DFW Music News

Thee Theater Brings an Exciting New Hip-Hop Venue to Downtown Dallas

Thee Theater opened with little to no pomp and circumstance. Tidal, it was not. They just threw a few shows and put the flyers on social media. Still, droves of people came for the venue's marquee name shows with Waka Flocka Flame and RiFF RAFF last month. "What we kind of wanted to with the space is create a niche," says Cody Collins, the venue's talent buyer. Dallas has been missing a venue dedicated to hip-hop with the ability to book high caliber shows, and now it has it.

See also: RiFF RAFF Played in Dallas on Friday and We're Pretty Sure We're Permanently Scarred

Thee Theater is located on the outermost area of downtown Dallas before civilization is met with DC9's favorite locale in the world, Deep Ellum. The space was formerly occupied by a few clubs a seasoned Dallasite might be familiar with, like Main Event Center and, the three-level (heaven, hell, purgatory) club called Purgatory. It's owned by Grand Prairie native and Monroe Lounge bossman, Remi Ayodele, who won a Super Bowl with the New Orleans Saints in 2010. Collins calls the space located at 2208 Main Street "a space with a deep history of entertainment."

Thee Theater holds 900 people at capacity. That's 800 on a standing room general admission floor, and 100 on the upstairs, VIP floor. Collins says as of now only two to three shows will be booked a month, emphasizing quality over quantity. Collins, who runs Intelligent Grind, a Dallas based promoter company, says that the focus on acts in terms of booking shows will be electronic dance music and hip-hop. In particular, it's the confluence between the two genres that inspired the vision for the venue.

Collins got involved in this venture by booking talent for Monroe Lounge with Intelligent Grind. He's been on this project for roughly a month. Already booked for April are a trap EDM duo, Styles and Complete, on the 17th, followed by rappers Sam Lachow and Futuristic on the 28th. Chicago drill deities Lil Herb and Lil Bibby are on the docket. Those names are great but don't hold the fire power of a RiFF RAFF or Waka Flocka.

All the same, Thee Theater could well become a great spot in Dallas to catch DJs, rappers and the like. It's a medium-sized space in a nice building with smart booking. The dearth of shows allows for for a level of precision that a lot of places can't afford to partake in. Though, RiFF RAFF is a cult oddity, and Waka Flocka a legend, one who reached his peak years ago, it will be exciting to see if and when Thee Theater will bring a headliner who could sell out the venue quickly thanks to their massive draw. In the meantime, booking those types of artists and selling tickets with relatively little fanfare for the venue suggests plenty of room for growth once it establishes itself.

And already rumor has it that such a show might be on the horizon, in the form of Future -- who dwarfs both of those guys in terms of star power -- visiting Thee Theater. When asked if the rumor is true, Collins responded with a chuckle and a "no comment." So take that as you will.


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H. Drew Blackburn