Houston Theaters in Danger

posted by robnrva on July 27, 2006 at 7:50 am

HOUSTON, TX — Two theaters in Houston are in danger of demolition!!! Weingarten Realty, has made public plans to demolish parts of the River Oaks shopping center, including the the 1939 River Oaks Theater, to make room for new retail and a high-rise residential building.

Houston has notoriously weak preservation laws. If Weingarten is successful, it could also demolish the Art Deco-style Alabama Theater center at Shepherd and Alabama, which now houses a Bookstop and other retail stores.

These buildings are fine examples of Art Deco design and are among a handful of such buildings in the city. The River Oaks center could begin as early as 2007, based on what tenants have been notified.

Please sign the following Petition to save these theaters.

Comments (2)

sgilmore on July 30, 2006 at 12:26 pm

Because the real estate developers control Houston, we citizens must sit by and see our history destroyed in the name of progress.

The River Oaks Shopping center is truly a classic Art Deco center. It has been well maintained over the years and offers lots of shopping and restaurants, not to mention the venorable River Oaks Theatre.

If Weingarten’s Realty were smart, they would figure out how to ‘incorporate’ the theatre into it’s expansion project.

Business feeds off of business…….. a good example… in the Woodlands they built Market Street a few blocks away from the Woodlands Mall. Market Steet was designed and built to look like a small town business district… with a central park, restaurants, shops, specialty stores, AND the Market Stree Theatre (Cinemark).
And yest there are book stores, and a real home town feel to the entire project. It’s very sucessful and they plan to expand the area.

Why can’t Weingarten’s take a real hard look at the River Oakes Center and truly upgrade it to something special while saving the Art Deco feeling of the entire project.

I digress…….. I guess their minds are already make up and the wrecking crews standing in the wings to start tearing down another part of Houston’s past. Shame on Houston!!!!!

dabutcher on September 1, 2006 at 4:42 am

Oh, that just makes me sick. I worked in Houston from 88-90, and lived one block from the River Oaks. Being new in town and loving old theatres, I was at home in the River Oaks Theatre in seconds. The thought of that theatre and and that beautiful shopping center (how often can you call a shopping center beautiful?) being razed for “improvements” is nauseating. Can someone start an online petition locally? I’d sign in a heartbeat.

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