They came to watch history in the making, a moment larger than life on a screen big enough to match the magnitude.
"It's an incredible moment", said Dave Wilson of Carrollton. "And we're just glad to be able to celebrate it with all the people here in Dallas."
Studio Movie Grill in Addison showed President Barack Obama's Inauguration on three separate screens. Shane Hefner, the CEO of the Black Business Directory, organized the watch party after deciding that taking his family to Washington for the historic event would be too expensive.
A portion of the proceeds from the sold out event, with tickets starting at $15, will benefit the historically black Paul Quinn College in Dallas.
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"This is going to be life changing for a lot of folks," Hefner said.
"It's phenomenal. It's almost breathtaking," said Reverend Louis Laurant of Dallas.
Laurant was just 13 years old in 1963, when he took part in his first civil rights march in his hometown of Bogalusa, Louisiana. He gave the invocation at the Addison theater before the crowd watched Barack Obama become the nation's first black president.
"It's kind of incomprehensible" said Rev. Laurant. "You really can't put it into words. You have to pinch yourself and say, 'this is actually happening.'"
The crowd cheered when President Obama finished the oath of office. Many broke down and cried.
Wiping back tears herself, Leta Martin of Dallas said, "It's real emotional right now, really emotional. I can't even explain it."
Jamesha Montgomery of Duncanville and other children were also present, and listened to President Obama's call for "a new era of responsibility."
"I'm just happy to be sit here and witness exactly what's going on," she said. "So that when I have kids, I can tell them where I was and what I was doing at this moment."