UA Northstar 8

1146 Belt Line Road,
Garland, TX 75040

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numb3r5ev3n on April 10, 2018 at 7:47 pm

This was the closest theater to me when I was growing up in Rowlett in the 1980s, and my favorite one from before the megaplex era. I have so many memories tied up in this building: I saw so many films here. I wish there was some sort of initiative to preserve the 70s and 80s-era multiplexes as there has been with many of the 30s and 40s-era cinemas, at least for us aging Gen Xers who are watching so many of our childhood hangouts disappear.

The space was repurposed as a sportsbar for a while after it closed, but the bar relocated, and this space is now occupied by a banquet hall. Here is a pic I took today:

CaptainRob on March 6, 2016 at 11:54 pm

I really have to strongly disagree with this opening date for the Northstar. At the time I was working as a projectionist at the UA Prestonwood Creek 5, that was straight down Belt Line Road. Northstar’s projection booth wasn’t finished enough to build up their opening prints. So we at Prestonwood built all eight of them up. And screened them. Which was the only time I saw “Beverly Hills Cop” in a movie theater. When all of the prints were ready to go to the Northstar. The GM came over in his pickup and we loaded all of them up. I distinctly remember this was the week before Thanksgiving 1984. I’m almost positive that the opening date was the Friday before Thanksgiving 1984. Not to brag, if it’s even bragging. If anybody is an expert on the UA Northstar 8. It’s me. Out of the just over 21 years that theater was open, I worked 12 of them.

CaptainRob on December 16, 2015 at 12:04 am

The comment about the “2wenty” is incorrect. We did have the preshow at Northstar. And we got alot of complaints about it. We couldn’t start the projectors until the preshow ended. And the preshow slowly got longer over time. Making our shows start late. I mentioned it to a tech once and he could care less that we had complaints from our customers.

rivest266 on August 3, 2015 at 4:48 pm

This opened on December 21st, 1984. It was billed as the Escape Plot. Grand opening ad in photo section.

dallasmovietheaters on December 10, 2013 at 9:43 pm

United Artists purchased four acres of a 12-acre tract at the southeast corner of Beltline and what was once part of North Star Road in Garland in 1984 to build a multiplex. MPM Development would then build a 68,000 sq. ft. strip shopping center around the theater called North Star Crossing bringing additional traffic to the complex. The UA 8 North Star (often fused as Northstar 8 in ads) opened December of 1984 and, in its operation of just over 21 years, the theater remained a first-run house under the aegis of UA/Regal through its entire existence. The UA 8 South, the UA 8 Las Vegas Trail and UA 8 North Star were built much like the “second-generation” UA 8’s around the country: fairly non-descript but serviceable locations that weren’t destination multiplexes like the UA Plaza or the UA Galaxy but more neighborhood-centric and understated.

Unlike its first era of multiplexes, these UA 8’s had more soothing color palettes and indirect lighting. The smallest houses were 280 seaters with fairly uncomfortable chairs. At the 16-year mark, the North Star got some good news in that General Cinema closed its Richardson location in 2000 just 3.5 miles away which led to an uptick in customers at the North Star. For patrons, good news occurred when the UA MacArthur Marketplace megaplex mega-flopped in less than five years of service from 1999 to 2004. When the Regal shut the theater, the North Star was the recipient of the MacArthur seating. It was a nice improvement. Despite the new seating, the North Star wasn’t given a ringing endorsement from the chain. As Regal ramped up its digitally projected pre-show “2wenty” in most auditoriums in 2003/4, the North Star was largely left out of the transition which was a portent of things to come.

Regal shuttered aging UA multiplexes all over the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and beyond shortly after taking over United Artists. And when AMC opened its Firewheel Town Center Mall 18-screener in far east Garland on December 14, 2005, the North Star UA 8 was looking quite aged. Just one month after the AMC launch, the North Star closed for good on January 29, 2006. Few people bothered to show up for the final shows that evening. The property was updated for new business owners. First into the location in its post-theatrical life was a sports bar closing in 2011, then it was Legends Jumpin House closing in 2013, then it was briefly Quinceanera Reception Halls event center, then it was…. well, you get the idea. The theater’s conversion away from a multiplex – like so many others – has proven to be a challenge to the shopping center. And unlike the UA 8 Vegas Trails or UA 8 South that didn’t have the adjoining shopping center to be concerned with, those 8-plexes were more readily converted into stand-alone non-profit churches.

Driveintheatre2001 on January 21, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Here’s a photo I took back in November of 2006 as they were converting the structure into a Sports bar. Enjoy.. Randy A Carlisle — Historical Photographer