If you live in, say, downtown Fort Worth, the closest location of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is more than 30 miles away, in the Cedars neighborhood south of downtown Dallas.
Granted, that’s much closer than any location of the quirky movie theater/restaurant/bar chain used to be, way back when the Alamos were only in Austin, where the theater chain is based, but it’s stll a drive to see a movie, even one in a place with Alamo’s offbeat sensibilities.
Maybe someday, Fort Worth/Tarrant will get its own Alamo. But on Thursday, Alamo Drafhouse DFW announced plans for a new location to go along with its existing Dallas and Richardson theaters, and planned Las Colinas and Lake Highlands locations. And if you live in Tarrant County, it’s still gonna be a drive.
The fifth North Texas Alamo will be in Denton, in the Rayzor Ranch development, which is near the intersection of I-35 — up past where you don’t need a “W” or an ‘E’ after “35” — and University Drive. For perspective, that’s about 25 miles north of Alliance Town Center in far north Fort Worth.
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“Denton has been a market we wanted Alamo Drafthouse to locate for a very long time,” Bill DiGaetano, Alamo Drafthouse DFW’s chief operations officer, says in a release. “Planning this project has been a lot of fun, especially since so many of our team are UNT alumni.”
This sounds like a Tarrant snub, but maybe it’s not: In 2016, when the Cedars location opened, former Star-Telegram staff writer Cary Darling asked DiGaetano about the possibilities of a Tarrant County location.
“It’s a tough market,” DiGaetano said back then. “[Tarrant] is saturated with theaters.”
DiGaetano told the Star-Telegram in 2016 that the lack of a Tarrant theater continues to be a sore spot with some moviegoers on the western side of the Metroplex. “[They] are the bane of our social media manager’s existence,” he said with a laugh.
And Alamo is trying.
“We’re definitely working on getting some FW into our DFW!,” says a statement we received Thursday from Alamo Drafthouse DFW. “We hold the rights to the whole Metroplex and we’re actively looking for a more westerly location. Stay tuned!”
The Denton Alamo, which will include another edition of the popular Vetted Well restaurant/bar, will be an eight-screen theater with about 925 reclining seats, according to a release. It’s expected to open in June 2018 and is now hiring for approximately 120 positions, “largely from the surrounding neighborhoods.” Interested? Visit https://drafthouse.com/dfw/careers
If you’re unfamiliar with Alamo, which does show a lot of mainstream movies (but might include some unusual but related featurettes before the main event), some of the things planned this month for the Dallas/Richardson locations might give you some idea of what they can be about.
They include a “Die Hard” movie party (7 p.m. Christmas Eve), complete with a “Yippie-Ki Yay”-off at the start of the show (it’s unclear whether the rest of John McClane’s classic phrase will be included — or allowed — although the event description does include the phrase “Yippie-ki-yay, Mister Falcon!”); an “Elf” movie party (Dec. 18-21, featuring a “real” snowball fight); and some “Last Jedi”-themed menu items, including “Roasted Nerf Strips” (we could tell you what those are, but where’s the fun in that?).