Discount Cinema 8

3407 Wells Branch Parkway,
Austin, TX 78728

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Discount Cinema started as a first-run theater in 1991 and eventually became a second-run. It had almost Art Deco appointments on the inside and lots of video games in the halls. Movies were only $1.50 and the screens were very large. One theater had what looked like home made wooden armrests, giving it a lodge like feel.

Towards the end, tickets were sold at the concession booth but it would have been hard to tell it was closing otherwise. The old shopping center itself was it’s demise, the main grocery store had been closed for a while, leaving Discount as the main anchor. After the other big draw, a video arcade next door closed, it spelled the end for Discount.

The theater was torn down in October 2004 and is being replaced by a Walgreens.

Contributed by Nick Littlejohn

Recent comments (view all 11 comments)

superdude480
superdude480 on December 21, 2004 at 8:49 am

hey mark i used to be the assistant manager there in austin at the showplace 6 from 1992-1995. i am currently looking for employment got any leads for me.
Barry Lee

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on December 21, 2004 at 1:26 pm

An 8 plex open only 2 years before it was shut down? Is that a record?

br91975
br91975 on December 21, 2004 at 3:23 pm

If it’s a record, it’s not by much. Loews opened a 20-screen all-stadium seating megaplex in the Pennsylvania town of North Versailles in October of 1999, only to see it get crushed by the competition another megaplex provided within a few miles down the road, and proceeded to shut it down in February of ‘01 as part of their then-bankruptcy proceedings. (The seats from that still-shuttered venue are used to this day in the Loews Theatre on 34th Street in midtown Manhattan.)

br91975
br91975 on December 21, 2004 at 4:05 pm

I think what ‘Manwithnoname’ is referring to is the two-year run from the time when General Cinemas opened the then-Wells Branch 8 in 1989 until the time they closed it in April of ‘91.

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on December 21, 2004 at 4:58 pm

That’s exactly what I was referring to.

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on December 21, 2004 at 6:51 pm

Charles, I don’t know. I got my info from the post above by the theater’s former manager. Doesn’t seem like General Cinema has been out of business that long.

Manwithnoname
Manwithnoname on December 21, 2004 at 7:08 pm

General Cinema filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2000.

superdude480
superdude480 on December 22, 2004 at 8:47 am

I remember this was closed long before gcc went into bankruptcy because get this you see GCC when they were scouting for locations cinemark decided to build movies12 just about at the most 8 miles at the most from the the far side of well branch along ih35 well gcc just took the first location they could get in wells branch because at that time alot of chains feared cinemark because of the way they were expanding and gcc thought by cinemark building on the out skirts of austin they it was just a prelewed to them moving into the austin market itself and gcc wanted to keep the market so they paid an unbelivable amount to lease the wells branch 8 so much infact that
even with all the hype gcc tryed to generate for the grand opening it was never able to bring in the amount of customers inorder to book big profile films as a result ever since its grand opening it was never able to generate revenue to pay for the high costly lease everymonth and to add insult to injury gcc faced legal bills over the Barton creek 5 issue so finally gcc just closed the wellbranch after negocating to get out of its lease. the original lease was for i was told for a 25 year period thats how disperate gcc was to upshow cinemark even though clearly after plans were announced about the 8 screen that it would not beable to compete with a 12 screen.

Pawnshop
Pawnshop on June 27, 2013 at 6:15 pm

The last couple of years this theater was open they showed a lot of Bollywood films, the first in Austin to do so I think. When the Walgreens went in they completely demolished the theater and did not use any part of the old building.

MovieMad52
MovieMad52 on April 5, 2014 at 10:23 pm

I worked here the first quarter of 1996, General Cinema had finally learned to build more colorful theatres. I worked for Cinemark and during that time John Travolta came to see the latest Bond movie while in Austin filming.

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