GCC North Hills VII

7624 Grapevine Highway,
North Richland Hills, TX 76180

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The GCC North Hills VII theatre opened at 832 North Hills Mall on May 24, 1985. It was closed December 17, 1998.

A planned Cinemark theatre was proposed twice for the mall (in 2000 and 2003) but didn’t materialize. In October 2004 the North Hills Mall closed and the owners boarded up the entire structure. The North Hills Mall and its theatre were demolished in 2007 when the city found the structure to be a fire hazard.

Contributed by Ken Roe

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on March 2, 2015 at 9:32 pm

North Hills Mall was designed by RTKL Architects and opened September 12, 1979 to challenge the nearby Northeast mall that had opened eight years earlier. In 1984, General Cinema – which had a 20-year old theater just up the road at the aging Richland Plaza, announced a replacement for that property. It would launch a seven screen theater inside of North Hills Mall and one up the United Artists Northeast 6 which had opened in the Northeast Mall seven years earlier. Opening May 22, 1985, the theater added a missing dimension from the North Hills shopping complex. The 25,000 square foot theater had an easy access entrance and exit for late night Sunday shows when the rest of the mall was closed.

The North Hills VII allowed town meetings, had summer film camps for the kids, and tried to be a part of the North Richland Hills community. Early in 1990, a Cinemark Movies 8 moved in virtually across the street. But the newer North Hills Mall seemed to have the older one on the run especially in 1997 as the United Artists departed the aging Northeast Mall . But the Northeast folks used some trickery and a great business model to drastically revamp that property that year and wrested away some key tenants from North Hills.

At that same time, nationally, the General Cinema multiplex model was getting destroyed by the megaplex builders including Cinemark and AMC. Despite the fact that nobody was building a megaplex in the Mid-Cities, the North Hills Mall was heading downhill quickly and General Cinema wanted to get off of the sinking ship. GCC was able to exercise a performance clause to escape its lease from the North Hills property as the foot traffic and occupancy rate was below promised levels. The theater pulled out September 17, 1998 and the gates closed down over the property leaving both malls theater-less. This turned out to be a great move as North Hills quickly found itself in greyfield status and with ownership changes that couldn’t stem the tide.

Potentially great news for the North Hills occurred when new owners took over and announced that Cinemark would opens an 18-screen theater for North Hills Mall to open in 2001 with an ice skating rink. After delays – and another mall ownership change — it became a 16-screen concept to open in 2003/4. That also didn’t materialize. And in October of 2004, the mall shut down with the General Cinema property having not aged an iota from the time it had been closed in 1998. A month later, it was Northeast mall that got its modern megaplex with the opening of the Rave Northeast Mall 18.

The final owner of the North Hills Mall in 2005 staged a pre-demolition sale and vultures picked apart the entire mall decimating the former GCC North Hills VII theater along with every other store. The mall owner would walk away from the property without demolishing it. The city of North Richland Hills had no choice but to call the property what it was – a safety hazard with exposed everything inside following the unusual pre-demo sale – and finally ordered the mall and cinema’s demolition in early 2007.

StanMalone
StanMalone on March 3, 2015 at 4:44 pm

dallas…. Thank you for that concise and well written history of this theatre and mall. I worked for GCC for many years in Atlanta and your comment could apply to several GCC properties and malls here with only the names changed. Augusta Ga. and Columbia SC also have identical stories. GCC always seemed to be a step behind the competition, building triples while everyone else was building sixes and then building eights when 15 to 20 were the norm. Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, the area malls seemed like the new downtown and it is still hard to believe how many of them are now Wal-Mart Supercenters or just vacant lots.

rivest266
rivest266 on June 26, 2018 at 4:39 pm

Opened May 24th, 1985.

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