River Oaks Theater

2009 W. Gray Street,
Houston, TX 77019

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Showing 26 - 43 of 43 comments

rogerscorpion on November 18, 2006 at 11:06 am

William, the links you provided on 8/31 & 9/10, to Chronicle articles, are null & void. Expired, apparently. What victory are you referring to? Which Houston landmark was saved w/23,000 signatures?

rogerscorpion on November 18, 2006 at 11:02 am

William, the links you provided on 8/31 & 9/10, to Chronicle articles, are null & void. Expired, apparently. What victory are you referring to? Which Houston landmark was saved w/23,000 signatures?

rogerscorpion on November 18, 2006 at 10:40 am

Thanx, William. Not very representative of the theatre, but it wasn’t an architectural marvel outside or anything. It WAS a very nice theatre inside—w/a smoking loge, in which the seats had ashtrays on the backs, so viewers could ash their cigs in them. The original intention of making it a twin screen has a little trivial interest, too. Funny, that, in the ad, it gives the phone # as ‘HO8-7948’. The ‘HO’ stood for ‘homestead’. Not too long after that, phone #s here, started using the numeric equivalents, on the phone dials. ‘HO*-7948’ became ‘468-7948’. Now it’s ‘713-468-7948’, due to the fact that we have 3 area codes in town now—or WOULD be, had the theatre not become a furniture store. it’s nteresting to see oshops in town, w/their phone #s long painted in their windows, which have never added their area codes.

Incidentally, the link you posted on 8/31, concerning

seweccentric on September 10, 2006 at 9:27 am

Ha! That photo explains why the old ticket box was in the Rocky storage room – they must have brought it out for that photo. Thanks for that link!

williamburge on September 10, 2006 at 9:26 am

I found a great article on the river oaks theater go to View link

williamburge on August 31, 2006 at 3:37 pm

VICTORY We won to save a houston landmark thanks to the 23,ooo signitures here is the story from the houston chronicle. View link

rogerscorpion on August 2, 2006 at 1:55 pm

Apparently, tho—tenants have gotten this info from THEIR leasing agents. Seems like THEY would know the inside scoop.
About 12 ppl went to the City Council meeting yesterday. Some of the 12 were from a property owners' rights lobbying group, though.
US Representative Sheila Jackson Lee was there—speaking up for the center, too. Good to have her aboard.

seweccentric on August 2, 2006 at 6:20 am

So far it’s just a rumor – Neither Weingarten nor River Oaks Management have said any such thing. It’s just been third party media coverage and I’ve yet to hear their source.

RobbKCity on August 1, 2006 at 10:39 pm

I find it interesting that Weingarten Realty brags about the historic nature of River Oaks, and its significant architecture, on the shopping center’s Web site, and then proposes tearing part of it, and the theaters, down. After all, they openly state that it’s a historic landmark.

“Aside from being one of Houston’s premiere shopping, dining and entertainment experiences, River Oaks Shopping Center is also a historical landmark!

River Oaks Shopping Center is the oldest shopping center in Texas and the second oldest shopping center in the nation (Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Missouri is the nation’s oldest).

Hugh Potter, the center’s designer, began building River Oaks Shopping Center in 1937.

River Oaks Shopping Center is one of Houston’s premier examples of Modern architectural design. When you visit, take notice of its pair of curved sections facing Shepherd Drive, followed by the long horizontal units on either side of West Gray. These features are representative of typical Modern design. In addition, many classic ‘30’s and '40’s motifs and materials- rounded corners, “porthole” windows and light fixtures, black glass and stucco- can also be seen among the center’s Modern design details."

View link

I mean, jeez, talk about wanting to have it both ways.

rogerscorpion on August 1, 2006 at 10:31 pm

Stan—anyone on here, who lives in Houston—why can I find nothing on here about the Oak Village Theatre, which was on Long Point @ Gessner or the Windsor Cinerama?
Were they both too new?
The Oak Village was planned as the first twin screen theatre in town. They even had the 2nd projection booth—but they never got around to building the 2nd auditorium.

EnnisCAdkins on August 1, 2006 at 12:09 pm

I knew Ross Vollone from the Majestic.
As I remember, Disney wanted an exclusive open end deal on SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON at Christmas 1960. The Majestic and Metropolitan were booked with important Christmas films and the Tower had THE ALAMO. A year early, the Tower had played SLEEPING BEAUTY on an open end (6 weeks) run of which Disney was very pleased and wanted a similiar run on ROBINSON. I believe the River Oaks was the only first run theater available. ROBINSON turned out to be the HIT at Christmas and ended up playing the River Oaks for some 10 weeks. The Disney people were also very pleased and wanted their next films in the same theater. 101 DALMATIONS followed ROBINSON for some 7 weeks, followed by THE ABSENT MINDED PROFESSOR for 8, THE PARENT TRAP for 10 etc.. It all ended at Christmas 1961 with BABES IN TOYLAND which was a flop. After that, the River Oaks went back to Art.

rogerscorpion on July 31, 2006 at 10:36 pm

eadkins, you said that the R.O. was, from the 50’s, an art house, but, when they transferred you, in ‘61, it was showing a procession of Disney features. Clarify, please.
Did you ever know Ross Vallone? He was managing there in the early '70s.

seweccentric on July 27, 2006 at 6:17 am

The theatre has some framed interior shots on the walls – I’ll ask if they have copies to post.

LuisV on July 27, 2006 at 6:14 am

Are there any interior shots? Were they destroyed when it was divided?

seweccentric on July 26, 2006 at 6:06 am

The River Oaks faces demolition in 2008 by the premises owners to make way for high-rise condos.
The Greater Houston Preservation Alliance suggests that everyone that
has a concern to write a letter to the following person at Weingarten
Realty, and copy the Mayor and Council Member Ada Edwards with the
concerns. They recommend that the letter should include points such as the historical significance of the buildings, cultural significance of the theatre, that it meets the needs of the community it serves, and that there are few places in Houston where one can walk from their homes to enjoy shopping, dining, and entertainment.

This is the contact information:

Mr. Drew Alexander, CEO Weingarten Realty
PO Box 924133
Houston TX 77292-4133

cc Mayor Bill White City of Houston
PO Box 1562
Houston TX 77251

cc Council Member Ada Edwards City of Houston, District D
900 Bagby, First Floor
Houston TX 77002

teecee on September 26, 2005 at 8:42 am

Recent marquee photo at this link:
View link

James Colburn
James Colburn on February 8, 2005 at 7:27 pm

This is a awesome Theatre to see! Dont miss it when your in town!

EAdkins on August 19, 2004 at 10:53 am

In the early 1950’s, Interstate changed the policy of the River Oaks from neighborhood sub-run to art, foreign langange. It was very successful for many years having the exclusive Houston engagement. I don’t think Houston had another art theater in those days. John Smith was the manager. I was the assistant at the Alabama in 1961 when Interstate transferred me to the River Oaks. The theater was playing SWISS FAMILY ROBINSON exclusive. After that, we followed with 101 DALMATIONS, THE ABSENT MINDED PROFESSOR and THE PARENT TRAP. What a six months that was.