ABOUT: Across the Denton community, people, businesses, and educational entities have been working together to weave the arts into the fabric of our community. The challenge is to develop a more livable community by supporting the growth and more responsive use of artistic and cultural resources that exist in Denton. These leaders are making decisions and planning actions that will forge a cultural vision for Denton as the next century approaches. The Campus Theatre is the second Denton project to focus on these issues.
The Campus Theatre was a grand movie house built in 1949 in downtown Denton. The manager for Interstate Theatres in Denton at the time impressed the importance of this project upon his company: Denton was in need of a movie theatre that would cater to the "kids on the campus" (University of North Texas and Texas Woman’s University). As a result, the Campus Theatre Movie-House was built. At the time of its construction the Campus Theatre was one of several state-of-the-art movie houses in the southwest. The Campus Theatre remained open and operational as a movie house until 1985 when it closed and was left vacant. Many lives were touched by the Campus Theatre as it was the place to go on Saturday mornings to see picture shows, bring dates, and see the latest movie in the plush theatre.
The Greater Denton Arts Council (GDAC) has served the arts organizations well by providing funds and technical assistance throughout its history. GDAC, with the help from the City of Denton, renovated the municipal steam plant into a Center for the Visual Arts (CVA) in 1984. The CVA served as a multi-purpose facility, including the "home" of Denton Community Theatre and other performing arts.
In 1990, the Denton Community Theatre (DCT) Board of Directors began the search for a permanent theatrical home. The Governing Board of DCT with the City of Denton’s help obtained a contract to buy the Campus Theatre. The theater was structurally sound, with easy and visible access, and was in a prime downtown location. DCT saw the acquisition and renovation of the building as beneficial to all the arts organizations in Denton, as well as revitalizing downtown Denton, spurring economic development, and strengthening ties with the City of Denton, businesses, and corporations in the area. DCT proposed to the Greater Denton Arts Council plans for the Arts Complex to include the Campus Theatre.
Late 1990, the Campus Theatre was purchased by GDAC with the help from DCT. DCT negotiated the price of the building to be purchased for $150,000. It was further negotiated the seller would donate $50,000 to the theatre for the start of renovations. A local architect, Alan Nelson, was hired and plans for renovating the building were developed.
During the summer of 1991, all Greater Denton arts organizations and other interested citizens were asked for their comments, ideas, and opinions on the project. Alan Nelson and a team of theatrical consultants compressed their ideas and developed schematics for a workable theatre that includes dance, music, theatre and other multiple-discipline uses. A major capital campaign of $1.76 million led the way for the renovation and restoration of the Campus Theatre into a Performing Arts Facility. A total amount of $1.5 million dollars was raised locally. The rest of the funds came from foundations and companies based in Denton. The total renovation project was $1.95 million dollars.
The Campus Theatre provides the first permanent home for all performing arts organizations. A semi-thrust stage, three hundred seat proscenium house, offices for arts groups, scene & paint shop, dressing & make-up rooms, and ticket sales facilities are part of this edifice. Alan Nelson kept the art deco design of the building intact. The concession area of the building was not disturbed and Nelson used the colors from the original terrazzo floor (reds, greens, and whites) to base the color scheme throughout the building. Many local and area businesses were hired to help re-finish the theatre during the renovation. Texas Woman’s University Art department was asked to re-paint the original mural on the staircase leading up to the balcony area.
The Campus Theatre started construction in July 1994 and opened its doors for the grand re-opening on July 6, 7, and 8, 1995. Over 1,200 people came to the ceremonies. All the arts groups in Denton - Denton Light Opera Company, Denton Bach Society, Denton Civic Ballet, Denton Community Band, Denton Community Theatre, and university faculty and students- joined together to produce "A Salute to Movie Musicals" as the premiere performance in the Campus Theatre.
Wheel Chair Spaces are located on both sides of
Seats B-1, B-28, N-1, and N-23 equipped with easy handle accessible seating.
Hearing Impaired Sound System with head phones available upon request.
The balcony overhang begins above Row J.
214 W Hickory St
Denton, TX 76201-4118