Arts & Culture News

Denton's New Alamo Drafthouse Theater Will Be Very 'Denton-Centric'

An artist's rendering of the new Alamo Drafthouse theater expected to open in Denton in June.
An artist's rendering of the new Alamo Drafthouse theater expected to open in Denton in June. courtesy Fons PR
The new Alamo Drafthouse movie theater that's coming to Denton next year won't look like just another theater in the company's chain.

"We definitely are working on some fun stuff to celebrate the city with the opening," says James Wallace, creative manager for Alamo Drafthouse DFW. "Maybe even a very Denton-centric lobby theme."

Denton will be the fifth location in the Dallas-Fort Worth area to score a Drafthouse theater. The Austin-based chain announced over the weekend that it plans to open the eight-screen theater and full-service bar and restaurant in the Rayzor Ranch development on the north side of Interstate 35 in June.

The Denton Alamo Drafthouse will offer some of the same moviegoing amenities that have become standard features in the theater chain's locations, such as luxury recliners, 4K digital projection, surround-sound systems, and full-service food and beverage services. The Denton theater will also house a large-format theater with a Dolby Atmos sound system and 35mm changeover projection systems for classic film screenings.

Denton's film roots run deep. The city has a thriving independent film community and hosts annual film festivals such as the Denton Black Film Festival and the Thin Line Fest. It also served as the setting for many iconic and memorable films, including 1993's What's Eating Gilbert Grape?, starring Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio; director Arthur Penn's classic retelling of Bonnie and Clyde, which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year; and the 1991 cult football comedy Necessary Roughness, with scenes shot on the UNT campus and Fouts Field.

"Denton has been a market we wanted Alamo Drafthouse to locate [to] for a very long time," says Bill DiGaetano, the chief operations officer of Alamo Drafthouse DFW. "Planning this project has been a lot of fun, especially since many of our team are University of North Texas alumni. We cannot wait to give Denton the best movie experience possible and look forward to many great local partnerships."

Wallace says Denton's thriving arts community will make for a unique partnership with the Alamo Drafthouse.

"As a brand, an Alamo Drafthouse in Denton is just a perfect it," Wallace says. "Denton has always been thought of as our own little slice of Austin in North Texas, and ... Alamo is an Austin-based brand. I think we all share a lot of the same sensibilities. There's such an amazing sense of culture and community in Denton, and we couldn't be more excited to now be a part of that."

The new theater is also a bit of a homecoming for several members of the Drafthouse family, including Wallace, who graduated from UNT's film department.

"I lived there, went to school there, got my degree there and began my career there," he says. "Not just that but I met my wife there. Denton is a very special place in my heart and such a source of inspiration. I've long had dreams of being able to do something like this there, all the way back to when I first set eyes on that town."
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Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.

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