Windsor Cinerama Theater

5078 Richmond Avenue,
Houston, TX 77056

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RSM3853
RSM3853 on December 27, 2012 at 1:54 pm

Movies that played at the Windsor Theater in Houston Texas from 12/19/62 to 12/31/75. Research is from old microfilms of The Houston Post and The Houston Chronicle. The dates are the Wednesday of the opening week. 12/19/62 The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm 03/13/63 How the West Was Won 11/06/63 Under the Yum Yum Tree 12/18/63 It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World 04/29/64 Becket 07/22/64 Circus World 10/14/64 Three Penny Opera 10/21/64 Giant 10/28/64 The World of Henry Orient 11/04/64 Oklahoma 11/11/64 Pajama Party 11/18/64 Julius Caesar 12/02/64 Topkapi 12/23/64 Cheyenne Autumn 03/17/65 The Greatest Story Ever Told 06/30/65 The Hallelujah Trail 09/22/65 Bambole 10/06/65 The Pawnbroker 11/03/65 Repulsion 11/17/65 The Redeemer 12/01/65 Red Line 7000 12/08/65 Backfire 12/15/65 Battle of the Bulge 03/30/66 Doctor Zhivago 02/01/67 Grand Prix 09/20/67 The Sound of Music 11/08/67 Far from the Madding Crowd 02/14/68 Billion Dollar Brain 03/06/68 Doctor Zhivago 04/10/68 2001: A Space Odyssey 11/13/68 Ice Station Zebra 03/26/69 Oliver! 11/12/69 The Gypsy Moths 12/17/69 Marooned 03/18/70 Anne of the Thousand Days 06/24/70 Too Late the Hero 08/05/70 On a Clear Day You Can See Forever 11/11/70 Julius Caesar (AIP) 12/23/70 Song of Norway 03/17/71 My Fair Lady 04/28/71 THX 1138 05/26/71 Blue Water, White Death 06/16/71 The Abominable Dr. Phibes 06/30/71 The Grissom Gang 07/14/71 The Light at the Edge of the World 08/04/71 The Panic in Needle Park 08/18/71 Windjammer 09/01/71 Unman, Wittering, and Zigo 09/22/71 Doctor Zhivago 10/13/71 Kotch 12/22/71 The Go-Between 02/02/72 Sacco and Vanzetti 02/16/72 Cabaret 06/28/72 Portnoy’s Complaint 10/04/72 Deliverance 12/20/72 Jeremiah Johnson 02/21/73 Steelyard Blues 03/28/73 Slither 04/18/73 Scorpio 05/09/73 Lady Caroline Lamb 05/30/73 Fiddler on the Roof (pop prices) 06/06/73 This is Cinerama 09/05/73 Ludwig 09/19/73 Slither 09/26/73 A Warm December 10/03/73 Hit! 10/17/73 The Outside Man 10/31/73 Massacre in Rome 11/21/73 Jimi Hendrix 12/19/73 The Paper Chase 02/20/74 Alfredo, Alfredo 03/13/74 Man of La Mancha (pop prices) 03/20/74 Where the Lilies Bloom 05/08/74 Kazablan 05/22/74 Huckleberry Finn 06/12/74 Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex/Bananas 06/19/74 Macon County Line 07/03/74 Big Bad Mama 07/10/74 The Terminal Man 07/17/74 That’s Entertainment 12/25/74 The Little Prince 01/22/75 The Nickel Ride 01/29/75 Pardon My Blooper 02/12/75 Mr. Ricco 02/19/75 Child Under a Leaf 02/26/75 Claudine/Harry and Tonto 03/05/75 Report to the Commissioner 03/12/75 Gone With the Wind 03/19/75 The Great Waldo Pepper 06/25/75 Rollerball 10/01/75 The Master Gunfighter 10/15/75 The Giant Spider Invasion 10/22/75 Whiffs 10/29/75 The Ark of Noah 11/19/75 Weed 11/26/75 2001: A Space Odyssey 12/17/75 The Killer Elite. My research stops here, since I have done 34+ big cities and had to pick a cutoff date…if anyone with access to Houston microfilms (closest to me are in State College, PA) and time wants to post further years, I’m sure we all would enjoy and appreciate it. Check other Houston theaters for movie openings from 1960-75 as I am able to post the data.

