Denton's historic Wright Opera House went on the market yesterday, with a whopping $2,699,000 dollar price tag. The lavender accented building is more than a city landmark and town square anchor, it's home to Recycled Books and Records, a beloved temple for all things analog. Naturally, folks didn't take kindly to the news. Recycled was flooded with supportive emails and phone calls, which prompted management to post a "don't panic" Facebook announcement that's now seen more than 100 shares across its social network.
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When the property's current owner, Roy Freeborn, predicted letting go of the location a few months back, he met with Recycled Books and Records' owner Don Foster. Together they protected the space and signed Recycled in on a 10-year lease. "[He] wanted to make sure we stayed here, even if he sold it," says Foster. "We raised the rent at that point and we're on a yearly schedule; that's what we'll be paying."
Right now Foster says that business is strong, steady. He doesn't suspect the mom-and-pop is in jeopardy. Still, he is aware of what's possible when a property of that size is sold. Especially to out-of-town investors who don't have community ties to Denton.
"I guess somebody rich could come in and try to force us out somehow," he says, "but hopefully they won't do that."
Yeah, that would suck. Recycled Books has been operating in Denton for more than 25 years, earning itself a vibrant multi-generational fanbase, and Foster reckons that they take care of their own. "There'd be a major public outcry if something happened like that," he assures.