Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
tomv

Roy Hofheinz, genius behind the Astrodome

Recommended Posts

I wonder is anyone has ever considering making a movie of his life. There are so many fun and intriguing elements.

 

The Dome, the eccentric private suites out in right field, bringing baseball to Houston, Astroworld, buying the Ringling Brothers Circus, the Celestial Suites, his controversial stint as mayor of Houston in the '50's, his whimsical home on Galveston Bay ("Huckster House"), larger than life personality, the split with R.E. Bob Smith, his financial collapse and health problems, final moment in the spotlight when he came out in his wheelchair to be honored at the Dome, etc...

 

I may be biased being a Houstonian, but I think there's a great movie there.

 

      

post-194-0-46904100-1404301904.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're right. Roy Hofheinz's story would make a great movie, but I don't trust Hollywood to make it.

 

H'wood would portray Roy as a typical rich, conservative and racist Texas huckster. And the rest of Texas would be portrayed as a land of racist rubes. To get some idea of what I mean, check out how Robert Altman showed Houston in the god-awful Brewster McCloud back in the 70s. Or how we were portrayed in The Right Stuff, which except for its Houston scenes, was a very good movie.

 

I would pay to see a Hofheinz movie made by someone who respects him for what he did, and respects us Texans.

 

 

Edited by FilioScotia
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You're right. Roy Hofheinz's story would make a great movie, but I don't trust Hollywood to make it.

 

H'wood would portray Roy as a typical rich, conservative and racist Texas huckster. And the rest of Texas would be portrayed as a land of racist rubes. To get some idea of what I mean, check out how Robert Altman showed Houston in the god-awful Brewster McCloud back in the 70s. Or how we were portrayed in The Right Stuff, which except for its Houston scenes, was a very good movie.

 

I would pay to see a Hofheinz movie made by someone who respects him for what he did, and respects us Texans.

 

Excellent point. Unfortunately, you are probably right. I could picture "that" kind of movie, just as I was reading your post, the stereotypes are so strong. Maybe, just maybe, there is a producer who could envision a different type of film.

 

Nah, probably not. $$$ rules, as it should I guess. Hollywood just gives people what they want to see. Now if people were to change....another topic   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, since indie films are starting to pay attention to Houston, it might do well on the indie circuit, but who knows.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, since indie films are starting to pay attention to Houston, it might do well on the indie circuit, but who knows.

 

And the '60's are very hot at the moment! Producers? I am available as a consultant! 

 

 

 

Huckster House, 811 Bayridge Rd. Still there, I believe

 

post-194-0-31458700-1404313767_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow... I've never heard of this Huckster House... GoogleEarth takes me to a (newer than 1960's) neighborhood in League City. Got any details on the location? Looks like it was maybe on the West side of the island... those low trees.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Search the address on Google Maps.  811 Bayridge Rd. La Porte. The house is ON the shore of Galveston Bay.

Edited by FilioScotia
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I attended a private event held in the Astrodome Suites and never knew Roy's kinky side. There was the jungle room (complete with trees and ropes), a Roman bath that could accommodate a dozen guests as well as a room with a film projector behind a mirror. Can't remember all suites, but those are the one I remember most.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The house in post #5 does not look like the one located at 811 Bayridge Rd. Am I missing something? I'm familiar with that estate, but didn't realize Hofheinz bought it from the original owners.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The house in the recent satellite view on Google Maps looks vaguely like the one in the older photo tomv put up. That older photo was taken a few years ago, and the house has apparently been remodeled since then. I'm confident it's the same house.

 

Think about it. Roy woulda bought a big old bay house in an exclusive La Porte neighborhood overlooking the bay, NOT a new house in a master planned community in League City.

Edited by FilioScotia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok... I see it now. Yes, still there, with a round gazebo turret. GoogleEarth took me to the 601 Bayridge Rd. house, originally. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

(*sniff...*) oh Gawd I do miss the over the top stereotypical Houston of the sixties.  

 

Every now and then.  To feel better, I go out and get me some nice 'Nese or tandoor or a big azz CFS or whatever.  And I then remember that Hunter S. Thompson came up with "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro" at the downtown Hyatt, and realize that all that crazy is still here.

 

FWIW, he was County Judge when it was built - Ed Emmett's job.  He freakin' resurrected ​the idea of publicly built sports palaces (from the Romans, of course).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not completely sure of what you're trying to say, but Hofheinz wasn't the County Judge when the dome was built. He was a private businessman.

 

Hofheinz served from 1934 to 1936 in the Texas House of Representatives and from 1936 to 1944 as a Harris County judge. After losing the election for his third term as county judge, Hofheinz returned to his private law practice. He returned to public life in 1952 when he was elected to the first of two terms as mayor of Houston.

 

After two terms as Mayor, Hofheinz returned to law and business in 1956. He and his partner, Robert (Bob) Everett Smith, created the Houston Sports Association, which succeeded in getting a major-league baseball franchise on the promise of building a new stadium, and in 1965 the world's first domed stadium was completed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My mistake.  That's what I get for repeating an urban legend that I probably first heard when I was well under ten years old, and that until now I would have sworn that I verified sometime or another within the last fifty years.  :unsure:

 

Can we agree that he was well connected, and that such connections may have facilitated his living in the (I still believe publicly funded) Harris County Domed Stadium?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

***Can we agree that he was well connected, and that such connections may have facilitated his living in the (I still believe publicly funded) Harris County Domed Stadium?***

 

Oh yes we can agree he was well connected. Better connected than anybody. He was the guy at the top of the heap that everybody else wanted to be connected with. He didn't need anybody's permission to build his own private suite in the dome because he had total control of the dome project top to bottom, inside and out. It was rented from the county, but it was his baby.

 

The Dome cost 35 million early 1960s dollars to build. Multiply that by a factor of at least 10 to get an idea of what it would cost to build the same dome today. Anyway, the 35 mil was public bond money the county is still paying back by the way. But Hofheinz used his own money and some money from the Houston Sports Association to build the luxurious private suite behind and overlooking the right field bleachers.

Edited by FilioScotia

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I then remember that Hunter S. Thompson came up with "when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro" at the downtown Hyatt, and realize that all that crazy is still here.

 

Along those lines, one young sportswriter's near-brush with greatness:

 

http://30daysout.wordpress.com/2008/07/28/rock-moment-fear-loathing-at-the-super-bowl-1974/

Edited by mkultra25
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
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...
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...