Town East 5

2063 N. Town East Boulevard #7000,
Mesquite, TX 75150

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: General Cinema Corp., Star Theatres

Previous Names: Town East Mall I & II, General Cinema Town East 5

Nearby Theaters

General Cinema Town East Mall I & II opened June 28, 1974 along with the Town East Mall. The Mall had opened in 1971. On December 17, 1982 it became a five-screen theatre. The theatre closed sometime in December 1998. It was taken over by Star Cinemas and reopened in December 2001 but closed in June 2002.

It stood boarded up, sitting idle for many years and had been demolished by summer of 2019.

Contributed by Randy A Carlisle

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 23, 2012 at 9:22 pm

Thanks Randy, hope more folks add to it.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 23, 2012 at 9:23 pm

GCC gets Favored by this old theatre Dawg,.

Driveintheatre2001 on January 24, 2012 at 4:43 am

2 Photos of the General Cinema 5, taken about 10 years apart. Also, on the same link, is a photo of the Marquee for the Theatre.. Click on the photos to enlarge.. Enjoy!

Randy A Carlisle – Historical Photographer

Driveintheatre2001 on January 24, 2012 at 5:29 am

Mike, You’re more than welcome..

Driveintheatre2001 on October 11, 2012 at 5:06 pm

To note, The General Cinema Town East 5 has since been demolished.. This happened about a year ago, guessing..

RAC Photography

Movies-N-Things on October 17, 2012 at 10:36 am

An independent called Lone Star Theater tried to keep this one going, then they moved to the old AMC 8 across the highway and was out of business by 2003. Interestingly enough when Lone Star was here it was the first time I recall any theater giving you a refill on the large drink, something that all the big chains do now.

dallasmovietheaters on February 28, 2015 at 4:41 pm

General Cinema Corporation (GCC) had a good run in Mesquite, TX. It had opened its Big Town Cinema in February of 1964. Ten years later, it was operating just outside of Mesquite’s second mall and the area’s first twin-level mall, Homart’s Town East Mall. Opening at Town East Mall Cinema I & II on June 28, 1974 were its grand opening features of The Parallax View and The Incredible Journey with Old Yeller. GCC would downgrade its Big Town theater to discount status. For Homart and GCC, being paired would be nothing new being just outside of its first mall, the Seminary South in Fort Worth, outside of the Six Flags Mall in Arlington, and opening inside of Homart’s Valley View in 1975 and in the 1980s outside of Homart’s Parks at Arlington mall. But unlike those locations – and ten years after its launch at Town East – competition would get cut-throat.

Strip shopping centers began surrounding the uber–popular Town East Mall which began to decimate nearby Big Town Mall’s customer base. Traffic was packed around the Town East area and retail complexes popped up overnight. United Artists would open its own Town East 6 on June 4, 1982 in the nearby Driftwood Shopping Center. The UA would compete with GCC for big summer clearances getting “Star Trek II”, “E.T.” and “Blade Runner” at the outset. Disheartening, true, but the GCC Town East would rabbit-punch back closing briefly to re-open on December 17, 1982. It transitioned from a two-screen to a five-screen operation to have more room for clearances. However, the hastily-created design left much to be desired and, worse yet, the Towne Crossing Center was being built opening across the highway from Town East. It would be delivering the AMC Towne Crossing Center 8.

GCC wouldn’t give up. In 1984, the Town East was closed and totally gutted becoming a prototype for many almost identical theaters which General Cinema would create or retrofit. Its main auditorium was arguably in the circuit’s top five screens in presentation short of General Cinema Northpark I. The five-screen prototype theater would launch December 7, 1984 and just yards away it was constructing another six-screen theater launching May 22, 1985. That theater actually launched three months ahead of the AMC eight-screen Town Crossing. Much as in Prestonwood, confusion for consumers was palpable as the theaters were close in both name and proximity. That said, business was brisk with business from Rockwall, east Dallas, Garland, Rowlett, Forney and even Terrell.

What changed in Mesquite? Garland would get two megaplexes to the North but AMC delivered the knockout blow with its 30-screen megaplex AMC Mesquite just two exits to the south in 1998. That would end the AMC Towne Crossing. Starplex Cinemas would add a 10-screen discount house in Mesquite and a 12-screen theater in Forney. Megaplexes also came to Rockwall and Terrell got a multiplex. The Town East salad days for movie exhibition were going quickly. General Cinema closed its Town East Six as classes went back into session in 1998 and almost as suddenly the Town East V left prior to Christmas of 1998. Somehow, the Big Town Cinema out-survived both of GCC’s Town East properties closing as a Cinemark discount cinema in January of 1999. But who could have foreseen the third busiest zone in DFW going from four theaters to zero so quickly?

Star Cinemas would change that re-opening the GCC Town East V in December of 2001 with Kate & Leopold and Blackhawk Down among the features. But the theater struggled with code enforcement related to restrooms closing at the end of June of 2002. That theatre operation would hop across the highway to the former AMC Towne Crossing operating quietly as the Lone Star Cinema until 2003. For the GCC Town East, it would just sit vacant year after year hoping to get demolished. Its attraction board along 635 is still in use though now featuring the name of Town East anchor stores.

jefrob on May 28, 2017 at 4:23 pm

Great recap, dallasmovietheaters. I worked at this theater from November 1981 until August 1983 when I left for college. I was there during the time that Cinemas 3-5 were added onto the building. Cinemas 1 & 2 were still in operation during the construction. I think we closed for only a week or so right before the grand re-opening in December 1982. As you stated, the design was somewhat awkward, with Cinemas 3-5 having their own lobby/concession stand separated from the main lobby/concession stand and connected via a corridor. I loved working concession 2 because it was never as busy as concession 1! Customers would enter the main lobby and head straight for concession 1 even if their movie was in Cinema 3, 4 or 5. No one realized that there was a separate concession stand in the new section until they made their way down the corridor. Concession 1 would be packed with full lines and concession 2 would be completely empty. I loved working here and at several other General Cinema theaters in DFW (Valley View, Irving Mall, Red Bird Mall, and Town East 6). We had some great times and I made some good friends with whom I’m still friends more than 30 years later.

Babboo65 on June 15, 2018 at 11:25 pm

I worked at this theater for a while. Was door / box office / concessions around 1983 till 1984/5. Rarely saw that second concession stand used except when people would walk by it and suddenly realise it was even there. Only real memories were ‘Empire Strikes Back’, the doors on screens 1 and 2 opening to the sunny lobby, and spending far too much time popping corn on the weekends.

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