Jump to content

Houston in the 1990s


IronTiger

Recommended Posts

Jamals grocery stores (I think where pet smart is on shepherd and near Alabama and Kirby)

The various Buteras grocery stores/cafés (rice village where Brian O'Neill is; Chelsea Market; and the grocery next to where Ravens is now).

City Streets (who wouldn't love 4 bars in one)

the Houston BBQ cook off and stickers. Back then, each booth would have stickers made, and the sponsors would slap the stickers on girls backsides. If you had a sticker on your bum, you could get into the tent. Girls would walk around with a hundred stickers on their jeans.

The apartments next to best buy at 59 and 610 used to also be a mound of dirt. In December, Wolfes would use it as a Christmas tree lot.

And the lonestar amphitheater was a kids play land back in the 80s. Good times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jamals grocery stores (I think where pet smart is on shepherd and near Alabama and Kirby)

I'm pretty sure that they were already gone by the early 1990s at the latest.

The apartments next to best buy at 59 and 610 used to also be a mound of dirt. In December, Wolfes would use it as a Christmas tree lot.

Are you talking about the dirt mound at 59 and Westpark? That used to be, from what I read, a huge number of things, with the last thing being Houston Garden Centers (a waterslide, an amphitheater, a ski slope were among the many uses)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The shopping center across I-45, then called "The Commons at Greenspoint," featured some sort of massive CD/computer/electronics store that I cannot recall the name of, but it only opened around 1994.

Well, by 1998, the whole center had gone under, but in the same article it mentioned that "When it opened almost a decade ago, the Commons at Greenspoint center was initially occupied by Sportstown, PharMor, Childrens Palace and Computer City, said Lee Jeane of Trammell Crow, who has been managing the center."

There was also Highland Superstore, but that closed in 1993...and Media Play was already gone in 1996.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seemed like the 1990s had their own crop of movie theaters.  The ones that spring to mind in particular from around that time are the River Oaks Plaza, Meyer Park AMC 16, and the Cineplex Odeon on Augusta (I think), although the latter might date from the 1980s.  At the time these were all very clean, state-of-the-art theaters.  They had quickly supplanted some of the older theaters around. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Cineplex Odeon Spectrum on Augusta opened in June 1988 and closed in 2001 when Loews entered bankruptcy proceedings. I miss that place - it was the state-of-the-art of Houston theaters in its day as far as presentation standards, and had several screens with 70mm capability (a relative rarity by the 1990s). Seeing a stunning 70mm print of the 1989 restoration of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA there on a huge screen was one of the most memorable filmgoing experiences I've ever had. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Cineplex Odeon Spectrum on Augusta opened in June 1988 and closed in 2001 when Loews entered bankruptcy proceedings. I miss that place - it was the state-of-the-art of Houston theaters in its day as far as presentation standards, and had several screens with 70mm capability (a relative rarity by the 1990s). Seeing a stunning 70mm print of the 1989 restoration of LAWRENCE OF ARABIA there on a huge screen was one of the most memorable filmgoing experiences I've ever had. 

 

I remember going there once on a rainy weeknight evening so it was pretty deserted.  We saw socialite Carolyn Farb coming out of a something like a Jean Claude van Damme movie, which seemed fairly bizarre.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that you mention it, I seem to recall a movie theater closed and demolished about the same time Memorial City Mall's came inline. Somewhere in west Houston.

I found it! It was the TinselTown 24 at Westpark and Beltway 8, opening in 1997 and closing in 2008 (January of both years, I believe). Looking back at old HAIF posts, the theater was physically run-down and very "ghetto" by the the late 2000s. And I now how quickly these sorts of entertainment venues can get run down.

At Katy Freeway and Witte, there's a Chase call center (if I read correctly) that appears to be (from Google Maps) an old Costco before it moved east, but that's probably not the case. It was a large store of some sort though...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Woodlands really took off in the 90's. It'd have to be one of the trendier picks of the decade.

The Woodlands was it in the 90's. Cinco Ranch was very popular as well. As far as the inner city neighborhoods the West End really started taking off in 1998. The Social was the "it" club, and only a few townhouses littered the landscape. In the mid-90's the area south of West Gray was blooming with townhouses as well. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found it! It was the TinselTown 24 at Westpark and Beltway 8, opening in 1997 and closing in 2008 (January of both years, I believe). Looking back at old HAIF posts, the theater was physically run-down and very "ghetto" by the the late 2000s. And I now how quickly these sorts of entertainment venues can get run down.

At Katy Freeway and Witte, there's a Chase call center (if I read correctly) that appears to be (from Google Maps) an old Costco before it moved east, but that's probably not the case. It was a large store of some sort though...

 

 

The Tinseltown did star becoming Ghetto sometime around 2004.  

 

I'm not sure what the Chase call center was before, but it was not Costco.  The first Costco built in Houston was the one that is at at I-10 and Bunker Hill behind Lowes and Best Buy.  I think it opened around 2001.  

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found it! It was the TinselTown 24 at Westpark and Beltway 8, opening in 1997 and closing in 2008 (January of both years, I believe). Looking back at old HAIF posts, the theater was physically run-down and very "ghetto" by the the late 2000s. And I now how quickly these sorts of entertainment venues can get run down.

At Katy Freeway and Witte, there's a Chase call center (if I read correctly) that appears to be (from Google Maps) an old Costco before it moved east, but that's probably not the case. It was a large store of some sort though...

 

Before becoming a call center, that was a Price Club, which was later merged into Costco. The  subdivision is actually named Price Club. Before Price Club, there was a par 3 golf course there. Personally, I think the golf course was a better use of that land.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

While I can't say too much about the food, it was a wide open area, with a collection of large, creepy "sun masks" hanging above the food. They were traditional Mexican art, but none of them had painted eyes (just holes) and all of them were staring at the customers.

