As stated, the marriage of movie house and shopping center in America took place in the 1920s, at the end the so-called silent era of motion pictures. One of the earliest "car culture" retail hubs, Kansas City, Missouri's COUNTRY CLUB PLAZA, featured an opulent movie palace as one of its early tenants. An equally grand Shopping Center Cinema opened in 1935, in an inner ring suburb of Dallas, Texas.

As global hostilities drew to a close in 1945, construction was already underway on Washington State's BELLEVUE SHOPPING SQUARE...which would become the nation's first post-war shopping center. Its original operational tenant, the BEL-VUE THEATRE, showed its first feature in March 1946. The HOLIDAY THEATRE, at south side Chicago's PARK FOREST PLAZA, opened for business in October 1950. Over in Connecticut, Stamford's RIDGEWAY CENTER Ridgeway Theatre entertained its first patrons in August 1951.