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I only saw one movie in this theater…“Dances With Wolves” premiere in 1990. I was only a young teen but I recall thinking the Art Deco facade of the theater was beautiful.
The last few times (2006) I have attended this theater it seemed as if things were getting better. It was cleaner and better-maintained than I had seen it in several years, and the staff seemed much more competent than in recent years as well.
In 2002-2005 there were rumors of rodent infestation and definite signs of decline, such as leaking ceiling tiles and large stains on the carpet. The stains remain. These problems seem mainly resigned to the lobby as the auditoriums seemed to be in decent condition (though somewhat unclean). I find it somewhat sad that this theater has declined so rapidly. A decade ago it was quite a showpiece with its mirrored fountain and immaculate bathrooms (now ridden with grafitti).
This theater has recently been destroyed (summer 2006) during an aggressive remodeling of the North Park Mall. What was Mall 5 is now food court space and expanded restrooms.
I have many memories of Eastgate 5, but perhaps the most indelible is the memory of its red and gold lobby with elaborately-detailed carpeting. The colors were so impressive to me as a child, as were the red “velvet” ropes and the glassed-in ticket area. It was such an exciting theater experience for a kid. When I was a little older and Mall 5 opened I was so disappointed in its rather plain, grey, spartan lobby! The last movie I saw at Eastgate was in summer of 1999 (Cruel Intentions). I had such great memories of Eastgate 5 that I would drive by occasionally long after it closed. It saddened me to see a decaying possum corpse lying in broken glass by the former concession stand. In that moment, I knew that Eastgate would probably never reopen.