Fort Worth’s Coyote Drive-In is expanding — all the way to Lewisville.
The new Coyote, expected to open sometime later this year at Holfords Prairie Road and Midway Road, will be larger and have more amenities than the three-screen original. This one will feature five screens, a 10,000-square-foot restaurant, a beer garden, indoor concession area, and have the capacity for about 1,500 vehicles, about 300 more than in Fort Worth.
Another big difference: more pizza.
“One of the things we’re working on for Lewisville is really upgraded, top-notch pizza,” says president and CEO Glenn Solomon. “We sell a lot of pizzas and people like them but we’re going to try to make the pizza experience a lot more front and center. We were looking for a food item to highlight, make it a little more special and upgraded. When you’re feeding 3,000 people on a Saturday night, it’s hard to cook to order but we are going to make these pizzas cook to order.”
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Solomon says the company has been looking to expand and the Lewisville location fit the bill. “It’s a very crowded movie theater market here in North Texas and we needed to find a location that wouldn’t compete directly with other theaters for film and find a property that was big enough. … We have some other locations that we’re currently toying with.”
He says that business at the Fort Worth location, which opened in the spring of 2013, has been encouraging enough to warrant expansion.
“It’s a niche,” he says. “I think people think about drive-ins and they think a dead, dying business because it declined very quickly from the early ’70s to the late ’70s, but the movie industry didn’t decline. What has been on the increase are more family-oriented outlets and activities. That’s why you’ve seen things like the Studio Movie Grill and Movie Tavern. This is a version of that for the movie-going audience. It’s a place you can take the entire family.”
The Fort Worth Coyote made a splash earlier this year by hosting a Live at the Drive-In concert by Jimmy Buffet in June, which was broadcast to 95 other drive-ins across the country.
Fans of the Fort Worth location can expect some expansion, too, Solomon says. Coyote is considering adding a fourth screen.
“What happens in this business is you get a movie for a two-week run and, at certain times of the year, a movie will come out the next week but you can’t show it because you’re obligated to show what you have for another week.”
Cary Darling, 817 390-7571