Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Trend: Dallas-Fort Worth venues are screening movies in non-traditional theater settings
Smaller venues and even bars and hotels are offering movie nights, many for free.
Movie buffs are getting more creative when it comes to watching movies. Paying big bucks at commercial movie theaters is becoming less popular when moviegoers have cheaper or free alternatives at non-movie theaters – like bars, hotels, and even rec centers.
Flickr user maduko
“When the economy is bad, people tend to stay in town and not take costly vacations, thus the cinema business thrives especially when the product is good,” said Lynne McQuaker, director of Creative Affairs for Studio Movie Grill.
But it isn’t all about stadium seating and dinner entrées. We’ve got a list of the best spots in DFW to watch a movie without a theater.
It’s hot in Texas, so if you are looking for a place to cool off and catch a flick, check out the Fairmont Hotel’s “Dive-In Movies.” Every Friday evening, the hotel offers movies by the pool. Rafts, towels, food, and drinks are available for purchase and admission is free. Also, the Belmont Hotel in Dallas shows movies every other Thursday night by the pool, and according to their website, shoes are optional.
Or, complete your movie with beer and popcorn – it just makes a movie feel right. LaGrange in Deep Ellum and Tradewinds in Oak Cliff – both bars – offer movie nights for a nice change of pace. Just don’t expect anyone at the bar to stay quiet or silence their cell phone during the feature.
For more beer and popcorn at the spot voted Dallas’ favorite record store, Good Records hosts Movie Music Mondays during the month of July. It’s all free and sponsored by Lone Star Beer. That means movies, records, and kegs of beer to get your workweek started right.
Do you have kids? Movies-in-the-Square in Frisco is great for parents looking for something to do with their kids on a Friday night. Even if you’re not into G-rated movies, you might want to go just to check out the inflatable 26-foot by 13-foot movie screen. (It’s not owned by Jerry Jones, but it’s still pretty big.) The movie and parking are free. For another kid-friendly spot, the Rosemeade Rainforest Aquatic Complex in Carrollton has a swim-in cinema on July 30 at 8 p.m. You and the kids can watch UP while they swim, but all other rides will be closed during the movie.
Flickr user Cowtown Spicers
For a short drive about 30 miles southeast of Dallas, Ennis’ Galaxy Drive-In provides a movie experience from back in the good old days. The drive-in shows all the same movies that a big-name theater would, but you don’t have to get out of your car.
Many other offbeat places showing movies ended their run in June, likely because of the impending summer heat. Central 214, for instance, showed movies every Sunday in June on their courtyard patio. Addison’s “Cinema in the Circle” is taking an intermission for the rest of the summer due to budgeting reasons.
While the economy still wanes, we give two thumbs up to the DFW locales that are offering a different way to see a movie.