North Texas Daily

Bookstore hides traces of musical history

Bookstore hides traces of musical history

October 08
21:18 2009


By Kahla Price / Intern –
(Video By Clinton Lynch / Staff Photographer)

Patrons flock to Recycled Books on the Denton Square for used CDs, cassettes and records, but the history of this establishment includes an older form of music.

Letters outside the lavender storefront advertise the location’s former identity as the Wright Opera House, but the story beyond this name is still a mystery to many.

“I knew that there was an opera house there, but that’s about it,” said Cody Sharp, a fashion merchandising junior. “I don’t know much else regarding the history of it.”

In 1899, owner William Crow Wright built the Opera House with the leftover bricks used to build the Courthouse-on-the-Square. During the time in which the Opera House was open, many events were performed there, including several Denton High School programs.

Recycled Books Records CDs on the Denton Square was once home to an opera house built in 1899. (Photo by Stephen Masker / Photographer)

Recycled Books Records CDs on the Denton Square was once home to an opera house built in 1899. (Photo by Stephen Masker / Photographer)

Today, all that remains of the Opera House are the sign outside and an arrow inside pointing to where the dressing rooms used to be, said Aaron Leis, the advertising manager at the Recycled Books Records CDs store. Between the times of the Opera House and the current bookstore, the building has housed other businesses as well.

“After the Opera House closed, it went through being a general store, a fashion store and an office supply store before it became the Recycled Books Records CDs store,” Leis said.

Recycled Books Records CDs opened in 1983 and offers an expansive variety of books and other media.

“The last inventory we did on the store was done in February, and we had over 400,000 books, 30,000 of which were literature alone,” Leis said. “We have a main room which consists of media, CDs, mystery books, sciences and cookbooks, then we have an upstairs and a downstairs filled with history and English.”

Because of such a wide collection, the store tends to attract people from many different aspects and cultures looking for different topics.

“We have a wide base of clientele,” he said. “People love to just come here and browse around. It’s calm enough to just sit and chat with people about the type of books they like.”

Students often frequent the store as well, and they find everything from tattered old editions of textbooks and rare vinyls to modern fiction and DVDs.

“I like the store,” Sharp said. “It’s a lot of books and good stuff. It also supports the local scene, and I think that’s important.”

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