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got this email just now:

Dear Loyal Supporters,

Regrettably, after 45 years of bringing Houston the best of art house cinema, today is Landmark Theatres' last day of operation at the River Oaks Theatre. We have been so incredibly fortunate to have made movie memories with you all, from the early days of classics and cult favorites to the Oscar contenders that played for weeks, and those raucous late night audience participation staples THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW and THE ROOM.

Thank you for being a friend. Thank you for sharing your personal connections to the River Oaks over this past month. We agree that movie theaters are sacred spaces and we hope that the Friends of the River Oaks can preserve and protect this special place that has brought so much to the cultural landscape of Houston.

It isn't goodbye. In the wisdom of NOMADLAND, we'll see you down the road. When Landmark lands in a new location, if you are on our email list, you better believe that you will hear from us.

Sincerely,
Paul Serwitz
President and COO, Landmark Theatres

 

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1 hour ago, Montrose1100 said:

The white to off-white, terrible stone choices

That seems to have become a 'thing' in Houston over the past 20 years or so. 
"I know! Let's slap some Hill Country limestone on the facade, and maybe people will think they're in Austin!" 

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1 hour ago, dbigtex56 said:

That seems to have become a 'thing' in Houston over the past 20 years or so. 
"I know! Let's slap some Hill Country limestone on the facade, and maybe people will think they're in Austin!" 

If you ever watch Rockets and Astros post and pre game shows on AT&T Sportsnet part of the set is limestone 😂

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  • 5 weeks later...
  • The title was changed to The Driscoll & Four Additional High-Rises Coming To River Oaks Shopping Center
  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...

Another restaurant addition is coming to the River Oaks Shopping Center.

Some of you may have seen alcohol notices, building permits, or the listing on River Oaks Shopping Center directory for Atrium River Oaks in the last year.  I think it will be located in the unit previously occupied by Citibank at 1971 W Gray St. Despite the name listed as Atrium River Oaks, the restaurant's actual name is Cocody.

The chef-owner of French restaurants Le Ministral and Bistro 555 is involved with this restaurant. According to LinkedIn, Cocody will possibly have a globally-centric menu.

https://www.riveroaksshoppingcenter.com/directory/

https://cocodyhouston.com

 

Edited by IntheKnowHouston
added website
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12 hours ago, nate said:

Interesting name. I tried to figure out what it means and the only thing I can come up with is the Cocody is the name of an upscale suburb of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cocody

 

 

That was my assumption as well. I suppose further details will be announced or reported soon. It will be interesting seeing how the space is transformed. Also interested in seeing how this will perform with Brasserie 19, Perry's, and Hudson House (when it opens) since it will probably have a similar price point as those businesses.

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2 hours ago, IntheKnowHouston said:

 

That was my assumption as well. I suppose further details will be announced or reported soon. It will be interesting seeing how the space is transformed. Also interested in seeing how this will perform with Brasserie 19, Perry's, and Hudson House (when it opens) since it will probably have a similar price point as those businesses.

It will have to have a high price to support the rent, especially on such a big space (6,198 sf). I think there's plenty of business out there, but they do need to distinguish themselves from other nearby restaurants.

On that point, B19 and Hudson House have pretty similar menus and are right next door...

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23 hours ago, nate said:

It will have to have a high price to support the rent, especially on such a big space (6,198 sf). I think there's plenty of business out there, but they do need to distinguish themselves from other nearby restaurants.

On that point, B19 and Hudson House have pretty similar menus and are right next door...

 

I totally agree.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Fate of the River Oks theatre to be determined.

"But it may soon be active again as Mayor Sylvester Turner's office announced Monday that he will be holding a press conference at 5 p.m. Wednesday to announce the future of the building."

https://preview.houstonchronicle.com/movies-tv/city-to-announce-fate-of-the-river-oaks-theater-16819149

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17 hours ago, hindesky said:

Fate of the River Oks theatre to be determined.

"But it may soon be active again as Mayor Sylvester Turner's office announced Monday that he will be holding a press conference at 5 p.m. Wednesday to announce the future of the building."

https://preview.houstonchronicle.com/movies-tv/city-to-announce-fate-of-the-river-oaks-theater-16819149

 

16 hours ago, Texasota said:

I have to assume this is a good sign, given that the new property owner will be there too.

...right?

