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Where You Should See Star Wars: The Force Awakens in Dallas

The new movie is coming to a theater near you. In fact, it's coming to every theater near you.

The latest entry in a little science fiction film series about an interstellar monastic order trained to fight with laser swords — or something like that — will be released soon, as you may already know if you have been on the internet in the past six months. It is what we in the media like to call “hotly anticipated.” People are excited. I’m excited. This movie could be 120 minutes of Jar Jar Binks reading Shakespeare, and I’ll still go see it three times.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is coming to a theater near you on Dec. 17. It’s coming to every theater near you, as a matter of fact. So where should you go see the movie when it opens next week?

Read our Star Wars: The Force Awakens review here.

If you want all kinds of bells, whistles, and selfie opportunities outside of the movie: Go to Alamo Drafthouse. The Richardson theater is, unfortunately, not partaking in the marathon contest happening at the chain’s Austin location, which will challenge seven lunatics to watch The Force Awakens on endless repeat until they quit or turn into Force ghosts. It is, however, hosting the Richardson Symphony Orchestra quartet in its lobby for performances of John Williams’ classic score at 1 pm on Dec. 19 and 20. Per a press release, the Drafthouse will also have the following on hand throughout opening weekend:

  • Appearances by a North Texas chapter of professional costumed STAR WARS characters – Thursday through Sunday

  • Life-size replica of the Millennium Falcon cockpit

  • Life-size replica of Han Solo frozen in Carbonite

  • And a giant version of the STAR WARS Black Series action figure box

  • New and vintage STAR WARS pop-up toy shop courtesy The Lost Toys – Thursday & Friday

  • Full themed menu of food and drink specials

  • Surprise special guest soon to be announced!

Who’s the “surprise special guest”? Our money is on Peter Mayhew, who lives in nearby sunny Boyd, Texas, when he’s not otherwise occupied being Chewbacca. Get your tickets here.

If you just want to see the movie, damn it: Our favorite theater in Dallas is taking the rare step of showing a wide-release film on its glorious screen, which is usually devoted to indie flicks, classics, and other repertory fare. In fact, the Texas Theatre isn’t showing anything other than The Force Awakens from Dec. 17 through the 26th. This is easily the most historic place to see Star Wars in Dallas, and really, we just like seeing anything at the Texas Theatre. We’re also willing to wager crowds will be less obnoxious here. Get your tickets.

If you want to do some Christmas shopping after the movie and/or immerse yourself in a teeming mass of humanity: Easy one. Go to NorthPark. Bonus: The Theodore, the trendy new restaurant at the mall, is hosting a Star Wars themed party on Dec. 17 before the movie’s premiere. Costume contest, cocktails, the works. Tickets.

If you want to marathon the other Star Wars movies before The Force Awakens: You’ll have to do it at home. Or come over to my house, where we will have the original trilogy on repeat for the next seven days. The NorthPark AMC and Cinemark 17 are hosting marathon screenings of Episodes I-VI before the premiere of the new film, but tickets for both engagements are already sold out to a select group of crazy people. That’s probably for the best. Why subject yourself to the prequels on the big screen again?

If you want to grab a drink or two before the movie: The Inwood Theatre’s lounge has one of the best happy hours in Dallas. Tickets here.

If you want to see Star Wars in super-duper IMAX 15/70mm film projection: Go to the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History. Plenty of nearby IMAX theaters will be showing the movie, but this is evidently the only place in Texas to see it in IMAX 2D on IMAX 15/70mm film projection. I have a very loose understanding of what that means for how Star Wars will appear on this screen — The film will look very big, and very good — but I feel the need to attach a disclaimer whenever I start throwing around phrases like “70 mm film projection.” Please correct me if I’m wrong about any of this. I am not a big projection geek. You might be, though, and parts of The Force Awakens were indeed filmed with IMAX cameras. Get tickets here.

If you want to see Star Wars in a theater that might not be here this time next year: I am a longtime patron of the AMC at the Valley View mall in Far North Dallas, a theater that I maintain has the best matinee prices and smallest crowds in town. The future of the mall, which remains in flux, will still likely include a movie theater. But the development as we now know it is probably not long for this world, and maybe you’ve gotten really attached to the theater’s current layout. Get tickets here.