- My experiences on College Station's Pancho's (from College Station Roads & Retail), they traumatized ME as a kid, so I can't say anything good about any other locations.

Before becoming a call center, that was a Price Club, which was later merged into Costco. The subdivision is actually named Price Club. Before Price Club, there was a par 3 golf course there. Personally, I think the golf course was a better use of that land.

It looks like Price Club only lasted maybe less than a year, opening in 1992 and pulling out just under a year later (it could be worse--College Station's Weingarten store lasted for maybe 2-3 months). I still think it's weird that Price Club and Costco merge, they shutter the Houston location, and nearly a full decade later, build a similar sized and shaped store less than a mile east of the old one. Go figure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

- My experiences on College Station's Pancho's (from College Station Roads & Retail), they traumatized ME as a kid, so I can't say anything good about any other locations.

It looks like Price Club only lasted maybe less than a year, opening in 1992 and pulling out just under a year later (it could be worse--College Station's Weingarten store lasted for maybe 2-3 months). I still think it's weird that Price Club and Costco merge, they shutter the Houston location, and nearly a full decade later, build a similar sized and shaped store less than a mile east of the old one. Go figure.

 

I'm not sure if Costco was in control of Price Club when this location was closed. According to this article the merger started around June 17th 1993. So the companies probably weren't joined until later that year. According to this article when the locations fate was decided a notice was issued by "Price Co." a shortening of Price Club's cooperate name (Price Company). Based on how quickly the location had to close (less than 10 days notice), it probably was a way for Sol Price to help shore up the company for its sale.

 

As for rebuilding in Houston I would assume that the reason that Price Club started in Houston was that FedMart (his earlier project) had done very well here. It even did so well that a Houston location gave Sam Walton the idea for Sam's Club, but I digress. The FedMart locations where built up and had a supply chain, I'm sure that Sol Price was depending on being able to reestablish that chain when coming back to Houston. Although with the way that FedMart went I wouldn't doubt that suppliers would of been weary of dealing with him. I would also point to the fact that the two Texas locations where truly on their own. Given time I'm sure infrastructure would of been developed but given the fact that the company was going through a merger the locations where dumped.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Ah yes Houston in the 1990's :P I'm essentially a 90's kid being born in 1989.

 

I was always a Suburbanite though so not a lot of memories from inside the loop. These are some stuff I do remember.

 

The suburbs:

-a time when 290 still ended near Huffmeister and all that was left was feeder roads all the way out towards Fairfield

-Fairfield didn't exist yet, but it was still being planned

-the area that is Spring Cypress and 290 was nothing, but a small fishing pond and trees

-anything west of Barker Cypress was farmland/country

-I grew up around the Colonies area on West Little York and still remember most the Colonies still being built lol.

-A good portion of anything west of Hwy 6 was also farmland/country

-played a lot of sports and stuff at Bear Creek Park

-outlet malls were still a thing i think. I just remember being dragged to way out of the way places just so my mom could get good deals on clothes lol

-Katy was pretty much a sleepy little town

-only a small piece of what is now the grand parkway had been built and Cinco Ranch was just starting to be planned out.

-Going anywhere north of Houston seemed like forever away

-the woodlands....well wasn't really the woodlands lol. Just some small man made lakes and some neighborhoods

-Willowbrook mall was were everything was at, and is still that way today though it some of it is getting a bit run down.

 

The City:

-going to Astroworld at least once a summer or every other summer. Yeah it wasn't the prettiest or most intense theme park, but my god did I love some of those roller coasters especially the Texas Cyclone (first ride I went on every single time!)

- just walking across that bridge was something too. Just being a little kid walking across a busy freeway was pretty cool

-no Reliant Stadium only the Astrodome. Saw a couple rodeo's in there. A couple of Astros game's. No Oilers though :/

-Driving past Williams Tower everytime we were near the Galleria. I love that building to this day as it was the building which inspired me to become an architect

-Downtown was always a ghost town if we ever did drove through it. Skyline was still amazing though.

-Yeah I'm sure the zoo has changed since then, but I remember going several months ago and it looked like it did when I was a little kid. Especially the long rows of concrete canopies which lead up near the Reptile area.

 

Businesses:

-renting videos from Blockbuster and Hollywood Video every other weekend

-Malibu Castle was freakin awesome RIP....its now the new part of the 610 loop xD

-Montasia, Chuckie Cheese, Lazer Quest all those fun places

-there were still no really good theaters where I lived so we would always go near Tidwell and 290 where they had built a Tinseltown. Man those Auditoriums where enormous lol

-Grand Plex or something like that. It was kinda like some of the other places I mentioned, but this one was absolutely massive and I think it was somewhere on Eldrige past I-10. There was even a cheap water-park next to it.

-Of course my mom would cook a lot, but we ate a lot of take out too xD we were take family because my mom and dad were always pretty busy

-Someone mentioned a Poncho's. I actually remember that restaurant and we went there a few times (Jones Rd and 1960)

 

Weather:

-I know there were a couple bad Hurricanes, but I honestly can't remember the names of them (I thought about Allison, but that was 2001)

-I remember an enormous ice storm hit one winter. Was a literal winter wonderland!

 

Those are about what I can remember for now.

Not a large amount of stuff though. Living in suburbia there wasn't really that much to do or see for that matter except for endless rows of houses :P If you were a more outdoorsy person (which I wasn't) then I probably could remember more stuff. If I remember anything else I'll just throw it onto here later.

Edited by Luminare
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah yes Houston in the 1990's :P I'm essentially a 90's kid being born in 1989.

 

I was always a Suburbanite though so not a lot of memories from inside the loop. These are some stuff I do remember.

