Rooftop Cinema Club isn’t your parents’ drive-in theater. The California-based chain has transformed a greenspace at Dallas Heritage Village into a bohemian-inspired, open air green space for customers to sip craft cocktails from a full bar, purchase meals from local food trucks, and unwind in beanbags and deckchairs while watching a movie through the summer months.
Previously known as The Drive In at The Central, Rooftop Cinema Club has rebranded its Dallas operation to Summer Series at Heritage Village. After the company’s permit ended with the city, founder Gerry Cottle began to search for a space to accommodate the Dallasites who flocked to its Uptown location throughout the pandemic to watch movies from the comfort of their vehicles.
Cottle followed a recommendation from a peer and fell in love with Heritage Village at Old City Park, located at the edge of the Cedars just south of downtown. “It was amazing to have these historic buildings and parks in Dallas. To have this lovely, open space next door to where people go for a walk was magical,” says Cottle. “For us to be able to transform that space into a boho, festival vibe with beautiful colors and twinkling lights. It’s magic … Movies are about magic.”
Heritage Village hired a majority of its staff from the previous location and partnered with a local bar to handle the drinks. It also donated a portion of its proceeds last year to the North Texas Food Bank, Cottle said.
Cottle’s long term plan is to find a more permanent home for Rooftop Cinema Club. Dallas is the chain’s third location in Texas, after Houston and San Antonio. In the interim, Dallasites can visit the Heritage Village venue for its outdoor experience. The neon lights and greenery are a welcome departure from staring at someone’s car for a movie or two.
Cottle intends for Summer Series at Heritage Village to be different from other drive-ins and movie theaters. He describes Summer Series as a one-stop for family and friends to eat, drink, play games and spend time in the community with each other over a movie. The Dallas location is at 1515 S Harwood Street. Tickets are available here, but check out the lineup below. The shows go on through at least July 3.