 

11 hours ago, hindesky said:

https://properties.kimcorealty.com/p/commercial-real-estate-listings/Houston-TX-77019/117820

Doesn't show the the Ricer Oaks Theatre is available. That might be a good thing if this is accurate.

3Nw2pzG.png

 

Although we're awaiting news on the future of the River Oaks Theater today, I kind of figured the business would possibly make a comeback.

Last month, I saw a new filing for River Oaks Theater Inc. connected to the owner of Star Cinema Grill. I didn't think much of it at the time, but I'm glad to see the business will likely be saved.

I hope the new owner and management will keep the indie spirit of River Oaks Theater. However, cosmetic interior renovations would be great for this venue. Star Cinema Grill theaters are nice. I've always enjoyed the seating and overall experience much better than Studio Movie Grill. But I think IPic is superior to both. My fingers are crossed that the River Oaks Theater will be similar to Star Cinema Grill (or IPic) if renovations are planned. I am looking forward to what's to come.

Edited by IntheKnowHouston
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On 1/31/2022 at 1:55 PM, hindesky said:

Fate of the River Oks theatre to be determined.

"But it may soon be active again as Mayor Sylvester Turner's office announced Monday that he will be holding a press conference at 5 p.m. Wednesday to announce the future of the building."

https://preview.houstonchronicle.com/movies-tv/city-to-announce-fate-of-the-river-oaks-theater-16819149

 

On 2/1/2022 at 6:58 AM, IntheKnowHouston said:

 

 

 

Although we're awaiting news on the future of the River Oaks Theater today, I kind of figured the business would possibly make a comeback.

Last month, I saw a new filing for River Oaks Theater Inc. connected to the owner of Star Cinema Grill. I didn't think much of it at the time, but I'm glad to see the business will likely be saved.

I hope the new owner and management will keep the indie spirit of River Oaks Theater. However, cosmetic interior renovations would be great for this venue. Star Cinema Grill theaters are nice. I've always enjoyed the seating and overall experience much better than Studio Movie Grill. But I think IPic is superior to both. My fingers are crossed that the River Oaks Theater will be similar to Star Cinema Grill (or IPic) if renovations are planned. I am looking forward to what's to come.

 

2 minutes ago, wilcal said:

Livestream of press conference here: https://www.twitch.tv/FriendsofRiverOaksTheatre

 

Edit: It is gonna be a Star Cinema Grill

 

I figured. Will this be a regular Star Cinema Grill or something a little different than their other locations? I missed the announcement.

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https://www.houstonchronicle.com/lifestyle/article/Exclusive-Star-Cinema-Grill-to-reopen-River-Oaks-16826710.php

Exclusive: Star Cinema Grill to reopen River Oaks Theatre as showcase for indie films

 
Cary DarlingStaff Writer

People gather at River Oaks Theatre on the final day of showing films Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Houston.

People gather at River Oaks Theatre on the final day of showing films Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Houston.

Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

The curtain is going up on a new era for the vacated River Oaks Theatre.

Kimco Realty, the Jericho, New York-based company that owns the River Oaks Shopping Center Center where the theater sits, announced Wednesday that the cinema will be re-opening as a showcase for art house and independent films operated by Sugar Land-based Star Cinema Grill, which has eight multiplexes in the Houston suburbs. No date has been set, but it may not open until the end of the year.

Mayor Sylvester Turner was due to make it official with a Wednesday evening press conference at the theater.

The announcement of Star Cinema Grill as the new tenant comes almost a year after talks broke down during lease negotiations between the former River Oaks Shopping Center landlord, Weingarten Realty, and California-based movie chain Landmark Theaters. The Art Deco venue at 2009 W. Gray, built in 1939 and the last of the vintage movie theaters in Houston still being used for its original purpose, shuttered on March 25, 2021, sending shock waves through the region’s film and architecture communities.

While the three-screen River Oaks is like nothing else in Star Cinema Grill’s cinematic portfolio — the company’s other theaters, such as the 10-screen Springwoods theater that opened in 2019, are sprawling, modern multiplexes located outside the Loop — Star Cinema Grill vice president of development Jason Ostrow says the plan is to keep the River Oaks as filmgoers remember it.

“Star Cinema Grill is a Top 10 blockbuster movie chain. We’re playing top 10 product, and that’s our business, and there’s not a lot of programming creativity that goes into that,” he said in an interview earlier this week. “This is going to be much more of what it was before, finding that specialty content, specialty events and live theater events in a mixed-use venue. Star Cinema Grill is more of the business side, and this will be more of the passion side."

