|Record #25594 |
Opened: June 17, 1965|
Demolished: Yes (date unknown)
Current Organ: none
| Also Known As: Westwood, Westwood-Promenade, Promenade I & II|
| Previously operated by: ABC Interstate Theatres, Plitt Theatres, Cineplex Odeon Theatres|
Information for this tour was contributed by Mark Richey.
After years of concentrating their Dallas theaters in or near downtown, Interstate began to expand to the suburbs during the 1960s. Their first outlying theater was the Westwood in Richardson, built next to the new Westwood shopping center. The 864 seat theater has several days of hype leading to its opening in the Richardson Morning News, including a series of front-page articles and a pull-out 4 page section describing the construction of the theater and listing the upcoming engagements. There was also a huge ad in the Dallas Morning News. Opening night was June 16, 1965 with an invitation-only screening of the yet-to-open "Cat Ballou." In attendance was actor Stephen Boyd, who was in Dallas promoting his new movie. The theater opened to the general public the next day with Disney’s "Cinderella."
In 1970, a second, 500-seat auditorium was built. The new auditorium was called the Promenade (which the new part of the Westwood center was called), and the theater was renamed the Westwood-Promenade. Billed as "Interstate’s first twin-theater", the new screen received another large amount of hype, including another 4-page pullout in the Richardson paper, and an appearance by Warren Oates. The first show on the new screen was "Let It Be," on May 17, 1970 (the original Westwood did its part by booking an lame sci-fi double feature during its twin’s first week).
In 1972, the theater quietly dropped the "Westwood" and simply became the Promenade I & II (the larger, older screen naturally becoming the "I"). In 1978, the theater, along with the rest of Interstate’s Dallas locations, became part of the Plitt Southern chain. It was under Plitt on April 1, 1983, that the Promenade became a dollar house, starting with "10 to Midnight," "Stripes," "The Toy," and "Hot Stuff" (the last two first-run films were "Trenchcoat" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark").
A year later, the theater became a six-plex, seemingly overnight (it advertised two movies on April 20, 1984, and six on the 21st). "Silkwood" and "Ice Pirates" were the final two shows at the twin. Plitt advertised the redo in the Richardson News as the "grand-opening" of the "new" Promenade.
In 1986, Plitt sold off all of their remaining theaters except for the Promenade. However, the chain’s name disappeared off the ads soon after. In 1992, Cineplex Odeon apparently acquired the theater, as the chain’s name (but not its logo) began appearing in the theater ads. The Promenade remains the only theater in Dallas to bear the Odeon name.
The area and theater had slipped into decline by the early 1990s, and the theater’s image was further hit by a highly-publicized rape that happened behind it in 1993. In 1993, the owners of the shopping center began to improve the location, and one of the targets for renovation was the location of the theater. The theater owners resisted for a while, but on July 31, 1994, the final curtain fell. The theater’s demise was marked by a front-page story in the Richardson News, which referred to the theater’s grand opening 29 years earlier. The final shows were "Above the Rim," "Getting Even with Dad," "Crooklyn," "Schindler’s List," "The Inkwell," and "Jurassic Park." Within a couple weeks of the closing, the theater was bulldozed and a grocery store now sits on the site.
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Last featured 6/26/2005. Last edited 9/17/2011.