Dunes Cinema 1 & 2

8000 Melton Road,
Gary, IN 46403

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: General Cinema Corp.

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Dunes Cinema 1 & 2

Located in Miller on the eastern outskirts of Gary, IN. General Cinema opened this twin February 23, 1973. The opening attractions were “A Seperate Peace” and “Shamus”. The Dunes Cinema 1 & 2 was one of three twins GCC had in Northwest Indiana in the early to mid-1970’s. The Dunes Cinema 1 & 2 was furthest East and somewhat out of the way. The theater was best known for playing Disney films and the blaxploitation and karate films of that time. A certain reputation (not entirely unfounded) for rough crowds grew. The theater also played second run films that after their engagements at the other two GCC twins.

GCC tried to change the reputation at the Dunes Cinema 1 & 2 by opening films that were exclusive to the area. Films such as “Bad News Bears in Breaking Training” and “The Betsy” were very successful in their runs there. The biggest success the theater ever had was its engagement of “The Goodbye Girl” which ran 16 weeks, which was quite astounding for this theater which normally changed at least one movie a week.

By the early-1980’s the area had become rough and the crowds started to dwindle. In 1982 GCC made the Dunes Cinema 1 & 2 a dollar house which only made things worse. After a robbery and further dwindling business GCC closed the Dunes Cinema 1 & 2 in early-1984. Its final attractions were “Terms of Endearment” and “Never Cry Wolf”. Though the marquee is long gone the white bricked building stood in the virtually empty Dunes Plaza for many years. It was demolished in early-2016.

Contributed by John

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

JRS40 on January 3, 2006 at 6:30 am

The Dunes was in a rougher area then the other two GCC twins (Ridge Plaza and Crossroads) so this was the place where the action films, blaxploitation films and horror films usually ended up. The Dunes also played first run films and Disney to appeal to everyone but the theatre was sort of branded with the rough image. It was unusual for a film to play more then a week or two and there was almost always a film change on one of its screens weekly. The theatres themselves were nothing special but not bad. I didn’t go there often as usually the films they played were playing at one of the other two theatres which were closer to home for me when I was growing up. Some of the films I saw there included: “The Man with the Golden Gun”, “Lepke”, “The Car”, “The Domino Principle”, “The Cat From Outer Space”, “Gus”, “The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training”, “Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo”, “When A Stranger Calls”, “Brass Target”, “The Black Hole”, “Crossed Swords”, “Family Plot” and “Night of the Juggler”.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on September 14, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Sad photos guys.Never realized GCC had that many twins.When i started with them in 1982 I thought everything was triples or quads in Malls.You guys had alot of GCC twins up there.Bet all the one-sheets are long gone.I would have to explore if up there.

CSWalczak on July 4, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Many of the theaters that GCC opened in the Greater Cleveland-Akron area in the 1960s opened as singles or twins – Southgate Cinema, Shoregate Cinema, Chapel Hill, etc. These were all in malls or adjacent to them.

jonrev on August 13, 2014 at 11:03 pm

One of the Dunes' last films shown may have been the 1974 sci-fi flick: “Dark Star”. Until this year, a tangled mess of film containing the final few seconds or so (“THE END OF DARK STAR”) could be found scatted about the projection room.

whtesoxfan56 on December 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Funny you mentioned The End of Dark Star(and am prfsnlwannabe on flickr, btw), since I know I saw what looked like a preview clip with the opening classic GCC 1977(or 1980?) preview and feature presentation clips. It was still upstairs on the floor, when I revisited this theater yesterday for the first time in 2 years.

jonrev on August 16, 2016 at 10:58 pm

Demolished sometime in the first half of 2016.

rivest266 on July 24, 2017 at 1:59 pm

This opened on February 23rd, 1973. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

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