Could the Alamo Drafthouse take over the Lakewood Theater?

Photo by Danny Fulgencio
Photo by Danny Fulgencio

It’s possible. The Lakewood Theater owners have been in talks with at least two theater groups that may be interested in leasing or buying the space, and the Dallas Morning News reports that one of them is the Alamo Drafthouse.

Our January cover story, “What will become of the Lakewood Theater?”, examined the fate of the historic theater as the current lease expires at the end of this month, and the owners make other plans for the building (which would not include changing the iconic tower).

Craig Kinney of Willingham-Rutledge, the company that owns the southwest part of the Lakewood shopping center, told us last month that if a theater group commits, “we’re going to try to do one of those deals,” and that “it’s good for Lakewood.”

However, a single-screen theater pulling in higher rent than a restaurant strip is unlikely. Buying the building also would prove challenging, says Granada owner Mike Schoder, who knows from experience. “It takes so much effort to have something like the Granada or the Lakewood and make it profitable,” he said. “It’s just nonstop. There’s a lot of competition in the market.”

But could a large, established theater company like the Alamo make it work? Although it has been building new theaters in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, it also has restored historic ones, the Morning News reports, such as the Ritz in downtown Austin and the New Mission in San Francisco.

Aside from a potential theater-oriented buyer, Kinney is still in negotiations with several restaurant tenants. Either way, there’s still the issue of parking which, as evidenced by the above photo, is already pretty tight in the Lakewood shopping center (more on that soon).

For now, the future of the theater — our neighborhood beacon — is still uncertain.

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