Dallas Loses 6 Movie Theaters in 12 Hours | Dallas Observer

DFW Lost a Crazy Number of Movie Theaters This Week

Within 12 hours, two movie theater chains announced they'd be closing locations in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Movie theater chain Alamo Drafthouse announced this week it was shutting all five DFW locations.
Movie theater chain Alamo Drafthouse announced this week it was shutting all five DFW locations. Courtesy of Alamo Drafthouse
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It's been a bad week for North Texas movie fans. Well, more like a bad day. In the span of roughly 12 hours, two movie theater chains, the Angelika and Alamo Drafthouse, announced several North Texas movie theater closures.

The company that operates all five Alamo Drafthouse theaters in DFW and one in Minnesota, which is called Two is One, One is None, LLC, announced on Thursday its decision to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy and immediately shut down all locations. The announcement was first made to employees of the Drafthouse locations — Richardson, Las Colinas, Lake Highlands, Dallas, Denton, and Woodbury, Minnesota — through an internal company message.

“It breaks my heart that after 10 years this is where we are left, but the huge number of losses to the business sustained were simply too big for us to continue operations," wrote Bill C. DiGaetano, the owner of the six locations. "Thank you for everything you have done for our company and thank you for the passionate way you came to work every day and served our guests.”

DiGaetano had previously said the North Texas locations were not in jeopardy despite the parent company’s financial troubles.

In a statement sent to the Dallas Observer, an Alamo Drafthouse spokesperson said: “We are heartbroken for the franchisee’s teammates and the local film communities, however, we are working as quickly as possible to get Alamo Drafthouse Cinema back up and running in these cities. All other Alamo Drafthouse locations are operating as normal, with continued expansion plans across the country.”
A previous Alamo Drafthouse location in North Richland Hills changed ownership in 2022.

A day before the Alamo's announcement, the Angelika Film Center in Plano announced its immediate closure. The location has been a staple in the Shops at Legacy since June 2004, and was one of two Angelika locations in DFW. The other is at Mockingbird Station.

“A variety of economic challenges have made it impossible for the tenant to sustain its cinema in Plano,” a statement posted on social media said.

A previous Angelika location in Houston, which was the second-ever location to open, closed in 2010. The venue in Plano is the second Angelika movie theater to close.

David Lowery, a successful filmmaker based in Dallas, says the closing of the Alamo Drafthouses is “such a blow” to the Dallas film community.

“When we're in Dallas, my wife [filmmaker Augustine Frizzell] and I go to the various Drafthouses two to three times a week,” says Lowery. “We've made so many incredible movie memories there, from the Dismember The Alamo marathons to surprise screenings. It's sad to know they won't be there when I come back to town, and even sadder to consider the wonderful employees who've been so suddenly displaced. We're raising a glass to everyone who made the local Alamos so wonderful; here's hoping they open again soon.”

Observer writer Diamond Rodrigue is a movie lover who says she would go to the Alamo Drafthouse in Denton once a week to escape the stresses of real life. She says her husband just took their son to watch Back to the Future Part II for the first time the night before the cinema chain's announcement. He even bought tickets next week for Back to the Future Part III.

Rodrigue remembers the Alamo Drafthouse fondly, especially when it reopened after the pandemic, and she hopes to be able to recapture that feeling soon.

“One of the biggest things that set them apart from other theaters around town was its Time Capsule series — movies from decades past that were so fun to go see on the big screen again,” she says. “It always felt like a place that nurtured cinema and tried to make the moviegoing experience as fun as possible.”
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