the first in a new generation of prestige first-run venues for Interstate Theatres that would replace the old downtown theatres, all of which were on their last legs due to shifting demographics and lack of parking space; ironically, it was the last such venue Interstate built due to the company’s failure to read the coming trend toward multiplex venues. It opened in 1969 with the Dallas exclusive run of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

Mr_PN_Guin
Mr_PN_Guin on September 15, 2011 at 4:28 am

I only ever went to this theater once and saw Halloween H2O. I remember the theater seemed on its last legs. There is a Kohl’s in that spot now.

jamestv
jamestv on August 10, 2011 at 12:15 am

I was the relief projectionist from 1981-84 and it was still a single-screen theater, as it was when I left town in 1985. I’m not sure when it was twinned or became a five-plex but I do know they turned the pizza parlor on the side(the right side in the picture above) into another screen. Another great single-screen turned into junk!

matt54
matt54 on August 9, 2011 at 8:41 pm

The Medallion was still a single screen as late as summer 1979 when it showcased the exclusive first run of “Alien.”

egcarter
egcarter on August 9, 2011 at 8:23 pm

I lived in Dallas not far from the Medallion until mid-Summer 1979 and it was still a single-screen theatre at that time. I saw the ALIEN sneak preview in 70mm there on 4/7/79; then saw it there again upon its release in late May.

David_Burgess@att.net
David_Burgess@att.net on August 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm

One aspect of the description was wrong; it might have opened as a single screen, but sometime in the 70’s it became a double screen. I distinctly recall either having to go right to one screen or left to another; somewhat like the General Cinema Theater at Northpark. I did not know this was an Interstate Theater at first. Our family knew the man who ran Interstate for Dallas/Fort Worth, Raymond Willie. My dad was in advertising and used my sister and I in an ad campaign for Interstate’s showing of the Disney movie, “In Search of the Castaways” with Hayley Mills and Maurice Chevalier. I have pictures of the publicity.

matt54
matt54 on September 15, 2010 at 8:48 pm

James, I echo the first part of your comment – oops! And, you are correct.

jamestv
jamestv on September 15, 2010 at 6:00 pm

OOps! My original comment about “Gandhi” was incorrect; it opened at Northpark in 1983, not 1973!

jamestv
jamestv on September 15, 2010 at 5:59 pm

Matt, “Gandhi” was a 1982 release but only in N.Y. and L.A., probably for Academy Award consideration (which worked out real well for them!). The rest of the country opened it in early ‘83.

matt54
matt54 on September 15, 2010 at 1:14 am

James, “Gandhi” was released in 1982, altho' I agree, I don’t recall the Medallion being a 70mm showcase until “Rollerball” and later.

jamestv
jamestv on July 24, 2010 at 6:26 pm

“Gandhi” played first-run in 70MM at the Northpark Cinema I beginning in early 1973.

matt54
matt54 on July 24, 2010 at 4:19 am

“This theatre opened with 70MM capability but didn’t show a 70MM feature until 6 years later when Rollerball opened in 1975—ran quite a bit of 70 after that.”

  • including “Gandhi,” if memory serves.
jamestv
jamestv on June 7, 2010 at 11:55 pm

This theatre opened with 70MM capability but didn’t show a 70MM feature until 6 years later when Rollerball opened in 1975—ran quite a bit of 70 after that.

matt54
matt54 on June 5, 2010 at 5:55 pm

The Medallion was the first in a planned new generation of Interstate suburban venues dedicated to prestige exclusive first-run bookings; included in this plan were new single-screen suburban showplaces to replace the old downtown prestige venues, Palace, Tower, and Majestic, all of which were scheduled for closing and/or demolition. This plan was never carried to ultimate fruition and, though the three downtown venues were indeed eventually shuttered, only the Medallion was constructed before Interstate itself ceased to exist. Everything about the Medallion was first-class except, IMHO, for the screen, which was ruler-flat instead of curved. Overall, not much to complain about.

egcarter
egcarter on April 28, 2010 at 7:33 pm

I attended the ALIEN preview (4/6/79) at the Plitt Medallion (a spectacularly good theatre in every way). An usher peeked into the auditorium just when the chest burster scene was on the screen. He fainted. Ridley Scott (hanging out in the lobby) was pleased. Afterwards, I filled out the very extensive survey card. The next day, I was called by a market research firm in Phoenix. The rep interviewed me for THREE HOURS. And my very few issues concerning this amazing film were addressed in the final cut! And it was an advertised preview (not really a “sneak”), as there was a full-page ad in the Dallas papers with the name and all the credits and 70mm Dolby Six-Track Stereo advertised with a huge graphic.

The Medallion had the same status in Dallas as the Ziegfeld does in New York, the McClurg Court did in Chicago, the Coronet did in San Francisco, Cinerama does in Seattle (I could go on…)