North Texas Daily

Denton movie theater looking to upgrade

Denton movie theater looking to upgrade

Denton movie theater looking to upgrade
April 20
23:23 2015

Julian Gill / Staff Writer

Denton’s only dine-in movie theater will double in size and update its look early next year.

Movie Tavern announced plans last Wednesday to add five full-service auditoriums, a remodeled lobby, an updated exterior and luxury recliners in every theater.

It will remain open throughout the renovations, and have an official re-opening in time for the March 2016 premiere of “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

“Because the Denton Movie Tavern location is so popular, we wanted to give the Denton community more for their money,” Movie Tavern marketing director Danny DiGiacomo said.

The theater, which currently offers four screens, will expand from 25,420 square feet to 53,029 square feet with a seating capacity of 1,050. 

An improved call button system will also allow guests to order new dining options from their chair.

General manager Ben Cooper said he wanted to preserve a piece of the vintage-style atmosphere by keeping the old chairs, but they aren’t even manufactured anymore. 

“We are going to be upgrading a little bit more modern,” Cooper said.  “But once our guests get used to it and see the benefits and how much more comfortable the new chairs are, I think they will be much more likely to accept it as a great thing.”

Cooper estimates he will need to fill around 100 new positions to accommodate the expansion.   

He said with student employment and extended showtime circulation, Movie Tavern will be more integrated in the UNT community. 

“That’s mainly where I get my pool of talent from is UNT and TWU, so the hiring will be beneficial to everyone,” Cooper said. “And instead of having movies for two weeks we might have them for a month or two months. Hopefully, it also opens up the possibly we get our cult movie series back.”

A cult classic series at the Cinemark 14 Theater off Interstate 35 already attracts some UNT students.

Media arts junior Cullen Nash said he walked five miles to Cinemark from his City Parc apartment just to get tickets for “The Sound of Music.”

“Movie Tavern is closer to me and it also shows some classics, but it’s mainly a dining theatre,” Nash said. “I think I would go there more if it offered more movie options.”

Accounting sophomore Chad Sailor said he thinks the price of a dining option turns some students toward a more traditional movie experience.

“I primarily go to Cinemark,” Sailor said.  “I think only for special occasions I would go to Movie Tavern, because it will be a better overall experience with food, but since I’m in college I’m kind of not swimming in money.” 

Cooper said many students visit the Tavern without ordering any food because the student tickets, $3.50 on Monday and Tuesday and $5.50 every other day, are cheaper than an average movie ticket.

“A lot of people tell me they come here just to watch a movie because on student ticket day, they could get a movie and a drink for less than they could get a ticket at some other places,” Cooper said.

He said he hopes the expansion will allow more people to have a unique “first time” experience and a sense of trust in Movie Tavern.

“Part of what’s so much fun about the movie entertainment business is to watch people come in with that passion for movies and really enjoy it and have a good time,” he said. “That’s probably the best part of my day.”

Featured Image: The Movie Tavern is located at 916 W. University Drive. The theater is renovating the existing structure to double its current size. Photo by Devin Dakota – Staff Photographer

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