The other day, we were reminded of how little this title really means: We were driving past NorthPark and passed all that remains of the NorthPark I & II, which has been rendered a shell of its former glorious self. Soon enough, the building will be torn down and replaced by a department store, which is the last thing this town needs more of (Dallas is French for "mall"). Ours was a happy childhood spent waiting in line at the NorthPark I & II; it was where we saw Star Wars and
Superman for the first time, spread out from wall to wall in a theater where space was the final frontier. But in the city that spawned the googaplex (the AMC Grand, with its 24 screens, was once the largest theater in the country), the NorthPark I & II was deemed a dinosaur, and all that remains are the bones. Until the Angelika and the new Landmark art-house multiplex open up at the end of the year, we're left only with decaying vestiges of grandeur (the Inwood, which we'll always treasure), the last gasps of intimacy (the AMC Highland Park, where every theater feels like your own screening room--or TV screen), low-frills gourmet movie-going (the Granada and its dine-out spawn), and the megaplexes, with their stadium seating and chicken-strip cuisine. The Cinemark 17, with its new IMAX add-on, is the best of the lot. Every seat's a winner, the "coffee shop" in front serves up a tasty movie-food alternative, the arcade makes for a great time- and dollar-waster, and, oh yeah, you can see some movies if you're up to it.