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The Thursday night free-film program was discontinued because guests were taking advantage of the free film tickets but attending regular, first run films. This was revealed on nights when the free films would sell-out, yet there would be only a 20-30 seat occupation in an auditorium of over 200 seats. Sad. That is theft.
Shame on those bad people.
Thanks for the heads up! Great information. I have already added my name to the petition along with comments. Was glad to see some familiar names there as well. If you hear more, don’t hesitate to email me:
No, I no longer live in Houston. I now am a manager at the AMC/Loews 600 North Michigan 9 in Chicago. I may be wrong, but in the 80’s, both the Alabama Center and River Oaks Center were owned by Weingarten Realty. Landmark Theatres has the lease on the River Oaks. Landmark is a Mark Cuban venture. So, who knows. Mr. “Golden Touch” may have lost his luster with the Landmark acquisition? Don’t know…
What is in the Windsor space now? Is it still a club?
As you may have gathered, I LOVED the Windsor for its ability to convey the amazing experience of the Motion Picture (and sound) to the public. While I was a manager there in the early 80’s, the trend had been “give them a tiny screen, horrible sound, and a cattle-like experience, and they will LOVE it!” I hated that, and the result has been a return to the BIG picture, Big sound those old places made. The Windsor was a special place, but all grand theatres are as well. WHY? Because a movie theatre is a forum for “emotional manipulation.” Why do we mourn the loss of a building? What makes it worthy of a huge group of people using the internet as a place to express their “moments?”
One of my last favorite Windsor experiences was “Term of Endearment” with my
Mom. The emotional “imprint” will never leave me. “Rocky Horror Picture Show”
at the Alabama holds the same emotional memories.
Where is the industry going, I do not know. As for the “Dance City USA” space, it is sordid, to say the least. I tried to find out what they were about when I was part of the management team at Windsor, but had no success. Short story, mob, prostitution, and murder in the mid 70’s. I wanted to write a short story about it, but did not because I was not able to find out enough about it all.
WOW! Thanks, William!
Yes, there she is. That beautiful curved screen, those incomparable rocker seats. In the 3rd picture on that site, you get the side view perspective of the auditorium. The green, blue and turquoise circles in the custom, wool carpet are also visible. Changing the bulbs in the spotlights aimed at the screen was a bitch!
What a treasure we have lost.
Agora was a live music venue in 1980 and ‘81, very popular at the time. I saw the band The Judys there. Their one-hit was “Ghiana Punch” (sp?) about the Jim Jones mass suicide at the Peoples Temple in S. America. During the concert, they hauled a large vat of Kool-Aid onto the stage and encouraged the audience to “come drink.”
Before it was Agora, it was “Dance City USA” which was a “dance school” where, on certain nights in the 60’s and 70’s, one could go pay to dance. Recall Tina Turner’s hit “Private Dancer” depicting just such a place. In the 70’s, there was a woman murdered outside of the place in the parking lot. Don’t know the details, but it was an older woman who was a “regular” patron of the club. I recall the news story. Evidently she was a River Oaks type. I also recall it was somehow mob related…
As for the Agora Ballroom, I have no idea what happened to it.
Why is this theatre so diffucult to pin-point? The theatre has 9 screens on three levels. It was designed by Cineplex Odeon, and is possibly one of the worst design models I have ever seen (20+ seat rows, the first 3 very close to the screen). The remodel is nice, the staff is improving. The fact that AMC now owns it simply gives us a choice to see film in a crazy megaplex or a poorly designed multiplex.
Yes, the unique drink cups in the days of the Cinerama domination of the film schedule were part of a VERY limited concession offering. And, actually, I was told that in the first year, no snacks or drinks were allowed in the auditorium due to the fact the ENTIRE FLOOR was carpeted! (Not just the aisle runners were carpeted, but the ENTIRE auditorium.) In 1982, when Cineplex bought the theatre, the carpet was removed from between the rows to reveal the concrete floor below. During the process, MILLIONS of roaches emerged and covered the walls! The place had to be sealed and fumigated to kill all those roaches. One of the few days in the history of the place when it was dark for a whole day and night. (The only other 24 hour cycle when the theatre was dark was during Hurricane Alicia, to the best of my knowledge.)
I was the Manager of the Windsor during 1984. Many fond memories of that most beloved theatre.
During my tenure there beginning in 1979, we played two 70mm films there to HUGE crowds: “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “Star Trek: the Search for Spock.” People came from as far away as Conroe to see those shows on the largest screen in Texas.
Windsor opened in December 1962. The interior was absolute early 1960’s. Blues, greens, purples. The seats were blue velveteen rockers. The balcony was stadium seated. (AMC DID NOT pioneer the concept, though they want everyone to believe it.)The balcony seats were the most expensive as they were positioned at mis-point on the screen, so one need only look forward to see the screen. The walls were draped with a fabric colored somewhere between pumpkin and pink. Odd color…
The company which owned the Windsor originally was Tercar Theatres, Charles Paine, president. Tercar sold the Windsor to Cineplex of Texas in 1982. Cineplex did not properly program the place, and it became a dollar house in 1984, then a 50 cent house. It closed soon after.
Windsor Cinerama Theatre was a true jewel lost to incompetance in an industry which disregards its own history and tradition.
I now manage a Loews Cineplex theatre in downtown Chicago, the 600 North Michigan Theatre. Would love to hear from other Windsor Theatre fans! (
I have many stories about the Windsor…