Cinemark 17

11819 Webb Chapel Road,
Dallas, TX 75234

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Cinemark 17

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The Cinemark 17 was opened by Cinemark on July 28, 1995. Auditorium #2 was converted to an IMAX and reopened on Sept. 3, 1999. All auditoriums are digital projection and sound with 3D capabilities.

Contributed by Chuck

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dallasmovietheaters on March 29, 2015 at 6:26 pm

1995 was the start of the megaplex boom with the AMC Grand 24 getting the major attention but also with the UA Grand Prairie 10, the Loews Cityplace, and two 17-screen theaters by Cinemark with the Grapevine Tinseltown USA 17 and this theater, the Cinemark 17. Cinemark was familiar with the area as the former AMC Northtown in the Northtown Mall was still operating as a discount house. But the Cinemark 17 was actually supposed to be in Dallas and not Farmers Branch. This theater was targeted as an 18-screen, $30 million development at Inwood Road and Forest Lane just three miles to the east. But the city of Dallas blocked the theater so it ended up in Farmers Branch instead.

The Cinemark 17 became an 83,000-square-foot complex featuring 17-screens and costing $18 million. The theater debuted July 28, 1995 a bit over two months later than the AMC Grand. The 17’s two largest auditoria each seated 634 with high-backed, rocking-chair seats. The two largest Cinemark 17 theaters had stadium-seating with “radius curve” screens that were promoted as the 75 foot screens at 32-by-75-foot screens. Moviegoers were “treated” to Waterworld as the first regular feature on the 75’ screen.

Like the Grand, the Cinemark folks promised at least one art film at all times in the 130-seat smaller theater(s). And like the Grand, that really wasn’t always consistent. The snack bar area had expanded offerings including a pizzeria (Mama Rugis), cappuccino bar (“Java Wally's”) and would go on to have short-order cook items, salads, and ice cream. The massive arcade featured contemporary games that, as of 2015, still featured rotation of games to stay current.

The Cinemark 17 saw more impressive multiplexes come in including Cinemark’s own Legacy while other contemporaries including the AMC Grand 24 or the Macarthur Marketplace shuttered or were dropped by their circuits. Give Cinemark credit as it just kept updating the 17. In August of 1999, an IMAX 3-D theater was added showing T-Rex: Back to the Crustaceans. (Unlike later IMAX theaters added at local AMC theaters, this was an actual IMAX theater.) The theater also was renovated to included stadium seating in the smaller auditoria. The odd mix of sound systems was replaced by all digital multichannel audio and switched to digital projection including classic films and Fathom events sent via satellite. As the theater neared its 20th anniversary, it seemed every bit as vibrant as the day it opened.

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