Gulfgate Cinema 4

7400 South Loop East,
Houston, TX 77087

Unfavorite 3 people favorited this theater

Additional Info

Previously operated by: General Cinema Corp.

Architects: William C. Riseman

Firms: William Riseman Associates

Previous Names: Gulfgate Theatre, Gulfgate Cinema I & II

Nearby Theaters

Gulfgate Cinema 4

The Gulfgate Cinema I & II was one of three new General Cinemas twin indoor theaters that opened on April 14, 1965 at 7:30 p.m. Its sister theaters were the Meyerland and the Northline. The premier feature on all screens was "Mister Moses" with Robert Mitchum and Carroll Baker. Mitchum was slated to appear in person at all three theaters, and the Gulfgate Cinema was his first scheduled stop. All three theaters boasted "modern hi-fi transistor sound." It was twinned and in the early 1980’s became a quad.

A foot bridge spanned Loop 610 between the Gulfgate Cinema and its namesake mall. A storage facility and a Metro bus stop now stand on the Gulfgate property, but the foot bridge still remains.

Contributed by Bob Machann

Recent comments (view all 17 comments)

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 18, 2010 at 11:38 am

I had a friend on CT somehow DVD a GCC Feature Presentation Trailer for me.I guess he got on the GCC theatre site and found how to tape it.I ain’t much of a computer whiz so I couldn’t tell you how he got it.but It Brought back memories,Dave-bronx. Hey, Did you guys have to read the gas meter every week and send a form to Boston?I couldn’t believe I had that has one of my Assistant Manager duties,After awhile we just added numbers.I don’t think they ever looked at them.

dave-bronx™ on June 18, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Yes – we read the gas meter and electric meters – every day – during the so-called energy crisis in 77-78. That year we had a big blizzard, snow several feet deep, wind 100 mph – transportation was at a standstill – the theatres didn’t open – all the managers in the area got a call at home from someone in the home office telling us to go to the theatre and shovel the snow off the roof. Apparently there was a theatre someplace where the weight of the snow made the roof cave in. I told them they were out of their minds, that everything was covered with ice and the wind was 100 mph, and I’m NOT going up on the roof. I was told I didn’t have to, just put a couple of ushers up there. I hung up on them. I figured the building was insured by the mall. Not only did the roof not cave in, when the blizzard subsided I did go up there and found very little snow, because the heavy wind had blown it all off.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 19, 2010 at 6:31 am

man, I love that Story thank goodness Georgia only gets a rare dusting of snow.I can’t believe someone read those readings.I got a couple of guys I worked with a GCC Russell Smeak{he’s a member on CT and Barry Morrison who said he was logging on to CT .but hasn’t both Managers i will tell your story if Russell hasn’t read it.“JUST SEND THE USHERS UP THERE!” outta make T-Shirts.

Rebstock on January 17, 2012 at 4:26 pm

Hi, My name is Philip Rebstock , I worked for General Cinema as a manager from the beginning of 1973 to 1980. I was hired as a manager trainee at Gulfgate in 1973 , for the life of me, I can’t remember the Managers name. I was transfered to Meyerland the next week. The Gulfgate manager developed a heart condition and later transfered to the Austin Twin cinema, which was the duplicate to the Quail Creek Cinema I later ran. Fred Riley ran the Meyerland and was from Florida and came with WJ Wilson, the district manager. They came at the time the original three theaters were being built. Fred was very talented and later left GCC and started an advertising agency in Houston. WJ Wilson, had been in the theater business all his life. He started in Florida as an usher, I believe in the late 1920’s or early 1930,s barely in the teens.He was gruff, but I liked and respected him. I was only 24 at the time I started at Gulfgate. Clay Flueker was at Northline. He was in charge of newspaper advertising for the city. I went there to train. On the wall of his office were picture after picture of him with Movie stars of the 1940’s and 1950’s. When I got into the business , it was at the tail end of actors promoting their movies away from Hollywood. Clay was responsibele for arranging any of these promotions. I later became Assistant at Galleria under John Foster. Clay arranged with Fox to bring in the “Soylent Green” girls to promote the film. He could’t get Charlton Heston. Later when I returned to Manage Galleria during Star Wars, there was another film with Burt Lancaster, that Clay arranged for him to come to town. Clay arranged some promotion and had a sit down dinner where all the GCC managers would attend up by his Northline cinema. Clay talked about how common place it was for Stars to travel the movie circuit in the 1940’s and even 1950’s. Even in smaller places ,like Shreveport, La. What a great time that would have been to live thru.

Terran on April 22, 2015 at 3:33 pm

Hello, I’m Terran Sanchez. I was hired as the first usher at Gulf Gate General Cinema in Houston, TX. around the 1st of April in 1965. It was exciting preparing for the arrival of Robt. Mitchum on April 14th. Does anyone know of or remember the name of the theatre’s first manager?

tommywheeler on June 14, 2016 at 8:02 am

I was manager / Assistant manager in 1977-78. I was 21-22 years old. Midnight Express, Superman The Movie, Going South, Greece, Coming Home, and The Cat From Outer Space are just a few of the movies I remember showing. I have great memories from Gulf Gate Cinema.

plastic96 on July 30, 2016 at 9:46 am

My mom would plant us in the theater while she was shopping, and pick us up when the movie ended.

Rotwang on February 2, 2019 at 11:47 am

I thought that was a great place for a theater, right next to the Gulfgate shopping mall. I loved walking over the bridge to the theater on a nice afternoon. In those days, Houston theaters had curtains to hide the screen. In some theaters, the curtains opened and closed every time the feature started. They cycled the curtains even when the movies ran continuously, I guess it was to alert people that the feature was starting. The curtains weren’t really needed, maybe the curtains were left over from the days when theaters had vaudeville acts that played between movie showings. Anyway, my point is, the Gulfgate Twin was the first theater I ever saw that didn’t have a curtain for the screen. Instead, it had colored lights aimed at the screen to make it look interesting when a film wasn’t showing. I thought the clean look without curtains was super-modern. Later, when little shoe box multiplexes sprang up everywhere, it became common not to have curtains for the screen, but in the no-frills shoe box theaters, the missing curtains just looked like a way to save money.

The first film I saw at the Gulfgate twin was The Yellow Rolls Royce, which was about the adventures that happened to an old Rolls Royce car over a period of thirty or forty years and all the different people who owned the car. The Yellow Rolls Royce was a charming movie that featured a number of big stars who appeared in a series of short stories about the car. Over the years the car was owned by people as different as aristocrats and gangsters, and it was used for everything from a rendezvous where lovers have an extramarital affair, to life saving duty during World War Two, when it was used to transport people to safety. I thought it was the perfect movie to see at the brand new Gulfgate twin when it opened. I understand that the theater, which was once so bright and new is gone now. I wonder if I can still rent The Yellow Rolls Royce and relive the days when the world and I were both a lot younger.

rivest266 on July 4, 2023 at 1:46 pm

Grand opening ads (shared) posted.

NAMC13264 on August 26, 2023 at 12:01 pm

In the late 1970s or early 1980s (before June 1982) it had split from 2 to 4 screens.

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