JMoreland
JMoreland on July 28, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Great memories of seeing large format screenings here: “That’s Entertainment!” “My Fair Lady” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”

mondojustin
mondojustin on November 23, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Hello I’m currently working on a book about the film 2001: A Space Odyssey and am looking for photos and programs/newspaper clippings etc from each city in which the film premiered in originally in 1968. If you saw the film in it’s initial run in the theater have a good memory of your experience, I’d love to interview you about seeing it. To date I have interviewed over 20 people that have worked on the film, and several close members in the Kubrick camp as well. If you can help please email me at

tomjensenmorgan
tomjensenmorgan on August 26, 2011 at 5:59 pm

This is where I saw 2001 A Space Odyssey with my father in 1968. It is one of my favorite childhood memories. – tom morgan

Coate
Coate on June 28, 2010 at 10:25 am

I realize you just updated the theater names, but I think they should be reversed. “Windsor” ought to be the primary name; “Windsor Cinerama” ought to be the AKA.

By the way, Houston’s Cinerama history can be found on this page.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 28, 2010 at 6:50 am

This theater is mentioned in Boxoffice dozens of times from early 1963 until 1976, and is almost invariably called the Windsor Cinerama Theatre, even long after it was no longer showing Cinerama films. Windsor Cinerama Theatre should be listed as an aka.

bufford38
bufford38 on March 5, 2010 at 10:10 am

sorry the address to tell me is

bufford38
bufford38 on March 5, 2010 at 10:08 am

can any body tell me what a poster from that theatre in houston of jesse james would be worth.

Kaykidoodle
Kaykidoodle on January 14, 2010 at 9:27 am

The woman who was murdered in front of the exercise studio that was next to Dance City USA was Elizabeth Etter or “Edder” I’m not sure of the spelling, but she was the wife of a Houston doctor. I arrived just minutes after it happened, sometime around nine AM. I saw her lying next to her car as I was driving down Richmond Ave. It was in the early spring of 1977, I believe. I looked over and saw someone lying on the ground along side the drivers side of her car that was parked horizontally, right in front of the exercise studio next to Dance City. Someone lying on the ground at 9 AM on a weekday morning was easily spotted from Richmond Ave, because
The Windsor Plaza parking lot was almost deserted during the night in those days, few people parked there overnight. I drove immediately over to the scene. She’d been getting out of her car for her exercise class when two men parked close by in the opposite direction, shot her out of their window and sped off. We knew this because there was one eye witness, a young woman who’d driven up behind her, going to the same exercise class. I never heard any more about it until sometime in the 1980’s when either the Houston Post or Chronicle ran a feature entitled “Who killed Elizabeth Etter/Edder” – it was the most amazing story,
The investigative reporter listed MANY people who’d died strangely. seems like it was like 12 or more, all very oddly and they all were linked together in some way. Each had died such a strange death, or had been murdered and the murder was yet unsolved. And they all knew each other either socially or professionally!
The story went on to say an elderly couple came forward a year after her murder reporting that their son who lived close to Windsor Plaza had been gunned down in the same fashion, And although Houston police were aware of his murder, they hadn’t told police of their fears. They said they’d been afraid to come forward before with the information that their son had known/was connected, in some way to the murdered woman in the parking lot. I never heard any more about this case and can find nothing about it online, your letter was the only thing that came up. If anyone knows any more, please contact me because I’ve been curious as to any follow up on the case.

sepiatone
sepiatone on September 17, 2009 at 7:57 pm

The Windsor opened on December 20, 1962. According to that day’s Houston Post, the Jefferson Circuit was its chain.

robsan
robsan on January 19, 2009 at 1:21 am

Ed, yes, the original Houston roadshow engagement for “Doctor Zhivago” was at the Windsor. “Battle of the Bulge” was the prior engagement.

edblank
edblank on June 3, 2008 at 12:10 am

Is this the theater that played a roadshow engagement of “Doctor Zhivago”? If not, can anyone tell me where that first played in Houston? Saw it on Memorial Day weekend in 1966.

