Medallion 5 Theatre

125 Medallion Center,
Dallas, TX 75214

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Tommy Luca
Tommy Luca on April 28, 2022 at 12:33 pm

Steven called the Medallion his “good-luck charm.”

Tales of a sweaty palmed, full-of-Valium, Steven Spielberg pacing the back row, terrified that his movie starring a rubber shark wouldn’t play. The Alex Kitner shot settled his nerves: A man ran out of the theater, vomited in the lobby, then returned to his seat. “That’s when I knew we had a hit,” he said. Classic in the trenches film war stories. Love it.

CaptainRob on November 28, 2021 at 10:58 pm

Medallion went from three screens to five sometime in late 1991. I started as GM there in February 1992 and had been hired by Trans Texas president Bill Knight. Number Five auditorium had actually been the next door pizza bar. Trans Texas cut a doorway through the wall and installed a sloped concrete floor. Which looked brand new when I first inspected it. You could see where the pizza ovens had been down near the screen along with the outline of the bar. The original entrance had been walled off. I was working for UA when they bought it and converted it from one screen to three. They split the auditorium across the middle and installed a second projection booth. They twinned the back half. Leaving a almost cube shaped main auditorium. Which Trans Texas later twinned. Trans Texas also ripped out the downstairs office and moved it upstairs. And they ripped out the island style concession stand that UA had and built one along the wall. You could still see where the island had been because they patched it with the wrong color tile.

matt54 on November 28, 2021 at 4:52 pm

Re: dallasmovietheatres comment, the UA Ciné 150 opened with that name; “Ciné” was not added later. After the theatre was split into two auditoriums - and was no longer capable of exhibiting films in Dimension 150 (new name for Todd-AO), the theatre’s name changed to the UA Ciné I&II.

MSC77 on November 28, 2021 at 3:08 pm

In what year did the Medallion go from three to five screens?

Babboo65 on June 16, 2018 at 3:52 pm

This was the first theater I ever worked. It was a single screen – had a smoking section on the left side – velvet curtains – the works. It was a grand house for sure. I was there in 1981 – 1982 just after the time Plitt Southern Theatres took it over. Probably the biggest event we had while I was there was the “Cannonball Run” and one of the actresses showed up and signed the lobby poster. On a Saturday clean-up we went through some of the upstairs storage rooms and found all kinds of posters (Gone with the Wind, Thunderball, and others), some 16mm and 35mm reels with trailers, and even some old usher and concession stand uniforms – pretty cool stuff. I also remember trying to change lightbulbs in the seating area with this impossibly long extension pole and a ridiculously tall ladder…suffice to say there were more bulbs broken and swept up than there were replaced.

This was also the theater where I saw Sound of Music, Star Wars, and many others years before.

Coate on July 26, 2017 at 3:04 pm

Was the Medallion the Dallas venue in which the Spring 1989 Director’s Cut re-release of “Lawrence of Arabia” played?

markbrack on July 1, 2016 at 11:27 am

As a theatre owner at one point of the old Waco, Texas GCC LakeAir Theatre – the old man who hung one of our new screens had been a projectionist at the Medallion – The Medallion could play un-married opticals and according to this man ALL of the Spielberg films were sneaked at the Medallion – which is contrary to what is stated above. Having been in the booth at GCC North Park several times – I can attest to the fact that North Park was not equipped to play un-married opticals when I was in the booth to look around………. I will always remember the exclusive 70mm run of Alien at the Medallion – The Medallion was a 20th Century Fox house – most of the time. Alien never looked so good or sounded so great as it did at the Medallion. Dallas lost two great theatres when the Medallion was split and when GCC NorthPark was closed. Granted AMC North Park is nice – but GCC North Park I seated 1000 and had the largest screen in the nation outside of Radio City Music Hall – they just don’t make them like that ANYMORE! RIP Medallion! We miss you – but you are NOT forgotten by this former theatrical film exhibitor………..