Star Cinema Grill president and CEO Omar Khan has a special fondness for the River Oaks, Ostrow said. “He’s a local Houstonian. His family has been in the movie theater business for a very, very long time,” he said. “So this is almost kind of like a legacy project for Omar, something that he can keep in his family and pass down, nurture and curate.”

1930s look, 2020s feel

Kimco, which bought out Weingarten last year, wants to turn the shopping center into a recreational destination.

“It’s a place where people on a Saturday will say, ‘Hey, let’s go to River Oaks.’ Not necessarily, ‘Let’s go to a movie’ or ‘Let’s go to this restaurant or that restaurant’ but ‘Let’s go to River Oaks,’” said Andrew Bell, Kimco’s vice-president of leasing. “We’re trying to do things that promote that going forward … (The theater) plays very well into what our overall vision is for River Oaks.”

Kimco, which has a 10-year lease with renewal options with Star Cinema Grill, never had plans to put another form of retail in the building or tear it down. “I never considered it not to be a theater,” said Bell, who grew up in Atlanta and remembers the fight to save the iconic Fox Theater in that city.

The River Oaks will remain a three-screen venue, though the remodeling will include new, larger seats that will probably lessen its capacity. “The decor will feel like you’re in 1930, but it’s going to feel very new and updated and fresh,” Ostrow said. “So we’re designing custom-made seats for this facility that are only going to be in River Oaks.”

The plan also includes a live stage. “We’re going to try to find some other uses within the space for other programming opportunities,” Ostrow said. “Those are all things that are still being hashed out, planned and investigated to what’s actually possible within that space.”

While the movie-exhibition business has suffered during the pandemic, Ostrow is not concerned about the River Oaks’ ability to draw a crowd.

“Our business at Star Cinema Grill, we’re up over 120 percent over 2019,” he said. “Now, we are seeing certain parts of demographics that haven’t come back to movies yet fully, but the bulk of our business has returned, plus some.”

Star Cinema Grill, which has multiplexes in Richmond, Cypress, Spring, College Station, Vintage Park, Missouri City, Baybrook and Conroe, recently expanded beyond Texas with two locations in suburban Chicago.

‘A big win’

The city is pleased with the outcome.

“I am thrilled to say that we finally have a long term solution to preserve this historic treasure that will inspire Houstonians for years to come,” said council member Abbie Kamin, whose District C includes the River Oaks Theatre.

Also satisfied is The Friends of the River Oaks Theatre, an activist group formed in the wake of the theater’s closure that includes Richard Linklater, Wes Anderson and Bun B. The group had made its own pitch to Kimco to operate the theater.

“It’s a big win,” said Maureen McNamara, a co-founder of the organization, noting that Feb. 2 marks the anniversary of the group’s first meeting. “For these guys to be sincerely planning on keeping the theater an art house, I think that’s important for the theater.”

She hopes that the Friends of the River Oaks Theatre can still be involved somehow.

“It’s still kind of an evolving situation because everybody’s still figuring out however all the pieces fit together,” she said. “But it’s like when somebody has half the ingredients to make a cake, and the other person has the other half the ingredients to make a cake … Working together we could help do something really amazing.”

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23 minutes ago, ErickEdgar said:

https://www.houstonchronicle.com/lifestyle/article/Exclusive-Star-Cinema-Grill-to-reopen-River-Oaks-16826710.php

Exclusive: Star Cinema Grill to reopen River Oaks Theatre as showcase for indie films

 
Cary DarlingStaff Writer

People gather at River Oaks Theatre on the final day of showing films Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Houston.

People gather at River Oaks Theatre on the final day of showing films Thursday, March 25, 2021, in Houston.

Yi-Chin Lee, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

The curtain is going up on a new era for the vacated River Oaks Theatre.

Kimco Realty, the Jericho, New York-based company that owns the River Oaks Shopping Center Center where the theater sits, announced Wednesday that the cinema will be re-opening as a showcase for art house and independent films operated by Sugar Land-based Star Cinema Grill, which has eight multiplexes in the Houston suburbs. No date has been set, but it may not open until the end of the year.

Mayor Sylvester Turner was due to make it official with a Wednesday evening press conference at the theater.

