River Oaks praised as Houston’s best

posted by Michael Zoldessy on July 27, 2009 at 9:40 am

HOUSTON, TX — This week, Film 101 takes a look at Houston-area theaters and claims the River Oaks is at the top of the heap.

Opinions on what makes a movie theater great are as different and widespread as those citadels of cinema themselves. Nowadays people like big screens, stadium style seating, clean floors, and speakers so large and loud they make your clothes vibrate. All of these amenities are nice and enhance the viewing experience to a certain degree, but do they really make for a great theater? I’m not convinced, and that’s why my choice for Houston’s best movie theater is the River Oaks Theater on West Gray.

This isn’t a monolithic megaplex with 24 screens, a loud arcade, and seats that become couches with the moving of an armrest. The River Oaks Theater was built in 1939, and still today looks like one of those old timey theaters you see in movies set in the past. If you saw Public Enemies, and I feel a bit sorry for you if you did, you’ll notice the River Oaks Theater looks like the theater Johnny Depp walked out of shortly before the end of the film.

Read more at Film 101.

Theaters in this post

Comments (4)

HowardBHaas on July 27, 2009 at 8:06 pm

A few years ago, this theater was threatened with possible demolition. What’s the current status?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 28, 2009 at 1:02 am

The River Oaks was one of many Houston theaters designed for the Interstate Circuit by the Dallas firm of Pettigrew & Worley. Most of them are gone. It would be nice if this one could be kept going, even in its triplexed state.

HowardBHaas on July 28, 2009 at 7:13 am

Photos show original decor at Proscenium Arch (movie screen). Where are the other 2 auditoriums? the former side seats to left and right of main middle section? the former rear part of the auditorium? balcony?

krdjjd on July 28, 2009 at 10:44 am

The other two auditoriums were created in the former balcony area upstairs. It is a wonderful theater and I highly recommend seeing a film there if you have the opportunity. The large main auditorium still has that old neighborhood movie palace feel.

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