 

The suburbs:

-a time when 290 still ended near Huffmeister and all that was left was feeder roads all the way out towards Fairfield

-Fairfield didn't exist yet, but it was still being planned

-the area that is Spring Cypress and 290 was nothing, but a small fishing pond and trees

-anything west of Barker Cypress was farmland/country

-I grew up around the Colonies area on West Little York and still remember most the Colonies still being built lol.

-A good portion of anything west of Hwy 6 was also farmland/country

-played a lot of sports and stuff at Bear Creek Park

-outlet malls were still a thing i think. I just remember being dragged to way out of the way places just so my mom could get good deals on clothes lol

-Katy was pretty much a sleepy little town

-only a small piece of what is now the grand parkway had been built and Cinco Ranch was just starting to be planned out.

-Going anywhere north of Houston seemed like forever away

-the woodlands....well wasn't really the woodlands lol. Just some small man made lakes and some neighborhoods

-Willowbrook mall was were everything was at, and is still that way today though it some of it is getting a bit run down.

 

The City:

-going to Astroworld at least once a summer or every other summer. Yeah it wasn't the prettiest or most intense theme park, but my god did I love some of those roller coasters especially the Texas Cyclone (first ride I went on every single time!)

- just walking across that bridge was something too. Just being a little kid walking across a busy freeway was pretty cool

-no Reliant Stadium only the Astrodome. Saw a couple rodeo's in there. A couple of Astros game's. No Oilers though :/

-Driving past Williams Tower everytime we were near the Galleria. I love that building to this day as it was the building which inspired me to become an architect

-Downtown was always a ghost town if we ever did drove through it. Skyline was still amazing though.

-Yeah I'm sure the zoo has changed since then, but I remember going several months ago and it looked like it did when I was a little kid. Especially the long rows of concrete canopies which lead up near the Reptile area.

 

Businesses:

-renting videos from Blockbuster and Hollywood Video every other weekend

-Malibu Castle was freakin awesome RIP....its now the new part of the 610 loop xD

-Montasia, Chuckie Cheese, Lazer Quest all those fun places

-there were still no really good theaters where I lived so we would always go near Tidwell and 290 where they had built a Tinseltown. Man those Auditoriums where enormous lol

-Grand Plex or something like that. It was kinda like some of the other places I mentioned, but this one was absolutely massive and I think it was somewhere on Eldrige past I-10. There was even a cheap water-park next to it.

-Of course my mom would cook a lot, but we ate a lot of take out too xD we were take family because my mom and dad were always pretty busy

-Someone mentioned a Poncho's. I actually remember that restaurant and we went there a few times (Jones Rd and 1960)

 

Weather:

-I know there were a couple bad Hurricanes, but I honestly can't remember the names of them (I thought about Allison, but that was 2001)

-I remember an enormous ice storm hit one winter. Was a literal winter wonderland!

 

Those are about what I can remember for now.

Not a large amount of stuff though. Living in suburbia there wasn't really that much to do or see for that matter except for endless rows of houses :P If you were a more outdoorsy person (which I wasn't) then I probably could remember more stuff. If I remember anything else I'll just throw it onto here later.

 

I was born in 87 and grew up in Sugar Land.  Things were pretty much the same here as they were up in Cypress.

 

- 59 was still two lanes each way

- Closest decent mall was West Oaks (now Ghetto Oaks)

-  Sharpstown mall was "ok" but not great

- First Colony Mall opened in 96 and was amazing

- Mainly cookie cutter homes around and typical stores such as Randalls, Target, and Kroger along Hwy 6

- Grew up in First Colony and homes were still being built in mass there

- Would go to the aquatic center and park next door with the huge boat playground/fort

- Anywhere north also seemed wayyy far away

- Richmond/Rosenburg was out in the country

 

 

I think you meant FunPlex instead of "Grand Plex".  It is still there on Beechnut near Eldridge.  It has gone way down hill, to the point where I am surprised it has somehow managed to stay open.  The waterpark was torn down quite a few years ago and now has a cookie cutter neighborhood on it. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Does anyone remember Panchos?  Raising the Mexican flag for refills.  A basket of warm sopapillas in the red napkin (poke a hole and pour in the honey).  The velvet paintings of beauties and the Pinatas at the cash register, all you can eat Mexican food.

 

Pancho's is still around, though I haven't been to one in years.  Loved those sopapillas.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pancho's at Tidwell and the North Freeway is still kicking too. Looks a little different, what with the bright lighting and white paint, but the some of the same waitresses and staff that's been there since the 80's at least.

Nothing wrong with Pancho's when your in the mood for some cheap Mexican food. Sure beats a Patio TV Dinner...

Just down the strip from this Pancho's is the northside's landmark, Aunt Bea's. It's a far cry from what it was back in the 90's these days. Heavy cloud of cigarette smoke dancing around the ceiling, loud bikers and truckers cussing at each other, slapping the waitresses on the butts, the tar running down the walls, and the old Greek lady sitting behind the cash register yelling at whoever she thought needed to be yelled at, regardless of who was around to hear it.

Sure do miss the old Aunt Bea's...

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Talking 90's, what about the club scene, I.e. Club 6400, Blue Planet, Kaboom!, Bahama Mama's, and such?

I've got a heck of a story from the 90's. Rockets game 7, 1994. They beat the Knicks for their first championship ever. Hell, it was the first championship for this city...ever. The Summit unloaded and the party that ensued afterwards closed down Richmond, Westheimer, and the West Loop. I woke up somewhere around 9am, aftet passing out in the parking lot of Bizarre Bazaar on Richmond. My wallet sitting next to me on the ground, and the only thing missing was my belt. To this day, I don't know whatever happened to that belt.

