Park Forest Theatre
11722 Marsh Lane,
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The Park Forest Theatre was the fifth Dallas theatre for the Gordon McLendon Circuit, opening on July 21, 1965 with a private showing of “Lord Jim” starring Peter O'Toole, and opening to the public the following day with “A Very Special Favor” starring Rock Hudson. The Park Forest Theatre was named after the shopping center that had opened ‘theatre-less’ three years earlier and was numbered unit #353 in the shopping center. Jack Corgan and Associates were the architects of the theatre, which featured airliner lounge seats that had two seating positions. The original plans called for a 1,000-seat house, but the wider seats and aisles dropped it to its final 650-seat count.
Other features included a Walker 4,000 crystal grain screen, 70mm projection, a 200-gallon fish tank in the lobby which also featured a sunken garden and an open waterfall pool. The theatre opened as an ‘adult ticketing only’(17 years and older) with mature audience themes booked for the films, though not porn. The Park Forest Theatre closed as a second-run discount house 18 years later in July 1983.
The building was repurposed shortly thereafter and in the 2010’s, it housed a long standing antique store that still had the Park Forest’s movie theatre poster frames on the exterior, original rest rooms, curtain rigging visible at the west side of the shop and steps up to the projection box in its interior.
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