B&B Theatres Opens Red Oak Entertainment Center in Grand Fashion

By J. Sperling Reich | April 5, 2024 10:04 pm PDT
B&B Theatres Red Oak 12 in Red Oak, Texas

When it comes to the tens of millions of dollars it must have cost B&B Theatres to build and open their latest multiplex, the company can legitimately claim what so many Hollywood studios say about their latest blockbusters; the money is on the screen. Of course, in the case of the Red Oak 12, B&B Theatres can also declare that the money is not only on the 12 movie screens, but also in premium auditoriums, a restaurant, three full service bars, a bowling alley, arcade, rock climbing wall and outdoor entertainment space, including pickleball courts.

It took B&B Theatres, the fifth largest cinema operator in the United States, nearly six years to complete their family entertainment center in Red Oak, Texas, a quickly growing municipality 20 miles (34 kilometers) south of Dallas. The 80,000 square foot building was constructed over the course of 18 months in collaboration with developer Mohamed Sharaf of the Victron Energy group. As well, B&B worked with dozens of architects, builders, designers, installers and manufacturers to prepare the largest undertaking in the company’s 100 year history.

On 19 March, days before opening its doors to the public, the exhibitor held a grand opening event in which many of these contractors were present to celebrate with B&B corporate personnel and local officials. In welcoming attendees, Brittanie Bagby Baker, President and Chief Operating Officer of B&B, said of the Red Oak 12, “Our mission at B&B Theaters is to create magical moments together. We create magical entertainment experiences by providing unparalleled service our best in class facilities.”

B&B Theatres Red Oak 12 in Red Oak, Texas
The outside activity area at the B&B Theatres Red Oak 12 in Red Oak, Texas has its own bar, cabanas, fire pits and pickleball.(Photo: B&B Theatres)

The stand-alone complex sits in what is an expanding retail development located next to freshly built homes in sub-divisions catering to the numerous companies moving to the area. Anyone stepping into the facility will quickly realize the Red Oak 12 is far more than movie theatre, with all of the concepts and offerings immediately visible.

A family business, B&B named its full menu 200-seat restaurant, Sterling’s, after Sterling Bagby, who is not only the father of the company’s current CEO, Bob Bagby, but also ran the business for decades before his son took over. While traditional movie theatre snacks like popcorn, candy and soda are on offer at a concession stand, the restaurant serves gastropub fare such as burgers, pizzas, nachos and tacos. It also where you’ll find one of the three bars with its 24 beers on tap. Sterling’s scratch kitchen services the restaurant as well as the other activity centers in the complex, including the cinema auditoriums.

“What we’ve done here is try and create a community hub, a place where people can come together, put their phones away, and escape,” said Bagby Baker, describing the trivia nights, bingo and Uno tournament’s that they will be holding in the space.

Overlooking the restaurant and lobby area is a large private bar and lounge that is sure to play host to many future receptions.

Adjacent to the restaurant is a full-redemption arcade featuring 64 games where 90 people can be playing at any one time. B&B designed the arcade for all ages with the goal of creating a multi-generational activity that could bring friends and families together for a shared experience. Inside the arcade is where the 24-foot rock climbing wall can be found.

Just past the arcade, at the far end of the complex is a 16 lane bowling alley that Bagby Baker said goes beyond the standard “dad’s league” bowling. “We are offering state of the art string pin bowling, but we had to one up it,” she explained. “We’ve gamified the bowling system with Spark technology. It offers projection that lights up the lanes and interacts with the ball as you’re bowling.“ There are 30 different games that can be played on the bowling alley, including ones designed for corporate team building events.

If neither the arcade or bowling is your thing, then head to the outdoor activity area. “To our knowledge, we’re the only movie theatre win the world that also features an outdoor entertainment space,” said Bobbie Bagby Ford, the company’s President and Chief Creative Officer. There are pickleball courts, bocce ball, corn hole and other lawn games in an area surrounded by rentable cabanas, fire pits and a large full service bar with televisions. During the opening night party a band was set up turning the space into a live music venue.

Of course, what would a movie theatre be without, you know, actual auditoriums. Brock Bagby, President and Chief Content, Programming and Development Officer, of B&B Theatres, referred to the auditoriums as “soul of the building” given the company’s rich history as cinema operators. B&B provides seven different way to watch movies at Red Oak 12, from traditional auditoriums to immersive experiences. “We think we have more concepts than any circuit in North America,” said Brock Bagby.

Heated leather recliners are standard in each auditorium, as are dining trays, wall-to-wall curved screens, Barco laser projectors and 7.1 surround sound. “One thing that we do that’s kind of cool is we slope all the ceilings taller toward the screen, to give you this really cool experience where it all kind of opens up,” Brock Bagby said.

The Red Oak 12 has 1,100 seats, though those in the Max Relax auditorium could be considered chaise loungers, rather than recliners. Indeed, the front row of every auditorium has Max Relax loungers, except for one B&B has named screenPLAY! geared towards families with children around two to 12-years-old. Outfitted with bright colored seats and wall coverings, the auditorium contains a climbing playground with a slide and a play area near the screen for toddlers. Kids are given 30-minutes before a film begins to run around and play as music and age-appropriate preshow plays on screen.

Another auditorium is named Lyric, after the company’s very first theatre. It has a waterfall curtain, ambient lighting and can be rented out for private events. It even comes with its own bathroom and bar.

Red Oak 12 also marks B&B’s first partnership with CJ 4DPLEX. It houses the first 4DX immersive multi-sensory theatre in the Dallas metroplex and they’ve added the 270-degree viewing experience, ScreenX, to one of their two premium large format auditoriums. The exhibitor has dubbed its PLF concept Grand Screen and both are equipped with DTSx immersive audio along with four story tall and seven story wide screens.

The ScreenX auditorium also has Dive Dynamic Lighting, a flexible, programmable LED accent light that can change hues or serve up a multi-colored light show. “You can change it every week,” said Brock Bagby about the lighting. “So for example, for ‘The Grinch’ during Christmas, we can turn the whole room green, which is pretty cool.”

With so much going on at their new theatre, it’s not hard to see why B&B’s Red Oak 12 became one of the top 100 highest grossing theatres in the US since it opened a few weeks ago.

The company also used the occasion to announce the promotion of those integral to opening the Red Oak 12; the fourth generation of Bagby’s to operate B&B Theatres. Bobbie Bagby Ford will now be President and Chief Creative Officer, Brittanie Bagby Baker is now President and Chief Operating Office and Brock Bagby has been named President and Chief Content, Programming and Development Officer.

B&B Theatres - Brittanie Bagby Baker, Brock Bagby and Bobbie Bagby Ford
B&B Theatres leadership team (from left) Brittanie Bagby Baker, Brock Bagby and Bobbie Bagby Ford (Photo: B&B Theatres

“I will remain the CEO and we’ll focus on our growth and financial strategies,” said Bob Bagby of the move. “I’ll probably be a little less involved in day to day operations. However, in a family business, everybody’s involved in everything. I also want to spend more time in my role as Chairman of NATO. And I want to give back to this business that I love so much. We have watched these three, work together through some of the most extremely challenging times over the past four years. And we’ve seen them rise to the occasion when the going gets rough. By the three of them working together this company and our family is stronger.”

J. Sperling Reich