I gained a new found respect for my fellow Houstonians that night. No fires were set, no cars over turned, we celebrated our first title with class and respect for the city we lived in. It was a hell of a party, for those not old enough to have experienced it for themselves.

I can only hope that those generations following mine can conduct themselves the same when the next world title is won in this town. I think anyone here that experienced that night firsthand will agree, that was the safest and probably most crime free night ever experienced within the city limits.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 7 months later...

To me, the 90s in Houston is almost two separate decades. There was the 90s in Houston before I went off to college in August 1994, and the 90s in Houston when I moved back after graduation in May 1998.

 

I grew up in the 'burbs, in Champion Forest, but my parents took us into town a lot, and then when I started driving in high school I went into town as much as I could. Then after college I lived out at Westheimer and Fondren but spend a lot of time inside the loop, until moving into Midtown in January 2000.

 

1994 and earlier:

Going to see plays and musicals at the Music Hall, a fantastic example of Art Deco, a travesty that they tore that down.

The Pizzaria Uno on Kirby

Hard Rock Cafe on Kirby

Jamail's on Kirby

Sakowitz, with its flagship store in the Galleria area finally closing in 1990 (which, despite strict interpretations, I still consider the beginning of the 90s)

Auchan out on West Sam Houston

Town and Country Mall

When Houston had the international spotlight when it hosted the 1990 Economic Summit.

Though not a big sports fan, I still remember a couple of Astros games at the Astrodome, and one Rockets game at the Summit. I never went to an oilers game.

Prince's Drive-in on South Main

93Q when it was a Top 40 station. I also remember listening to their weekend broadcasts from Club 6400.

Harry's Kenya, a great upscale restaurant downtown where my parents would take us before seeing plays. We also went to Damien's a lot.

Glenn Beck's brief, bizarre stint on 104 KRBE.

The Westheimer Street Festival

Seeing up and coming bands at the Tower Theatre. (Now El Real Mexican Restaurant)

When Northwest Mall was still almost a decent mall.

The VERY early 90s, when Greenspoint was still almost a decent mall.

Northline Mall, that hadn't been a decent mall for a while, but still had, ahem, character the one or two times I went there in the early 90s

Exposure indoor rock climbing gym on 1960 and Cutten Rd.

County Line Barbecue on Cutten Rd.

 

1998 and 1999

La Vista on Fountainview, before it was discovered by everyone and got too big for its britches.

Polyester's on the Richmond Strip

The Ale House on West Alabama. I so miss that place. Greedy motherf'ing developers.

The Fabulous Satellite Lounge on Washington when Washington still had character. I stopped eating at Star Pizza after they wouldn't renew its lease so their pizza patrons wouldn't have to compete with parking.

Houston Cellular. I still have the same phone number I got from them before they became Cingular and then AT&T. I think my wife does, too, even though we didn't meet until 2003.

 

Probably plenty more in both time periods, but thats what comes to mind right now.

Edited by Reefmonkey
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found it! It was the TinselTown 24 at Westpark and Beltway 8, opening in 1997 and closing in 2008 (January of both years, I believe). Looking back at old HAIF posts, the theater was physically run-down and very "ghetto" by the the late 2000s. And I now how quickly these sorts of entertainment venues can get run down.

 

 

The last (and only time) I went to that theater I was mad that they did not care I was underage and wanted to see an R rated movie but that they were going to charge me adult prices and not give me the student discount.  I always liked the "new" AMC Studio 30 on Dunvale.  It was much nicer than the Meyer Park 14 and had stadium seating.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The last (and only time) I went to that theater I was mad that they did not care I was underage and wanted to see an R rated movie but that they were going to charge me adult prices and not give me the student discount. I always liked the "new" AMC Studio 30 on Dunvale. It was much nicer than the Meyer Park 14 and had stadium seating.

The AMC on Dunvale was my spot because it was walking distance from my apartment. But I do remember tinsel town. I remember taking my sister to see Harry potter and the chamber of secrets there and the younger one is 16 now.

I remember town and country mall.

I remember sharpstown trying to cling to life.

I remember north line and the Magic Theater. That place stank so bad sometimes. It sold shrimp and people would throw the tails all over the place.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I found it! It was the TinselTown 24 at Westpark and Beltway 8, opening in 1997 and closing in 2008 (January of both years, I believe). Looking back at old HAIF posts, the theater was physically run-down and very "ghetto" by the the late 2000s. And I now how quickly these sorts of entertainment venues can get run down.

 

Whoa! I had no idea that theatre had closed down and been demolished, and I live in the general area (I'm at Dairy-Ashford and Memorial since 2006), and I also worked at Westheimer and the Tollway and then Richmond and the Tollway from 2002 through 2011.

 

I lived at Westheimer and Fondren from August 1998-January 2000 (my first apartment after moving back to Houston after college), and used to go to movies there a lot during that time. I remember being excited that there was a Tinseltown so close to me, since I had gotten attached to one in Dallas in college (my first experience with stadium seating and plush, comfortable theatre seats). That theatre was nice and new when I first went. Thinking it got old and then was demolished makes me feel old.

 

I think the last movie I saw there was one of the Matrix sequels, so that would be 2003? My boss and several of us sneaked out of work to go see it (by then I had long been living inside the Loop and the Edwards at 59 and Weslayan was my usual theatre).

 

Speaking of skanky theatres reminds me of the last time I was in Sharpstown Mall. I went there because the theatre there was the last  in the city that was still showing "Team America: World Police", and I went in the middle of the day because my wife didn't want to see it and she was off doing something else that Saturday. The theatre was practically empty, I may have been the only person in it, or there may have been like two other people. I'm watching the movie, when this furtive movement on the floor keeps catching my eye and distracting me. So I start paying attention, seeing little blurrs, until finally one comes to a stop in the middle of the center aisle and starts munching on some spilled popcorn. It was a freakin' rat. I start looking around me and see other little bodies scurrying between rows of seats, the entire theatre was infested with rats. I kept my feet up in my seat and finished watching the movie, waited until they turned on the house lights before putting them back down and got out of there as fast as I could.

