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Villa Plaza Cinema I-II-III

10501 Davisson Rd SW
Lakewood WA

Record #27312  
 Opened: July 1, 1969
 Closed: June 16, 1988
 Demolished: Yes (date unknown)
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As:
 Previously operated by: General Cinema Theatres

Information for this tour was contributed by Mark Campbell.

The Villa Plaza Cinema was built and operated by General Cinema. Originally, it was a two screen theatre, but the larger auditorium was twinned in 1982. After this, the smaller auditorium became the main house with about 500 seats. It was the only auditorium with Dolby Stereo. The smaller twin auditoriums were mono sound and, because of their narrow nature, the screen masking retracted vertically for scope presentations. As newer, more modern theaters were built in Tacoma and Lakewood (now a city and the actual location of the Villa Plaza) the cinema fell into decline and was eventually shuttered in the spring of 1988 when General Cinema opened the Lincoln Plaza 8 a few miles away.

The auditoriums featured corrugated metal with acoustic holes for the walls (a trademark feature of all General Cinemas in the region at that time). The main auditorium also had a 2.35:1 "shoe box" screen with sloped walls leading to the four edges of the screen (all lit up with blue light between presentations, and the subject of abuse by racquetballs because up close you felt you were in a big blue racquetball court). There was no masking for 1:85 films, creating a fuzzy edge to the picture.

Exclusive engagements of note for the Villa Plaza: E.T., Return of the Jedi, Romancing the Stone (General Cinemas in the Seattle/Tacoma area showed most 20th Century Fox and Universal Pictures at the time).

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Last featured 6/3/2007. Last edited 6/2/2014.

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