Denton's Historic Opera House is for Sale. But What About Recycled Books?

operahouse.jpg
Dentonwiki.org
Wright Opera House, circa 1900
Denton's historic Wright Opera House went on the market yesterday, with a whopping $2,699,000 dollar price tag. The lavender accented building is more than a city landmark and town square anchor, it's home to Recycled Books and Records, a beloved temple for all things analog. Naturally, folks didn't take kindly to the news. Recycled was flooded with supportive emails and phone calls, which prompted management to post a "don't panic" Facebook announcement that's now seen more than 100 shares across its social network.

When the property's current owner, Roy Freeborn, predicted letting go of the location a few months back, he met with Recycled Books and Records' owner Don Foster. Together they protected the space and signed Recycled in on a 10-year lease. "[He] wanted to make sure we stayed here, even if he sold it," says Foster. "We raised the rent at that point and we're on a yearly schedule; that's what we'll be paying."

Right now Foster says that business is strong, steady. He doesn't suspect the mom-and-pop is in jeopardy. Still, he is aware of what's possible when a property of that size is sold. Especially to out-of-town investors who don't have community ties to Denton.

"I guess somebody rich could come in and try to force us out somehow," he says, "but hopefully they won't do that."

Yeah, that would suck. Recycled Books has been operating in Denton for more than 25 years, earning itself a vibrant multi-generational fanbase, and Foster reckons that they take care of their own. "There'd be a major public outcry if something happened like that," he assures.


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11 comments
MarkW
MarkW

As long as someone removes that hideous lavender stucco job and restores its historical value, I'll be happy. It's a shame to have such a gorgeous building hidden behind such ugly lipstick.

LeroyJenkem
LeroyJenkem

The advantage is that it's in Denton, not Dallas. Were this happening in Dallas, you know the game already: the new owner will triple the rent, refuse to negotiate because Some Guy told him that the place could get six times the current rent, and then look surprised when the place remains empty for the next five years. In Denton, you might actually get an owner who wants to do even more with the building, not some horsefaced MBA whose only concern is flipping the place five minutes after the paperwork is finished.

Luferigno
Luferigno

Preserve it just like half of Cool Beans and the Tomato? I hope Recycled Books can break the cycle!

Derek Garrison
Derek Garrison

Recycled Books has a 10 year lease. They're not going anywhere for a while. The rest of the Square will probably look like Frisco by that point.

jamessavik
jamessavik

I <3 Recycled Books and drive 400 miles to the DFW area twice a year to go on a shopping spree there.

James Savik
James Savik

I drive 500 miles twice a year to go to Recycled Books.

Dianna Orender
Dianna Orender

Recycled isn't going anywhere, thank all of the various deities. That place RULES.

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