Edited by Reefmonkey
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

 

  • There was a car dealership (Buick or Cadillac?) on the SE corner of S Shepherd and Westheimer in the early part of the decade.  Across the street was an Academy Sporting Goods Store and an Oak Farms Dairy facility.

 

I remember all of those things very well.  I went to Lanier from 91-93 and we lived in that area when I was a kid.  Next to Academy was a Western Auto store that had glossy black glass like flooring.  

 

The car dealer was Hub Buick that moved out to 290 during the 90s because the value of the land soared.  My dad would have his car serviced at that dealer and spent $800 something once to repair the a/c which was a freakin lot of money in those days.  But he once bought OEM GM made in USA shocks for his car from there around 1986 and paid about $12-15 each which tells you how the purchasing power of the dollar has collapsed.  Chinese made struts now start at $40-50 for the cheapest quality; if you go premium OEM it's over $100 now.  I can clearly remember when the first Buick Reatta models arrived at the dealer and were on display. It was a 2 seat FWD luxury sports coupe that was expensive.  The car has all of the newest technology of the time but was a complete failure for GM and they pulled the plug only after 3-4 years.  

 

Southland Hardware is still there but I have not set foot inside in over 25 years.  The surge in land prices are what changed things in that part of town.  RMS auto care is still around down the street from Southland.  I think they still have the rotating sign that I could see from Lanier in one of my classes on the 2nd floor.  

Edited by LarryDallas
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I remember all of those things very well.  I went to Lanier from 91-93 and we lived in that area when I was a kid.  Next to Academy was a Western Auto store that had glossy black glass like flooring.  

 

The car dealer was Hub Buick that moved out to 290 during the 90s because the value of the land soared.  My dad would have his car serviced at that dealer and spent $800 something once to repair the a/c which was a freakin lot of money in those days.  But he once bought OEM GM made in USA shocks for his car from there around 1986 and paid about $12-15 each which tells you how the purchasing power of the dollar has collapsed.  Chinese made struts now start at $40-50 for the cheapest quality; if you go premium OEM it's over $100 now.  I can clearly remember when the first Buick Reatta models arrived at the dealer and were on display. It was a 2 seat FWD luxury sports coupe that was expensive.  The car has all of the newest technology of the time but was a complete failure for GM and they pulled the plug only after 3-4 years.  

 

Southland Hardware is still there but I have not set foot inside in over 25 years.  The surge in land prices are what changed things in that part of town.  RMS auto care is still around down the street from Southland.  I think they still have the rotating sign that I could see from Lanier in one of my classes on the 2nd floor.  

 

Hub Buick was on Kirby, just north of Westheimer.  Originally DeMontrond, I believe.  When Demontrond went suburban, the service or parts manager,whose name was Hub, took over that dealership for a few years.

 

The dealership on Shepherd south of Westheimer was Jimmie Green Chevrolet.

 

Here's one old thread of old dealerships and there are several others.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hub Buick was on Kirby, just north of Westheimer.  Originally DeMontrond, I believe.  When Demontrond went suburban, the service or parts manager,whose name was Hub, took over that dealership for a few years.

 

The dealership on Shepherd south of Westheimer was Jimmie Green Chevrolet.

 

Here's one old thread of old dealerships and there are several others.

 

 

Hub Fossier IIRC. He passed away almost ten years ago after a 50 year career in automobile retailing in Houston.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The last (and only time) I went to that theater I was mad that they did not care I was underage and wanted to see an R rated movie but that they were going to charge me adult prices and not give me the student discount.  I always liked the "new" AMC Studio 30 on Dunvale.  It was much nicer than the Meyer Park 14 and had stadium seating.

 

I was the complete opposite; I used to hate Studio 30 because of the giant parking lot and how that whole area in those days had the wannabe "racers" with car culture going on.  They used to drag race at lights on Westheimer all of the time and it kind of lead up to that notorious HPD raid in the K Mart parking lot where they grabbed pretty much anyone who was young and hanging out there that weekend in August of 2002 to charge them with trespassing since they were not even in vehicles and could not be charged with a moving violation.  Over 200 people got arrested because that's how bad the street racing problem was in those days and the police just went on a fishing expedition.  The K Mart used to be where Home Depot is now on Dunvale and Westheimer.  The traffic is so bad these days I doubt they can race even if they wanted to.  

 

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/740780/posts

 

I LOVED Meyer Park 14 before it got all ghetto.  The first time I went there was in 1989 with friends to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  The last movie I saw there was Fast and the Furious part 2 when the theater was in it's decline.  Some elderly lady was shot and killed in the Randall's parking lot behind the theater in the following years during a robbery when she was getting in her car.  

 

The Meyerland theater was also a favorite of mine because it was small and built on a human scale compared to the mega sized theaters.  It did not last long; less than 15 years I would estimate.  They extended the strip of stores over where it used to be and you would never know it was there if you look at it now.  The building used to have really pretty neon on it too.  

 

The Sharpstown mall theater; I saw Dumb and Dumber there in 1994.  We parked in the Foley's garage and that's the last time I was in the mall before it really went downhill.  Once JC Penny pulled their store it was the beginning of the end.  I'm surprised by how long Fingers Furniture and Macy's stayed there.  I did go back to the mall in mid 2014 to just check it out.  It's a must do because it is haunting to walk the same corridors some 20+ years later and remember what used to be there.  The elevator in front of what used to be the Time Out video arcade is completely unchanged.