CaptainRob on December 16, 2015 at 2:36 pm

The date of 1993 for UA giving up Medallion is incorrect. I was the GM of this theater for Trans Texas Amusements during March to May of 1992 before they moved me to Ft Worth Town Center Dollar Cinema 8. I had previously worked for UA and GCC. Medallion still had the UA Communications logos inlaid in tile in the lobby floor. They had pulled out the UA name though. One night a friend of mine that still worked for UA came by and saw the logo and just shook his head. “Ya’ll couldn’t afford to take out the entire logo?” That theater was a mess. The box office cashiers were somewhat silly. There was a button under the box office counter. My first week there I asked them about it. They didn’t know what it was for. The cashier even pushed it. “See, nothing happens.” They didn’t ever make the connection that five minutes later the Dallas Police would show up.

Logan5 on January 13, 2015 at 2:31 pm

According to the book Buddy Holly: A Biography by Ellis Amburn, the world premiere of “The Buddy Holly Story” took place at the Medallion Theatre in in Dallas, Texas on Thursday May 18, 1978.

dallasmovietheaters on November 24, 2013 at 6:08 am

Interstate Theatres built the Medallion in 1968 opening with Butch Cassidy on October 30th, 1969. Notable exclusives there were The Godfather, The Sting, MASH, American Graffiti, Deliverance, and Chinatown. Downtown theatres struggled as the Central Zone (NorthPark, UA 150 (later Cine) and Medallion) thrived. Medallion held sneak of Jaws and Steven Spielberg cited the Medallion as his “good luck theater” and one of his most memorable moments. He also sneaked Close Encounters and 1941 before moving his sneaks to the nearby NorthPark I & II.

In 1978, Plitt acquired many of Interstate theatres and the Medallion became a Plitt property. Competition became fierce in what was known as the Central Zone as multiplexes opened nearby in the 1980s.

The Medallion was sold to United Artists, in 1986. UA closed the Medallion for two months on March 20, 1986 converted it to three auditoriums. The original screen remained intact on the south side of the theatre and two smaller screens were located on the north side, adjacent to the newly remodeled and expanded concession stand. The two northern houses remained until its closure, holding 300 and 140 patrons. When the high tech UA Plaza opened in May of 1989, the Medallion became a second run bargain theatre and the nearby UA Cine became an art house.

The Central Zone was negatively impacted in the mid-1990s when the megaplex era began. UA gave up the Medallion in 1993. Dallas-based Trans-Texas Theatre Company took over the Medallion and two other failing movie houses, Cinemark’s NorthTown and Skillman 6. Trans-Texas turned the three-screen house Medallion into a five-screen house as the original silver-beaded screen was split three ways. The move proved somewhat successful prior to the theatre being sold to the Hollywood Theatre chain in 1997.

Under Hollywood Theatres management, the theatre experimented with second run art house movies and attracted the Vistas Hispanic-oriented film festival. The owners noting the down-turned discount movie environment deleted weekday matinees before abandoning the DFW area temporarily in early 2000.

Premiere Cinema Corporation became the next owner of the Medallion. Premiere brought back matinees, regularly showed classic films and experimented with midnight films aimed at the nearby SMU college audience. It continued its connection with the Vistas Film Festival before closing the theatre.

The seventh and final operator was an independent under the management of George Jones. It became an outlet for low-budget, locally produced films, promotional showmanship (including live hypnotists, clowns, and other gimmicks used to attract moviegoers in the 1930s and 1940s) along with second run features. The theater was given a minor updating in its concession area, including a party area and paintings of movie stars.