DjXcess
DjXcess on April 13, 2007 at 5:39 pm

The club Xcess was at 5134 Richmond and is now a office supply store.

DJRage70
DJRage70 on November 25, 2006 at 7:56 am

The lobby is now a Golf Galaxy. Haven’t been inside but judging from the appearance on the outside the theater looks to have become a seperate entity. There are huge windows where the screen used to be and the wall over looking the front also has windows now.

rogerscorpion
rogerscorpion on November 14, 2006 at 5:01 am

No prob, John.

jcoeland
jcoeland on November 14, 2006 at 12:00 am

Roger,
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: My grandparents all lived in River Oaks years ago. What a tragedy should that landmark property come down, my childhood memories aside…

Thanks again,
John

rogerscorpion
rogerscorpion on November 12, 2006 at 10:33 pm

You may recall that Weingarten owns the entire River Oaks Shopping Center—both sides of W. Gray. They floated a rumor, that they were tearing down the Black Eyed Pea restaurant & the rest of that part of the gorgeous art deco center—to build a multi-story Barnes & Noble. Public was pissed. The rumor includes the ROaks theatre possibly being razed for a highrise(they’re cluttering the area already)—so Weingarten could rent the space for more. the theatre is NOT doing badly.
We’re trying to get city council to strengthen preservation laws. Houston has some of THE weakest in the country.
Here: http://houstonist.com/

rogerscorpion
rogerscorpion on November 12, 2006 at 10:24 pm

Oh—no. Weingarten still owns them.
Prob is, w/the Alabama Bookstop, they had a lot of cross pollination w/Whole Foods & Cactus Records. Whole Foods moved out 2 yrs ago—in part, because Weingarten is a bottom-line company that refused to do some requested improvements. The Dailey brothers, who owned Cactus retired & shut down. Bookstop’s biz dropped off markedly. They’re still making a profit, but not as much as B & N want to. They want to pull out. Spec’s Liquor (which is BOOMING) wanted the Whole Foods space—w/improvements, which, as stated above—Weingarten can’t see happening. They’d rather sell to someone for a highrise.(end Pt 1)…………………………………..

..

jcoeland
jcoeland on November 12, 2006 at 8:18 pm

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?

rogerscorpion
rogerscorpion on November 11, 2006 at 4:56 pm

Well—when I went there, on Saturday mornings—it was a dance school. LOL.
Are you still in Houston? You know there’s a power struggle of sorts over the Alabama (Bookstop) & the River Oaks Theatre?

jcoeland
jcoeland on November 11, 2006 at 2:02 am

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.

rogerscorpion
rogerscorpion on November 11, 2006 at 12:44 am

John—I took ballroom dance classes @ Dance City USA about 1963, during Junior High (translted to Middle School—for the youngsters), but didn’t realize that it was the same bldg I saw Hall & Oates @ around ‘80.
I saw The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm, Rollerball, Shenandoah &, best of all—Ice Station Zebra @ the Windsor. Wow! WRoatching that submarine navigating around those icebergs on that incredibly wide screen!!

GeneralRipper
GeneralRipper on November 8, 2006 at 12:04 pm

Folks, I’m sorry—don’t know why that posted twice.

If a moderator could remove the duplicate and this message, I’d be obliged.

GeneralRipper
GeneralRipper on November 8, 2006 at 12:00 pm

Live long enough, you’ll get to sound like your parents: “We didn’t have that when I was your age. They don’t do it the way they used to.”

Well, as far as grand movie houses, they don’t do it the way they used to—and they probably never will again.

I saw “Camelot” at a downtown Chicago theater called the McVickers in 1966. We had reserved seats; the seat assignments were printed on the tickets.

As far as I can recollect, the first Cinerama theater I went in was a United Artists 150 theater at Oakbrook (suburban Chicago). That’s where I first saw “2001: A Space Odyssey” in 1969. Blue velvet rockers, curved screen, the works.