 

I never really had a connection to Gulf Gate mall but I did see the movie Independence Day in the theater there.  We parked at the mall and took the pedestrian bridge over 610.  It was kind of run down even then but those were simpler times for sure. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found it! It was the TinselTown 24 at Westpark and Beltway 8, opening in 1997 and closing in 2008 (January of both years, I believe). Looking back at old HAIF posts, the theater was physically run-down and very "ghetto" by the the late 2000s. And I now how quickly these sorts of entertainment venues can get run down.

 

 

I lived directly across Rogerdale from the TinselTown 24 movie theatre when it closed down in January 2008. I had been there dozens of times. There was nothing physically wrong with that theatre. It still looked as good as the day they opened it just 11 years before. 

 

The problem was never the building or the neighborhood. I still live in the neighborhood and have for 25 years, since I left the Aldine area in 1990. I'd sure rather live here in Westchase than my old Aldine stomping grounds.

 

The problem with the theatre was the clientele, or should I more accurately put it, the "clientele" as most seemed to be there for something other than the movie. As with most movie theatres, if you went in early, during the matinee, you could enjoy a cheap show in peace with few people around. But if you went after 6 p.m., forget about it cause that's when the hoodrats showed up. 

 

People can complain about the Westchase TinselTown all they want. I won't deny there was an unsavory and ghetto element that hung around the place in the evening. There surely was. But that wasn't the fault of the Westchase TinselTown or the neighborhood. Now that movie theatres are giant regional multiplexes rather than neighborhood cinemas with one or two screens, you can (and will) find the hoodrat element at most movie theatres. And I'm talking about the Edwards one in West Oaks, the one in Memorial City and the AMC one on Dunvale.

 

Go there during the day before the hoodrats wake up, and you can have a good time. Go there after 6 p.m. and it's anything goes. But again, that's not the fault of the theatre. They have to sell the hoodrats a ticket. They don't have a choice. If they don't, Reverends Al or Jesse or Q-Tip will come calling because these dearhearts are being discriminated against. And yes, they can kick them out, but again, if they do that Channel 13 will come out and paint the theatre as the bad guy, not to mention the Discrimination Police will be out in full force looking for free air time.

 

Westchase TinselTown was in the same boat as AstroWorld. They were getting overrun by people who had no business being there, customers were being scared off, someone came along with an offer for the land, and they took it. I can't say I blame them, although I sure missed having a theatre across the street.

Edited by Firebird65
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

I remember being at the tinseltown watching sin city and there was a whole group of people smoking weed in the theater. They guy working there was too scared to say anything to them.... It was a late show, probably around 10pm

 

I lived directly across Rogerdale from the TinselTown 24 movie theatre when it closed down in January 2008. I had been there dozens of times. There was nothing physically wrong with that theatre. It still looked as good as the day they opened it just 11 years before. 

 

The problem was never the building or the neighborhood. I still live in the neighborhood and have for 25 years, since I left the Aldine area in 1990. I'd sure rather live here in Westchase than my old Aldine stomping grounds.

 

The problem with the theatre was the clientele, or should I more accurately put it, the "clientele" as most seemed to be there for something other than the movie. As with most movie theatres, if you went in early, during the matinee, you could enjoy a cheap show in peace with few people around. But if you went after 6 p.m., forget about it cause that's when the hoodrats showed up. 

 

People can complain about the Westchase TinselTown all they want. I won't deny there was an unsavory and ghetto element that hung around the place in the evening. There surely was. But that wasn't the fault of the Westchase TinselTown or the neighborhood. Now that movie theatres are giant regional multiplexes rather than neighborhood cinemas with one or two screens, you can (and will) find the hoodrat element at most movie theatres. And I'm talking about the Edwards one in West Oaks, the one in Memorial City and the AMC one on Dunvale.

 

Go there during the day before the hoodrats wake up, and you can have a good time. Go there after 6 p.m. and it's anything goes. But again, that's not the fault of the theatre. They have to sell the hoodrats a ticket. They don't have a choice. If they don't, Reverends Al or Jesse or Q-Tip will come calling because these dearhearts are being discriminated against. And yes, they can kick them out, but again, if they do that Channel 13 will come out and paint the theatre as the bad guy, not to mention the Discrimination Police will be out in full force looking for free air time.

 

Westchase TinselTown was in the same boat as AstroWorld. They were getting overrun by people who had no business being there, customers were being scared off, someone came along with an offer for the land, and they took it. I can't say I blame them, although I sure missed having a theatre across the street.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

The last (and only time) I went to that theater I was mad that they did not care I was underage and wanted to see an R rated movie but that they were going to charge me adult prices and not give me the student discount. I always liked the "new" AMC Studio 30 on Dunvale. It was much nicer than the Meyer Park 14 and had stadium seating.

Does anyone know which year that AMC on Dunvale opened?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1997 or '98. It was right before the turn of the century.

The railroad you reference was the Southern Pacific Kenedy Line and went all the way into downtown way back when. I'm old enough to remember it actively reaching as far as Shepherd, in service to some paper company or other type of industry that required boxcar service, because that's all you ever saw on the line. The tracks used to cross Montrose, but that section had long been abandoned once I was of any age. I had an uncle that lived on Sunset Blvd, and it seemed like we'd always catch a train crossing Greenbriar when we'd go to visit him. My brother worked at River Oaks Chrysler Plymouth for many years, and the same line ran right next to the dealership crossing Kirby at grade.

The last service that line provided was in 2003, which was storage for the Ringling Brothers Circus train, parked directly across from Compaq Center. Once the circus left the arena, within a month the destruction of the rail lines west of the UP double main next to Fox 26 commenced. If you go by the Central Bank building, next to the McDonald's, you used to be able to see where the line crossed Main, but with the light rail having been constructed, that probably isn't the case anymore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm trying to figure out a name of a restaurant in the 1990's that was directly across the street from the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink. It may have been there until the late 1980's, I'm not entirely sure.

