The pairing of movie house and shopping center in America began in the 1920s and progressed slowly through the Depression-plagued 1930s. When 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.

An original SHOPPING SQUARE tenant, the Bel-Vue Theatre, showed its first feature in March 1946. The Holiday Theatre, at Chicagoland's PARK FOREST PLAZA, opened for business in October 1950. Over in Connecticut, Stamford's Ridgeway Theatre, at RIDGEWAY CENTER, entertained its first patrons in August 1951. A cinema was also added to San Diego's LINDA VISTA PLAZA in the early '50s.