Next place I saw “2001” was at the Gaylynn or Gaylynn Terrace (the latter, I believe) in 1974. Quite a house.

But I was blown away by my first visit to the Windsor in 1975. “Rollerball” played there that summer & into the early fall. The Windsor was a palace. Never went up in the balcony; never had to, because the house was virtually deserted. (My first job had been at a Tercar theater in Baytown, and I knew just enough abut how that company operated to suspect, in looking back, that it was purely a tax write-off or a money-laundering gig somebody really rich set up.) When I had to pay, it cost $3.50 to get in (which was some money in 1975). But mostly I got in on free passes; I went back to watch “Rollerball” repeatedly. The long drive & immersion into the Windsor offered a dandy escape from Baytown.

It was a lush but elegant and classy place. There were faint grayish and powder-blue clouds on the ceiling (in a theater, the area actually called “the cloud”).

Anyhow, it was quite an experience to watch a film there. “Rollerball” doesn’t compare favorably to “2001,” but it was a great place to see movies. It was really nice to get dressed up & take a date there.

I have an original “Rollerball” one-sheet poster on glossy stock, as well as two lobby posters announcing the Houston-Tokyo and Houston-New York games. (I made the mistake of giving away the Houston-Madrid poster. WHY did I do that?) Someday when I can afford to have them framed, the game posters will make nice flankers for the one-sheet.

But I digress.

There was no cable, and nobody had VCRs or DVDs back then. There were only 3 television networks (which explains why they could get away with showing crap like “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley” or “Dallas”). With the wide variety of entertainment options available nowadays, I’m afraid we’ll never see real movie palaces again.

GeneralRipper
GeneralRipper on November 8, 2006 at 12:00 pm

Live long enough, you’ll get to sound like your parents: “We didn’t have that when I was your age. They don’t do it the way they used to.”

Well, as far as grand movie houses, they don’t do it the way they used to—and they probably never will again.

I saw “Camelot” at a downtown Chicago theater called the McVickers in 1966. We had reserved seats; the seat assignments were printed on the tickets.

As far as I can recollect, the first Cinerama theater I went in was a United Artists 150 theater at Oakbrook (suburban Chicago). That’s where I first saw “2001: A Space Odyssey” in 1969. Blue velvet rockers, curved screen, the works.

Next place I saw “2001” was at the Gaylynn or Gaylynn Terrace (the latter, I believe) in 1974. Quite a house.

But I was blown away by my first visit to the Windsor in 1975. “Rollerball” played there that summer & into the early fall. The Windsor was a palace. Never went up in the balcony; never had to, because the house was virtually deserted. (My first job had been at a Tercar theater in Baytown, and I knew just enough abut how that company operated to suspect, in looking back, that it was purely a tax write-off or a money-laundering gig somebody really rich set up.) When I had to pay, it cost $3.50 to get in (which was some money in 1975). But mostly I got in on free passes; I went back to watch “Rollerball” repeatedly. The long drive & immersion into the Windsor offered a dandy escape from Baytown.

It was a lush but elegant and classy place. There were faint grayish and powder-blue clouds on the ceiling (in a theater, the area actually called “the cloud”).

Anyhow, it was quite an experience to watch a film there. “Rollerball” doesn’t compare favorably to “2001,” but it was a great place to see movies. It was really nice to get dressed up & take a date there.

I have an original “Rollerball” one-sheet poster on glossy stock, as well as two lobby posters announcing the Houston-Tokyo and Houston-New York games. (I made the mistake of giving away the Houston-Madrid poster. WHY did I do that?) Someday when I can afford to have them framed, the game posters will make nice flankers for the one-sheet.

But I digress.

There was no cable, and nobody had VCRs or DVDs back then. There were only 3 television networks (which explains why they could get away with showing crap like “Happy Days,” “Laverne & Shirley” or “Dallas”). With the wide variety of entertainment options available nowadays, I’m afraid we’ll never see real movie palaces again.