The Alamo Drafthouse, which opened in Richardson last year, is expanding in DFW, and the new location is going to be in — wait for it — the Cedars. This is good news for those of us (myself not included, but I’m looking at you Liz Johnstone) who like their Hobbit-themed meals served inside the beltway. But the implication for downtown Dallas and the Cedars is equally positive. Jack Matthews appears to be hitting stride with his decades-long effort to redevelop the South Dallas neighborhood (he also has this and this in the works). And there has been hope for a downtown theater for years. As Wilonsky points out in his DMN piece, an Alamo in that location makes sense:
DiGaetano also hopes that a downtown theater could lure the Dallas International Film Festival back to downtown, not far from its Deep Ellum birthplace. It’s also possible the Dallas VideoFest, which moved to the Alamo Richardson last year, could wind up in the Cedars.
If nothing else, a downtown Alamo makes a great deal of sense: The chain began in a downtown Austin warehouse, and its centerpiece location remains the Sixth Street theater there that used to be a punk-rock club known as the Ritz. Matthews likes to point out that the old Dallas Music Complex once played host to the likes of the Ramones and the Sex Pistols.
If there’s a downside to the news, I’m concerned about how this might affect the Texas Theatre’s booking since the Alamo’s new screens are much closer to their Oak Cliff location (movie distributors get fussy about things like that). That said, coming off a third Oak Cliff Film Festival, the quartet of film buffs south of the Trinity have done a impressive job fortifying their own identity and staying power. And more screeens, especially ones dedicated to more adventurous cine-fare, is better for everyone.