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Kohl's Medallion Center
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Hollywood may get most of the glory when it comes to the film industry, but thanks to its unique location Kohl's Medallion Center in northeast Dallas can also stake its claim to a small piece of silver screen history. So how does a department store about 10 miles from downtown Dallas at the crossroads of the Vickery Meadow, Lake Highlands and Northeast Dallas neighborhoods, have a place in movie history?
Kohl's Medallion Center was opened in 2006 in the space once occupied by the Medallion Theatre. When the movie house opened, news reports describe a theatre whose "external appearance conforms to the contemporary design" of the 1970s. The nondescript theatre turned out to be anything but thanks to a then relatively unknown director, Steven Spielberg.
After a sneak preview of his directorial debut went well at the Medallion, Spielberg considered it a good-luck charm and decided to return for a test screening of "Jaws," the first time the film was ever shown in public. Tales of the screening have taken on a life of their own over the years as have the number of people who claim to have been there. Legend holds that two instances of flying popcorn and one of a stomach-churned man running for the lobby convinced Spielberg his new twist on horror would be a success. It was.
A year later, Spielberg returned to the Medallion Center to debut "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." If you're still not convinced about the location's Hollywood connection, consider Blockbuster Video opened its flagship store there in 1985.
The theatre (and Blockbuster) may be gone, but there's still plenty worth exploring. Kohl's Medallion Center is easily accessible via Skillman Avenue, Northwest Highway and Abrams Road. So no matter what direction you're coming from – north from Dallas or south from Richardson, east from Southern Methodist SMU or west from Garland – Kohl's Medallion Center is here to make you the star.
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