Manor East 3

1127 E. Villa Maria Road,
Bryan, TX 77802

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Located in the Manor East Mall, which was built in 1972 (today partly demolished and rebuilt as the Tejas Center). The Manor House 3 was operated by Schulman Theatres and opened November 7, 1973. It was the 8th movie theatre in the world to be equipped with Dolby Stereo Sound.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on June 8, 2015 at 6:37 pm

The Schulman Theatre Group was almost 50 years old when it launched its latest Bryan theater in the Manor East Three Theaters. The theater was named after the Manor East Mall which was built in 1972 with Ward’s and Kroger’s as the anchors and 23 additional stores. The Manor East joined in the fun opening November 7, 1973 with “That’s Entertainment,” Papillion,“ and “The Mysterious World of Captain Nemo.” The theater had an external entrance for after-hours (Sunday night) ticketing and interior entrance, as well.

The Manor East Three’s ticket color corresponding with the auditorium’s name you were in: there was the Blue House, the Red House, and the Gold House each bathed in those colors. But make no mistake: the Blue House was the big house with seating for 420 patrons and a 16x40 screen. If you wanted to see 70mm films such as Revenge of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Trek, the Blue House would become equipped for your needs. The Red House was pigeonholed as the kids theater and had room for 175 patrons. And the Gold House was the high-class house with 220 high-backed rocker lounge chairs. Automated projection was at the theater from its opening day.

The Manor East fell into grey field status — a term akin to a dead mall. Some of the mall was demolished (Ward’s went down for the H•E•B store) and if you are looking for the Manor East Mall and the former cinema, look no further than the Tejas Center Shopping Center.

markbrack
markbrack on July 1, 2016 at 12:30 pm

I don’t know who DallasMovieTheatres is but having been the sole projectionist and co-manager of the Manor East III from June of 1977 to August of 1985 – I would like to correct some inaccuracies of the above about the Manor East. First Manor East I had 399 seats to be exact – Manor East II had 176 seats and Manor East III the red theatre held 150 people. We were the 8th theatre in the world to have a Dolby CP50 not the 6th! We opened Star Wars in Dolby Optical Stereo in June of 1977. Our second Dolby Stereo film was Paramount Pictures Saturday Night Fever – and un-beknown to most – when you saw Saturday Night Fever at the Manor East you were watching the studios copy of that film. We had bid the film in Dolby and Paramount could not find us a print and so they flew us their studio copy which was made directly from the camera negative – it was the most beautiful 35mm print I ever ran!

We opened Columbia Pictures The Deep in June of 1977 too in 4 track magnetic stereo in the Manor East II. We installed Dolby Stereo in Manor East II for the Christmas release from UA the remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. For a short time while testing out some audio equipment we installed a dolby stereo unit in Manor East III too and played For Your Eyes Only in all three auditoriums in Dolby Stereo as it moved from theatre to theatre during it’s booking.

Finally we installed a Dolby CP200 a brand new Century 70/35 mm projector – all new sound system and enlarged our screen in the Manor East I to play Star Trek III The Search For Spock. Other 70mm films we played while I was there – Dune, 2010, Pink Floyd’s The Wall at midnight and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom……….We tried to book Silverado from Columbia in 70mm but they laughed at us and said we did not deserve a 70mm print even though our grosses were better than some of the 70mm bookings of the same film in Dallas. Thanks Columbia for not being a good studio to us!

The Manor East was a top grossing independent theatre run by the Schulman family and in particular Bill Schulman who was like a second father to me – Bill believed that the booth was the heart of a movie theatre and frankly between him and his son Morris Schulman they made sure our booth as well as the other theatres in the Schulman chain had Rolls Royce equipment – they threw away the mold when G-D made Bill Schulman – he was a wonderful man and I miss him dearly.

Mark Brack
Dallas, Texas

Coate
Coate on August 10, 2016 at 12:12 pm

Mark Brack…. I’m intrigued by your claim that the Manor East was the 8th theater in the world to have a Dolby CP50 installed. What is your source of that figure? I ask because by the time “Star Wars” opened in Bryan in July of 1977, I estimate there were over 50 Dolby units in use nationwide. If the Dolby unit was installed at Manor East for “Star Wars,” then the timeline for it being installation #8 doesn’t seem to fit a plausible timeline.

markbrack
markbrack on July 11, 2017 at 2:20 pm

Coate – the Dolby Unit was installed months before the opening of Star Wars………….Although NorthPark I and II was playing Star Wars – before us – they did not install Dolby Stereo right off the bat. Actually the GCC Brass showed up at our theatre to listen to Star Wars before purchasing Dolby units for several theatres – I acutally went to see Star Wars in 70MM at NorthPark AFTER they installed a CP 100. Just because the big boys opened Star Wars before us did not mean they were playing it initially in Dolby Optical Stereo…..

markbrack
markbrack on July 11, 2017 at 2:23 pm

Coate – you can’t base the unit number on the film’s release schedule……….jus sayn

Coate
Coate on July 17, 2017 at 9:31 pm

Mark Brack: I wasn’t referring to Dallas. As a “Star Wars” enthusiast and movie technology historian, I’m well aware the Northpark installed a Dolby unit after you did. If you’re curious/interested, all of the country’s Dolby engagements of “Star Wars” are identified in my historical retrospective article (the Manor East is listed on Page 3 of the article).

Anyway, I have copies of Dolby install records from that era and your theater first turns up in them in July (1977), the same month in which your “Star Wars” run commenced. Before any theaters ordered a Dolby unit for “Star Wars” there had already been numerous installs made months earlier for other Dolby releases (such as “A Star is Born”). Therefore, if you guys had your unit months before the “Star Wars” run, then why wouldn’t your theater turn up sooner in the Dolby install documents?

I suspect what is more likely is your theater was the 8th Dolby install in Texas.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on July 19, 2017 at 8:50 pm

What were the first seven before that?

Coate
Coate on July 21, 2017 at 12:36 pm

According to a Dolby Labs document dated May 30th, 1977, the Dolby installations in Texas as of that date were, in installation order: (1) Medallion, Dallas; (2) American Star, El Paso; (3) Salem, Victoria; and (4) Garden Oaks, Houston.

According to a Dolby Labs document dated Aug. 9th, 1977, the Dolby installations in Texas as of that date were, in alphabetical theater name order: (1) American Star, El Paso; (2) Century South, San Antonio; (3) Garden Oaks, Houston; (4) Laurel, San Antonio; (5) Manor East, Bryan; (6) Medallion, Dallas; (7) Northwest, San Antonio; (8) Salem, Victoria.

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