River Oaks Plaza 12
1450 W. Gray Street,
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Operated by Cineplex Odeon, the River Oaks Plaza was opened in 1990 in a shopping center just down the road from Landmark’s River Oaks Theatre. It was basically two, 6-screen cinemas on two levels. There was a box office located on either side of the entrance, but the left one was only used during busy times. After entering and having you ticket torn, you either walked down a few stairs for the lower screens or took an escalator to the upper level. Each level had a large concession stand, but during slow times, only the lower one was open.
The two largest auditoriums (about 400-500 capacity) were located in each of the front corners of the building, while each of the rear corners of the building held two smaller auditoriums (about 150-175 seat capacity). There were no curtains in front of the screens, no stadium seating and all the auditoriums were equipped with Dolby Surround sound. Later, when “Jurassic Park” was released, the two larger auditoriums on each level were equipped with DTS and unlike its sister cinema, the Spectrum, no auditoriums were THX certified.
When built, this cinema was advertised as the first new cinema built inside ‘The (610) Loop’ in many years. The shopping center had a few restaurants a TJ Max and an Office Depot, who’s customers had to compete for parking when the cinema was busy. There was a multi-level parking deck behind the shopping center, but most people preferred to park in front. The reason why the cinema closed in 2001 is unclear, but it could have been due to the parking situation, the building of Edward’s Grand Palace 24 about three miles away, and of course the bankruptcy of Cineplex-Odeon.
Information provided by Kenny Cagle.
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