 

Supposedly it was a diner-type restaurant and was closed due to embezzlement or fraud or something like that. May have been on the news. 

 

Does anyone know? Or know how I would be able to find out?

 

Thank you!!

 

Brittany

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I'm trying to figure out a name of a restaurant in the 1990's that was directly across the street from the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink. It may have been there until the late 1980's, I'm not entirely sure.

 

Supposedly it was a diner-type restaurant and was closed due to embezzlement or fraud or something like that. May have been on the news. 

 

Does anyone know? Or know how I would be able to find out?

 

Thank you!!

 

Brittany

 

I think that was a pizza place in the shopping center where Tuesday Morning was about next door to the restaurant.  The restaurant had neon and black/white check floor and seems like a 1955 Thunderbird inside.  It may have started out as something else and then changed to Italian.  The food was very good. I think the owners were from New York.  They seemed very successful.  About 1995 - 2000 they purchased land across the street, on the east edge of the post office, and built an elaborate new restaurant with a large Statue of Liberty and real subway cars connected to the building.  That's about the time they went out of business and the place sat vacant for a long time.  I'll look for the name. 
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here is info on the restaurant.  Too bad they didn't make it but the new location was completely hidden. 

 

 

Pizza Roma originated with a small store on Wilcrest in the mid 1970's,
moved to a store in a small Dairy Ashford strip mall and has finally come to
rest, after nearly a year of construction, in its landmark location on
Whittington. Taking a Rich-ly authentic New York theme and an ironically
friendly, family atmosphere, Pizza Roma is the definition of an ideal
pizzeria. Good food and good people, has made Pizza Roma not only a familiar
neighborhood restaurant, but the first choice of customers looking to dine
at the largest independent pizzeria in Texas.

Custom calzones, hot subs, appetizers, pastas, salads, desserts and our
popular Buffalo wings have increased Pizza Roma's reputation for having
excellent food. It is the pizza, however, that keeps jaws dropping daily.
Topping your pizza is a joy when choosing from over 20 toppings, but it may
be a tough decision when choosing a pizza crust. Pizza Roma offers its own
New York style hand-tossed crust, always crisply baked to perfection, and a
Chicago style deep dish crust boasting thick, golden edges and covered with
sauce and cheese. Also offered is the stuffed pizza. A novel idea, which has
gained notoriety from its unique and sinful blend of two cheeses, with a
classic sauce and your choice of three master stuffed combinations. Standing
apart from today's typical stuffed crust pizza, you're served a real pie,
with the pizza baked inside.

The original pizza recipe was brought down from Manhattan and encountered
finally by Richard Saumby when he was working at a delivery location as a
driver, many, many years ago. He was delivering pizzas so scrumptious, he
and his wife Susan decided to buy the company.

Today, they've still upheld that same recipe, and continue to churn out the
very best pizza from old fashioned, brick ovens. So thanks to Rich and
Susan, and their courageous act of bravery, the building finally opened in
May 1999, and still stands 40 feet tall, the home of Houston's most intimate
pizzeria.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Here is info on the restaurant.  Too bad they didn't make it but the new location was completely hidden. 

 

 

 

 

 

We went to the new location once just after it opened.  Don't recall the food, but the decor and building was something to see.  I think I saw a sign for a hookah joint there a few months ago.  The old shopping center where it used to be located on Dairy Ashford has been remodeled and a few new tenants have moved in but it's mostly vacant.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I lived in Houston from April 1999 thru Oct. 2001, in the Cooperfield part of NW Houston off 290 & 6. There used to be a Japanese buffet right in front of the Willowbrook Mall. Is it still there, what's the name of the place? They had the best Sushi I've ever eaten. It was 21 bucks a person for all you could eat. Also there was fish place that was built in a boat on 1960 Capt. somethin anyone know the name of it and is it still in business? They served fried catfish.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I lived in Houston from April 1999 thru Oct. 2001, in the Cooperfield part of NW Houston off 290 & 6. There used to be a Japanese buffet right in front of the Willowbrook Mall. Is it still there, what's the name of the place? They had the best Sushi I've ever eaten. It was 21 bucks a person for all you could eat. Also there was fish place that was built in a boat on 1960 Capt. somethin anyone know the name of it and is it still in business? They served fried catfish.  

 

Captain Tom's Oyster Boat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I lived in Houston from April 1999 thru Oct. 2001, in the Cooperfield part of NW Houston off 290 & 6. There used to be a Japanese buffet right in front of the Willowbrook Mall. Is it still there, what's the name of the place? They had the best Sushi I've ever eaten. It was 21 bucks a person for all you could eat. Also there was fish place that was built in a boat on 1960 Capt. somethin anyone know the name of it and is it still in business? They served fried catfish.  

 

That was originally a Captain Benny's.  A guy named Tom was the manager of the Captain Benny's on 59 @ Wilcrest where I was a regular in the 80s.  He told me Benny Heileman (?) had been approached many times by investors wanting a franchise and he finally let a couple of guys open that one on 1960, but they weren't restauranteurs and the place did poorly.  Tom wanted his own place so Benny let him take it over.  There are now 3 Capt. Tom's and several Capt. Benny's still in business.  The menus are very similar but Tom always claimed his recipes for gumbo and deviled crab were better so the dishes may be a little different.

 

The Capt. Benny's on 59 was moved down Murphy Road about a half mile due to the widening of 59 but the berm it perched on is still there, I think, right at the intersection.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 months later...

The walmart heb and lowes on westhiemer and kirkwood used to be a greenfield with a small church and a cemetery next to it.

