Architecture in the Movies, Part 3 – Logan’s Run

Logan's Run, the Love Shop

Logan's Run

Logan's Run, Love Shop

Logan's Run, Sandmen tracking a runner

Logan's Run, Great Hall

Logan's Run, Great Hall

Logan's Run, Great Hall

The 1976 film Logan’s Run, a dark sci-fi dystopia about escape from a domed post-apocalyptic society that euthanizes its citizens at age 30, completely occupied my late childhood imagination. The movie was shot entirely in Dallas and Fort Worth, Texas and most of the film’s key action takes place in the “Great Hall” which turns out to be the recently demolished Dallas Market Center Apparel Mart. Oddly, the building is part of the vast trade complex JFK was headed for when he was assassinated; he was on his way to a luncheon for 2400 people in a setup very similar to the one shown below. This particular part of the complex, however, was built a year later in 1964. Not a great piece of architecture but apparently adequately sci-fi. If someone has the correct terminology for this style of interior, please advise—isn’t it some sort of cheap 60s mall rendition of Corbusier, Notre Dame du Haut era? Turned inside out?

The novel the film is based on was written in 1967 at the height of  60s youth culture and student unrest. It was explicitly written with a screenplay in mind, and it was optioned almost immediately. But as with Dune, the process of turning the novel into a film was endlessly fraught and by the time the film was made, the decor and costumes were now reflecting disco-era 1970s. The film’s commentaries on totalitarianism, youth culture and a Brave New World-style docile populace distracted by pleasures are pretty heavy-handed. But I didn’t think so when I saw it around age 12, too young to notice how wooden Michael York’s acting was, not young enough to avoid infatuation.

Above, scenes from the film. Below, the mart as it was in reality and then during its demolition. Its destruction is strangely fitting considering the film’s ending.

Logan's Run, The Great Hall (Dallas Apparel Mart)

Logan's Run, Great Hall demolished

All photos and information in this post are from racpropsaintitcool and snowcrest. The film’s “Love Shop” (image at top, with the odd, oozing brown leather seating, and the mall shot with somewhat anatomical neon sign) was the Oz Restaurant/Nightclub in Dallas. Other locations: Sandman HQ was Zales’ International Headquarters; the Sandman gym was the Arlington Health Center and the living units were the Burton Park Building. The video below was a long promotional trailer for the film intended as a preview for theatre owners, and it gives a sense of the futuristic 70s sets and costumes.

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8 Responses to “Architecture in the Movies, Part 3 – Logan’s Run”

  1. John Hopper Says:

    I have always loved this movie for the great 1976 vision of future interiors. It’s one of the few sci fi movies where interiors play such a large role. A great slice of the 1970s post-apocalypse genre. The views of the larger city were also a great slice of futurescape.

    It just seems such a shame that the actual building it was filmed in was torn down. I would really have liked to have had a walk around the domed city, or at least pretended to have. However, I believe the crystal on my palm would have short circuited long ago, and I would probably be physically frogmarched to Carousel.

    Thanks very much for Logan’s Run post, it made my day!

  2. Foster Grant Says:

    Phillip Johnson’s Fort Worth Water Gardens were featured in Logans Run too.

  3. Lindsay Says:

    You’re right! The photo from the Water Gardens is here:

  4. Architecture in the Movies, Part 4 - Aeon Flux | Ouno Design Says:

    […] in architecture and decor, but that’s another topic.) Not unlike the biosphere society in Logan’s Run, the future city of Bregna was purportedly built as a utopian haven but quickly reveals itself as […]

  5. Jen Says:

    Crimes of the Future has some great architecture in it too, although a little less in terms of interiors, the exteriors make the film. It’s got a very tense atmosphere throughout and is only about 1 hour long, which makes the slow pace easier to enjoy. Check it out!

  6. Ken Says:

    Actually, the Love Shop exterior is the third picture from the top. The interior isn’t shown, probably because it’s filled with naked people having an orgy. The top shot, with the “the odd, oozing brown leather seating” is the interior of Logan 5’s apartment, and it, along with the “New You” plastic surgery shop directly below, were sets constructed for the film.

  7. Carl Draper Says:

    Though I never saw it when it first came out, as I am only 31, i did see it on TV when i was quite young and was blown away, it is still one of my favourite films, i even used some sound samples in my own music.

  8. Neil Edward Larkins Says:

    Here it is 2019 and on a whim search I find this article. Thanks. I worked in the Apparel Mart for several months in 1980 with a crew installing carpet. The interior had a maze of showrooms and seeming miles of hallways. It was at this time I found out that the interior of the building I was working in had been used extensively for the filming of Logan’s Run. Having studied architectural design when I attended college in the sixties I was interested in the amazing yet indefinable style of that building. Had no idea what the architect was trying to say. I’ve never seen Logan’s Run but seeing these photos from the movie has brought back many memories both good and not so good. So sorry to hear this – for want of a better word “interesting” building no longer exists.

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