K9 Cinemas, a new movie theater in Plano, will bring the movie theater experience to a clientele that its owner says is underserved: dogs.
The theater, which held its grand opening on December 7 with a screening of Up, was started by owner Erik Lankford, a self-professed "serial entrepreneur" who has previously worked in insurance and pharmaceuticals.
Lankford, who moved to Plano from Indiana three months ago for another opportunity that didn't pan out, says the idea is to provide owners with "a date night with their pup." According to CinemaTour.com, K9 Cinemas is the first movie theater in the world to be dedicated to dogs and their human companions.
As far as rules go, Lankford says all owners must clean up after their pet, they must provide valid papers from the pet's vet on the first visit, and owners can bring no more than two dogs each. Additionally, all dogs must be kept on leashes at all times unless in a designated area that plainly states otherwise.
Lankford says that, while all dogs were well-behaved at the first screening, he understands that dogs can get restless if they sit too long. All future screenings, which include special screenings of Home Alone on December 21 and Elf on December 26, will include an intermission so that dogs and their owners can stretch their legs. Additionally, the theater has a back door that leads to a courtyard that allows for minimal disturbance during a screening.
Lankford will continue to show older movies so that owners won't feel like they're missing much if they or their dog have to take a bathroom break. He also says he's considering putting up Facebook polls so that anyone interested can help choose which movies will be shown.
The theater, located at 1192 Greenway Drive in Plano, currently has 50 cushioned chairs, but only 25 tickets will be sold per screening to give both dogs and humans space to spread out.
The theater will open officially in January. Exact dates have not been determined, but their plan is to be open every weekend once the theater has its official opening.
Dogs are included in the ticket prices, which run $9-$12.50, with a second dog costing another $5. Audiences won't break the bank at the concessions stand, as everything — from a large popcorn to dog treats — will be $2 each.
The theater is also selling a variety of dog toys and accessories online, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to local animal shelters.