The Next-to-last Picture Show

THOUGH NO FILMS HAVE BEEN SHOWN at the old Geminidrive-in since 1987, the three dilapidated screens have stood on the comer of Forest Lane and Central Expressway like ruins reminding passers-by of an all-but-forgotten era. But now the first multiscreen theater in Texas finally has a date with the wrecking ball.

Later this month the screens will topple, making the Astro Drive-In the last outdoor cinema in the Dallas area. Property owner Bart McLendon, who opened the Gemini in 1966 and also owns the Astro, is reluctantly clearing the way for a retail shopping center. When the Gemini closed, he intended the property to be used for a high-rise office building, but construction on Central, the ’80s recession, and a glut of Dallas office space made this prime real estate less than desirable. So the screens stayed up (partly for sentimental reasons, McLendon confesses), while he waited tor market conditions to improve. But McLendon has lost patience, and thus Dallas is losing an icon from its past.


Keep me up to date on the latest happenings and all that D Magazine has to offer.