The Deep Ellum comedy theater is opening its third — and ideally final — location on Aug. 16, at 3036 Elm St. And it will be bigger and better than ever.
If the old rule of comedy that things work best in threes is true, the new location for DCH should prove to be a fit, a relief after a frustrating last year for the company that saw its second location on 3025 Main St. contested by its new barbecue-loving landlord. After a full renovation of what was previously an auto shop, the up-and-coming incarnation of the Deep Ellum mainstay will feature two theaters, four classrooms, a writer’s room, flexible co-working space, a restaurant open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner and an expansive outdoor patio.
The previous location had a full-service bar and two theaters, but the new podcast studio is a unique addition to not only DCH but any comedy club in DFW. The four-person studio will host multiple DCH-produced podcasts, but the space is also available to rent for anyone looking to throw their voice out into the internet. For an additional charge, producers will be available to help mix and produce the audio for best results.
Amanda Austin, owner of DCH, says the podcast studio was easy to add, considering it doesn't take much square footage.
"Creatives can come and hang, and anybody; you don’t have to just be a comedian or aspiring comedian." — Dallas Comedy House owner Amanda Austin
"We had actually talked about doing it at the last space, kind of like retro-fitting one of the rooms, but it was a little bit harder than we wanted it to be, so this made sense, since we were gutting a shell," Austin says.
The co-working space will also add to the clubhouse-style approach. Scattered throughout the new location, it will provide a place for artists to work on their sketches and comedy without having a bartender stare at them angrily for only ordering a water and asking what the Wi-Fi code is. Austin points out the flexible space is not designed to replace a more traditional co-working environment because DCH will not offer printing services or business amenities, like Common Desk on Commerce provides. Still, all are welcome to consider DCH their new hangout.
“There are different little pods and seating spaces all around the inside of the venue, as well as of course, the 3,000-square-foot patio,” Austin says. “So it’s really like just a place to hang. Creatives can come and hang, and anybody; you don’t have to just be a comedian or aspiring comedian. Literally anybody can come, and grab food or coffee or beer or whatever any time of the day and work and hang out and do their thing.”
Programming for the comedy theater will not change its style upon the opening of the third location, but with an expanded schedule that now sees shows playing seven nights per week, there will be more variety in the offerings. Opening the floor to new voices to pitch original shows has been a benchmark of DCH’s process, and that approach alongside new themed shows like “Monday Service Nights” will look to draw in new faces that have otherwise walked past the theater.
One such addition to DCH’s lineup will be the "Thursday Philanthropy Nights." Each show will honor, spotlight and revolve around a local nonprofit organization. Proceeds from ticket sales will go toward the organization for that week. Booking for the "Thursday Philanthropy Nights" is already underway, and Austin says any nonprofit interested in partnering with the comedy house can submit to a prescreening to schedule a date.
“We want to be able to give those tickets back to that organization,” Austin says. “And let the people who work for that organization, the people who volunteer for that organization, on the board for that organization, and just care about it generally, just come and enjoy themselves for the night and know that it’s going back to their cause.”