The Medallion’s last day was December 13th, 2001 ending a 32-year run. In a nice touch, one of the Medallion’s last films was the very first film shown there, Butch Cassady and the Sundance Kid. The theater sat deserted for three and a half years until being torn down in May of 2005 to make room for a Kohl’s Department Store.

rivest266 on October 23, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Unaltered grand opening ad uploaded here.

matt54 on January 17, 2013 at 9:14 pm

This theatre had a run of 30+ years…not too shabby when you think about it.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 17, 2013 at 9:37 am

Driveintheatre2001: Cinema Treasures e-mail notifications used to be automatic if you commented on a page, but they are now an opt-in feature. If you want e-mail notifications of new comments on a particular theater’s page, you have to click the “Subscribe to this theater” link at the bottom of the page. After you subscribe, the page renews and the link converts to an “Unsubscribe” link, which you can later click if you no longer want the e-mail notifications from that page.

Driveintheatre2001 on January 17, 2013 at 4:48 am

Correction, the book is called “The Old Movie Theatres of Texas”….. 8)

Driveintheatre2001 on January 17, 2013 at 4:38 am

Chuck1231 – U are more than welcome. I’m getting ready to download some photos on here. Gonna try for tomorrow night… Also, My apologies for not responding sooner. I used to get emails, I thought, when someone posted a comment on a Theatre that I had posted on.. But not anymore.. A little while back, I had ask u about a book u reference from. Old Theatres of Texas.. or something like that. Is this still available? I’ve looked with no luck. I’d love to get a copy of it…. Thank you again for the compliments. They’re always appreciated to the fullest…… My Best……. Randy RAC Photography

luckeebreak on November 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

I saw “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” there about 1969. It is now a Kohls department store.

matt54 on July 30, 2012 at 9:21 am

Well, we can add a seating capacity of 884 at it’s opening in 1969, courtesy of Tinseltoes' Boxoffice article link. Thanks for posting, I had not seen the auditorium since the late 70’s.

Driveintheatre2001 on January 17, 2012 at 10:19 pm

A photo I took of the Medallion Theatre back in January of 2005. A KOHL’s occupies the lot today.. Enjoy..

Randy A Carlisle – Historical Photographer

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 17, 2011 at 4:33 am

The Dallas Public Library’s Interstate Theatres Collection includes four sheets of plans for the Medallion Theatre in Dallas, by architect Jack H. Morgan. They are dated October 24, 1968, so construction probably began not long after that date.

matt54 on September 15, 2011 at 2:46 am

The Medallion was supposed to be the first in a new generation of prestige first-run venues for Interstate Theatres that would replace the old downtown theatres, all of which were on their last legs due to shifting demographics and lack of parking space; ironically, it was the last such venue Interstate built due to the company’s failure to read the coming trend toward multiplex venues. It opened in 1969 with the Dallas exclusive run of “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.”

Movies-N-Things on September 14, 2011 at 8:28 pm

I only ever went to this theater once and saw Halloween H2O. I remember the theater seemed on its last legs. There is a Kohl’s in that spot now.

jamestv on August 9, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I was the relief projectionist from 1981-84 and it was still a single-screen theater, as it was when I left town in 1985. I’m not sure when it was twinned or became a five-plex but I do know they turned the pizza parlor on the side(the right side in the picture above) into another screen. Another great single-screen turned into junk!

matt54 on August 9, 2011 at 12:41 pm

The Medallion was still a single screen as late as summer 1979 when it showcased the exclusive first run of “Alien.”

egcarter on August 9, 2011 at 12:23 pm

I lived in Dallas not far from the Medallion until mid-Summer 1979 and it was still a single-screen theatre at that time. I saw the ALIEN sneak preview in 70mm there on 4/7/79; then saw it there again upon its release in late May. on August 9, 2011 at 6:22 am

One aspect of the description was wrong; it might have opened as a single screen, but sometime in the 70’s it became a double screen. I distinctly recall either having to go right to one screen or left to another; somewhat like the General Cinema Theater at Northpark. I did not know this was an Interstate Theater at first. Our family knew the man who ran Interstate for Dallas/Fort Worth, Raymond Willie. My dad was in advertising and used my sister and I in an ad campaign for Interstate’s showing of the Disney movie, “In Search of the Castaways” with Hayley Mills and Maurice Chevalier. I have pictures of the publicity.