The only thing better than attending the opening of the AMC NorthPark 15 last night would have been running into Mayor Pro Tem Don Hill and D'Angelo Lee, former member of the Dallas City Plan Commission--you remember, the two men who essentially kicked off the FBI investigation at City Hall. (I know, I know--what FBI investigation at City Hall.) Fortunately, I got both my wishes last night, because there they were, amongst the several hundred invited to the unveiling of Dallas' latest and, for the time being, greatest multiplex. Hill and Lee and their families even stayed for one of the gratis screenings offered to guests: Spike Lee's Inside Man.
But what of the NorthPark 15, you ask? It's swellegant in all the right ways, of course, as befitting the NorthPark tradition. It's no NorthPark I & II; nothing could replace that beloved old theater, where those of us raised in Dallas first saw Star Wars and heard THX. But with its spacious theaters (the largest holds about 500), comfy seating (they only sell this kind of lumbar support at Relax the Back) and beautiful view of the newly sodded garden, it will serve as a welcoming replacement.
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It wants very badly to look like an old theater, a grand palace, problem is there are giant paintings along the ceiling not from classic movies but TNT New Classics (The Mark of Zorro, What's Love Got to Do with It?, Pretty Woman, something else starring Salma Hayek). And there are famous and infamous movie quotes embedded into the shiny floor, ranging from "Life is like a box of chocolates" from Forrest Gump to "I'm walking here. I'M WALKING HERE!" from Midnight Cowboy. But none of that's going to matter to the dude who finds he can dispense his own "butter" on his popcorn; that may be the real highlight for most. --Robert Wilonsky