Andrew Tanielian, NBCDFW
Audience members at Pocket Sandwich Theater in Dallas are encouraged to laugh, boo, and throw popcorn -- and they do.
A night at the theater can turn into a bit of a food fight at The Pocket Sandwich dinner theater in Dallas.
It’s been twisting the performing arts for more than 30 years.
Co-founder Rodney Dobbs says the theater tries to deliver on their motto, "The most fun you can have at a Dallas theater."
“The audience is encouraged to boo and cheer and throw popcorn and they do,” said Dobbs.
Dobbs is one of two co-founders. The second, Joe Dickenson, passed away, but his enthusiasm is felt every time an act takes the stage.
“I don’t think there are any other theaters like this in Dallas. Joe had a theater similar to this on Dire Street in the mid-70’s called the 1912 emporium and it went out of business and so he always wanted to try it again,” said Dobbs.
The two looked to create a fresh venue.
“We wanted to have a place where people have fun in the theater and we wanted to do shows that were entertainment oriented and fun oriented, and Joe had a great saying. He said, 'I want the audience to leave feeling better than when they walked in,'” said Dobbs.
Actors at Pocket Sandwich perform comedies and melodramas. The theater even has a group of writers who craft productions because they know what the theater wants.
Though it's been around for decades, Pocket Sandwich wasn’t always on Mockingbird Lane. In fact, it started on lower Greenville Avenue next to a restaurant called Pocket Sandwich. The theater created an agreement for Pocket Sandwich to provide food but the theater made so much money it officially partnered with Pocket Sandwich six months later.
Two years after that the theater bought the sandwich shop, kept the name and continues to serve food including a handful of popular pocket sandwiches.
“The menu itself is a very casual, sandwich shop kind of menu and food service is not a part of the ticket price and not required. One of the tricks we do have is if you want to come eat with us, you’re going to get a better choice of seating. We don’t have reserved seats. We seat people as they arrive,” said Dobbs.
The design of the theater is just as unique as the performances. The chandeliers rotate between being on stage and providing light for the house. Even the pictures hanging everywhere have special meaning.
“Everyone on the wall has performed at a Pocket Sandwich Theater show. We don’t even know how many pictures we’ve never counted them,” said Dobbs.
Pocket Sandwich Theatre
5400 E. Mockingbird Ln. Suite 119
Dallas, Texas 75206