Without a Tenant, Lakewood Theater Goes Dark in The Interim

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The Lakewood Theater went dark over the weekend as the existing tenants of both the theater space and the adjoining Arcade Bar have moved out. (Photo: Julie Billingsley Geron)
The Lakewood Theater went dark over the weekend as the existing tenants of both the theater space and the adjoining Arcade Bar have moved out. (Photo: Julie Billingsley Geron)

You’ve certainly heard all about the hubbub surrounding the Lakewood Theater and its many proposed tenants and transformations. Most recently, the longtime bar inside the theater, The Balcony Club, was able to renew its lease at the eleventh hour.

But without management at the Lakewood Theater, the trademark tower and marquee have gone dark, much to the dismay of neighbors. It’s a significant part of the neighborhoods identity, and one that nearby residents had been told would be maintained and preserved whatever should happen to the actual theater.

Instead, as reported on the Lakewood, Dallas Facebook page, the marquee is empty and not a single strip of neon in the sign is ablaze.

Some residents claimed that the lights went off because the owners couldn’t afford the electric bill, or because they might choose to tear it down.

“Last night was their last night on lease,” Julie Billingsley Geron said on the photo’s comment section. ” They turned off the lights because they were no longer responsible for the theater. Not because they couldn’t pay the electric bill. The landlord now is in charge of it.”

The lights at the Arcade Bar are dark, too, and some residents are saying that the venerated dive will move to Expo Park in the former spot of the Meridian Room.

Of course, if you want to grab a beer and some jazz, you can still head to the Balcony Club. At least until their yearlong lease extension is up. And rumors are flying, too, that the Alamo Drafthouse has turned down Willingham-Rutledge Realty’s proposal to bring an outpost to the neighborhood, though neighbors are working hard to woo them back.

In the interim, though, do you think the owners should turn the lights back on?

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Joanna England

If Executive Editor Joanna England could house hunt forever, she absolutely would. Instead she covers the North Texas housing market and the economy for CandysDirt.com. While she started out with the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, Joanna's work has appeared in The Dallas Morning News as well as several local media outlets. When she's not knitting or hooping, or enjoying White Rock Lake, she's behind the lens of her camera. She lives in East Dallas with her husband, son, and their furry and feathered menagerie.

Reader Interactions


  1. Karen Eubank says

    Heck yes turn them on. The Lakewood theater is a Dallas icon. You only turn the lights off on an icon when you are making a point. Every business will suffer that is in that area because it’s dreary and sad now.

  2. Marlis Rossetta says

    Yes, indeed! Those of us who live in the area are very concerned what will come of Lakewood’s treasure.

  3. Mike Smith says

    I live a block from the Lakewood Theater and would happily turn the lights on and off each day just to see it in full glory. Unfortunately I cannot afford to pay the bill for it.

    My father would tell me stories of going to this theater when he was a kid. Would be very sad to see such a historic site thrown to the wayside.

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