True heads already know that the AMC movie theater at Valley View Center is one of Dallas’ best kept semi-secrets. The Far North Dallas mall’s various troubles have had the counterintuitive effect of turning AMC Valley View 16 into one of the best places to catch a first-run film in North Texas. Crowds range from sparse to nonexistent, parking is plentiful, the lobby is quiet and clean, and the prices — a matinee show will cost you $4, while movies after 4 pm start at $6 — are affordable, to put it mildly. Wandering the ghost mall and checking in on some of Valley View’s current tenants, mostly art galleries and offbeat independent retailers, is a great way to kill some time before the movie.
The theater has been living on borrowed time for years, as developers and city officials have kicked around a plan to scrap the entire shopping center in favor of the new hotness: Dallas Midtown, the confusingly named and long-gestating development that will replace the faded glory of Valley View. But now — officially, at last — an end is in sight. The theater as we know and love it will be rubble by the end of the year.
A new AMC movie theater will feature in the coming development, but the magic will be gone. So, as these Dallas days get longer and hotter, as the last wave of first-run summer blockbusters hits the big screen, as the bulldozers get into attack formation, use this opportunity to say farewell. Take an afternoon off, pay $4 for a ticket, pick any seat you want in a mostly empty theater, and cry into your popcorn as the credits roll.
Rest in peace, AMC Valley View 16.