 

 

 

That was the church that my grandmother (and some of my other obscure family members) attended for several years. I had relatives buried there. I still seethe when I pass that damned H-E-B.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The walmart heb and lowes on westhiemer and kirkwood used to be a greenfield with a small church and a cemetery next to it.

Phonecia used to be across the street from where it is now (pre-2005), it was a small family store back then.

Westpark tollway used to be a railroad track that extended to uptown.

 

The Andrau Airpark extended from Richmond down to Westpark. It was sold and demolished in 1998. A tiny piece of road from the airpark still exists. It was the roadway that led from Westheimer to the runways. It was eventually bisected by Richmond Ave. It's possible that the road might of been signed as S. Kirkwood due to the close proximity. (Just a guess though)

 

As for Phoenicia, it indeed was originally across the street. It was in the corner of the brown brick shopping center. The original store was bought by a ballroom called "The Bougainvilleas" The inside was completely redone and is unrecognizable except for the general shape which was a distinctive L. My family gave, and continues to give tons of business to Phoenicia. According to my dad who has shopped there as long as I can remember, the owner put in tall shelves to take advantage of the small store space. This was carried over to the new store, which sort of gave it a warehouse store feel, without truly being a warehouse store.

 

There was a spot called "Phoenicia Cafe" located in the strip center to the right of the main store. The cafe lasted in its original spot longer than Phoenicia. It stayed there for I think, around a year after the store moved. It was moved and renamed as Arpi's. Got Banh Mi & Pho? moved into the old spot, and kept the same layout.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That was the church that my grandmother (and some of my other obscure family members) attended for several years. I had relatives buried there. I still seethe when I pass that damned H-E-B.

 

They're starting to fill in the last piece of the woods behind that church with new townhomes.  Still a couple of open sections of land south on Kirkwood past Richmond.  Won't be long and all of what's left of Andrau will be built over.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

 

I remember Wolfe Nursery on Beechnut.  Just west of the nursery was Builder's Square, which was briefly redeveloped into a store called Pace; after that it was torn down to make way for Lowe's.  Next door to Builder's Square was a Toy Store called Children's Palace, which was later redeveloped into a music store.  I think a bike store is there now?

 

A few more memories:

  • Sharpstown Mall was still respectable in the early part of the decade, but we stopped shopping there around 1995 because of the increased crime in the parking lot.
  • A redeveloped Meyerland Plaza opened ~1996
  • Video Central rented VHS tapes and video games.
  • The Rockets and the Houston Aeros played their games in the Summit, which later became Compaq Center, which later became Lakewood Church.
  • There were large street parties held on the Richmond strip after the Rockets won the Championship two years in a row.
  • There was a lot of vacant land along the south side of 59 between S. Shepherd and 610 that was redeveloped towards the end of the decade.
  • An outdoor concert venue called "Lone Star Amphitheater" was located on Westpark, just outside of 610.  It was later converted into a church called "Prayer Mountain".  I think it was demolished in the late '90s to make room for the Westpark Tollway.
  • Many of the high-rise condo towers around the Galleria were built in the later part of the decade.
  • The Houston Chronicle bought the Houston Post in the early part of the decade.
  • The Bel-Air Theater on Bellaire Blvd closed, and was converted to an indoor playland for kids called "Discovery Zone".
  • "Celebration Station" on 59 and "Fame City" on Beechnut were popular places for kids.
  • The Village Arcade shopping center opened in Rice Village (~1994?).  A few years later, The Village Arcade II opened on the next block.
  • The Hard Rock Cafe was still on Kirby, and it had a '60s-era Thunderbird mounted on a pole.
  • There was a car dealership (Buick or Cadillac?) on the SE corner of S Shepherd and Westheimer in the early part of the decade.  Across the street was an Academy Sporting Goods Store and an Oak Farms Dairy facility.
  • Dietrich Coffee House on Westheimer was a great place to hang out and people watch.
  • Bookstop on S. Shepherd was an awesome book store.
  • There was a movie theater on West Gray (Cineplex Odeon?).
  • The Jeff Davis hospital sat abandoned on Allen Parkway as a giant creepy Art Deco monument.
  • A blighted Allen Parkway Village sat next door, adding to the creepiness.
  • The rice mills were still standing on Studemont in the early part of the decade.
  • Washington Avenue and the surrounding area was in pretty rough shape.
  • We would roll up the car windows and lock the doors when we drove through the Heights area.
  • The long-vacant Rice Hotel downtown was renovated and re-opened as the "Rice Lofts."  "Enron Field" opened about the same time.  There was a lot of hope that these developments would revitialize downtown.  They eventually did, but I think it took much longer than everyone anticipated.
  • It snowed in the early part of the decade (~1992 or 1993?)
  • There were some big floods around 1995 or 1996 that caused many businesses and schools to close.  I seem to remember there being a lot of damage in the Kingwood area.

 

 

It was a Loews theater

LCE River Oaks Plaza 12

1450 West Gray Street

Gray Street at Waugh Drive

Houston, TX 77019

http://www.bigscreen.com/Marquee.php?theater=2837&view=contact

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
On 1/5/2014 at 0:57 PM, ChannelTwoNews said:

I distinctly recall a huge warehouse fire near downtown, or at least within the Loop... maybe early 1995 or 96? I think it took a few days to get completely out. I definitely remember that one of the stations (I think it was 2) kept cutting into whatever sports were on during the weekend to show the aerial shots.

 

I also remember a Two Pesos opened in my hometown and closed not too long after the whole court case involving Taco Cabana came to an end. Still waiting for a replacement TC.

 

Also, RABDARGAB

 

 

 

 

 

It was the Houston Distribution Inc. warehouse off of Market St. in June 1995; it was on the northeast side near Loop 610 and I-10, near the Budweiser plant

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...