UA Galaxy Theatre Stadium 10

11801 McCree Road,
Dallas, TX 75238

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Galaxy 10 Marquee

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Opened as a nine-screen multiplex in the 1990’s, six of them were THX-certified. Another auditorium in the theater opened in the early-2000’s. During it’s heyday, it was known as the “best kept secret in Dallas”, with wet gate projection, Showscan 70mm, and two 80-foot screens, the largest in Texas at the time.

Contributed by Connor Wilson

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dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on April 2, 2015 at 5:54 pm

United Artists Circuits purchased 9.5 acres near the southeast corner of Jupiter Road and LBJ Freeway in northeast Dallas to launch a destination theater that eventually opened May 21, 1996 called the Galaxy. While much of the attention was going to 24 and 30 screen megaplexes of the era, UA was more conservative building 9-11 screen complexes. UA built its Lakepointe 10 theater in Lewisville opening in December 1994 and would build a similar facility in Grand Prarie (Aug.1995) along with two Fort Worth complexes opening in 1997 with the Eastchase 9 and the Fossil Creek 11.

Much like the UA Grand Prairie, the circuit was going after a contemporary Cinemark multiplex in the Hollywood USA 14/15. With screen count already in favor of the established Cinemark property, UA spent more on this property than the afforementioned theaters. The costs of the Galaxy sailed past $12 million with two huge 750 seat auditoria with 76.5 foot wide screens and 50-foot high ceilings affectionately called the 80 foot screens, eclipsing the 75 foot screens at the CInemark 17. The two auditoria had the second largest screens next to only the outdoor Astro Drive-In.

The theater made a statement, THX certification was found in six auditoria where digital sound was vibrant. There was stadium seating with rocking-chair padded seats in all houses, something that UA had eschewed in the past. A crazy large dual-sided concession area, gaming area, two additional concession stands close to theaters 5 & 9 – the largest houses, and a 38-seat Showscan ride simulator theater that rounded out the technologically innovative theater.

Opening night was wild on May 21, 1996. With eight theaters ready for usage, Mission: Impossible was screened on each screen a day before its actual opening and the theater attracted sell out audiences. People showed up, they filled the auditorium and went on to the next auditorium. The theater made $22,500 in ticket revenue selling out all shows until 11:45p.

Because of the size of the large screens, Star Wars fans camped out at the Galaxy as members of “Countdown Dallas” waited the highly anticipated 1999 film. The theater had many sell-outs and delivered the goods. The Galaxy 9 would become the Galaxy 10 when the Showscan novelty house was converted into a small screen. UA all but vanquished its Cinemark competitor as the Hollywood USA was downgraded to sub-run dollar house status. UA had all the new clearances it wanted for new films.

But United Artists, itself, fell on hard times and the circuit dropped theater after theater in the area and around the country. Even the Countdown Dallas group abandoned the theater for 2002’s Phantom Menace sequel opting for the DLP-centric Cinemark Legacy. UA which once had theaters all over Dallas would be taken over by Regal and would have only the Galaxy after leaving the Plaza, the Keystone, the MacArthur Marketplace, and all of its multiplexes including the North Star in Garland. Regal didn’t do justice to the Galaxy as THX designation went away. The cash-strapped Regal chain didn’t do much over the next ten years to refresh the property and weekday audiences found the 900 slot parking lot with more new cars for the adjoining car dealership than patrons.

Meanwhile, AMC would upgrade its 30-screen Mesquite property with a IMAX-branded screen, a bar, fork-and-screen full-kitchen houses, and recliners. More people were drifting away from the Galaxy. But there was hope as in 2015, the theater would receive its first major refresh when recliner seating was announced in March of 2015 to come in time for the big summer films. Because Regal owned the theater instead of the former practice of leasing, it realized that the theater might have an opportunity to remain vibrant heading into the 2020s.

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