The announcement of Star Cinema Grill as the new tenant comes almost a year after talks broke down during lease negotiations between the former River Oaks Shopping Center landlord, Weingarten Realty, and California-based movie chain Landmark Theaters. The Art Deco venue at 2009 W. Gray, built in 1939 and the last of the vintage movie theaters in Houston still being used for its original purpose, shuttered on March 25, 2021, sending shock waves through the region’s film and architecture communities.

While the three-screen River Oaks is like nothing else in Star Cinema Grill’s cinematic portfolio — the company’s other theaters, such as the 10-screen Springwoods theater that opened in 2019, are sprawling, modern multiplexes located outside the Loop — Star Cinema Grill vice president of development Jason Ostrow says the plan is to keep the River Oaks as filmgoers remember it.

“Star Cinema Grill is a Top 10 blockbuster movie chain. We’re playing top 10 product, and that’s our business, and there’s not a lot of programming creativity that goes into that,” he said in an interview earlier this week. “This is going to be much more of what it was before, finding that specialty content, specialty events and live theater events in a mixed-use venue. Star Cinema Grill is more of the business side, and this will be more of the passion side."

Star Cinema Grill president and CEO Omar Khan has a special fondness for the River Oaks, Ostrow said. “He’s a local Houstonian. His family has been in the movie theater business for a very, very long time,” he said. “So this is almost kind of like a legacy project for Omar, something that he can keep in his family and pass down, nurture and curate.”

1930s look, 2020s feel

Kimco, which bought out Weingarten last year, wants to turn the shopping center into a recreational destination.

“It’s a place where people on a Saturday will say, ‘Hey, let’s go to River Oaks.’ Not necessarily, ‘Let’s go to a movie’ or ‘Let’s go to this restaurant or that restaurant’ but ‘Let’s go to River Oaks,’” said Andrew Bell, Kimco’s vice-president of leasing. “We’re trying to do things that promote that going forward … (The theater) plays very well into what our overall vision is for River Oaks.”

Kimco, which has a 10-year lease with renewal options with Star Cinema Grill, never had plans to put another form of retail in the building or tear it down. “I never considered it not to be a theater,” said Bell, who grew up in Atlanta and remembers the fight to save the iconic Fox Theater in that city.

The River Oaks will remain a three-screen venue, though the remodeling will include new, larger seats that will probably lessen its capacity. “The decor will feel like you’re in 1930, but it’s going to feel very new and updated and fresh,” Ostrow said. “So we’re designing custom-made seats for this facility that are only going to be in River Oaks.”

The plan also includes a live stage. “We’re going to try to find some other uses within the space for other programming opportunities,” Ostrow said. “Those are all things that are still being hashed out, planned and investigated to what’s actually possible within that space.”

While the movie-exhibition business has suffered during the pandemic, Ostrow is not concerned about the River Oaks’ ability to draw a crowd.

“Our business at Star Cinema Grill, we’re up over 120 percent over 2019,” he said. “Now, we are seeing certain parts of demographics that haven’t come back to movies yet fully, but the bulk of our business has returned, plus some.”

Star Cinema Grill, which has multiplexes in Richmond, Cypress, Spring, College Station, Vintage Park, Missouri City, Baybrook and Conroe, recently expanded beyond Texas with two locations in suburban Chicago.

‘A big win’

The city is pleased with the outcome.

“I am thrilled to say that we finally have a long term solution to preserve this historic treasure that will inspire Houstonians for years to come,” said council member Abbie Kamin, whose District C includes the River Oaks Theatre.

Also satisfied is The Friends of the River Oaks Theatre, an activist group formed in the wake of the theater’s closure that includes Richard Linklater, Wes Anderson and Bun B. The group had made its own pitch to Kimco to operate the theater.

“It’s a big win,” said Maureen McNamara, a co-founder of the organization, noting that Feb. 2 marks the anniversary of the group’s first meeting. “For these guys to be sincerely planning on keeping the theater an art house, I think that’s important for the theater.”

She hopes that the Friends of the River Oaks Theatre can still be involved somehow.

“It’s still kind of an evolving situation because everybody’s still figuring out however all the pieces fit together,” she said. “But it’s like when somebody has half the ingredients to make a cake, and the other person has the other half the ingredients to make a cake … Working together we could help do something really amazing.”

 

Am glad to see this happening.  Was interested especially in this part...

Quote

Kimco, which bought out Weingarten last year, wants to turn the shopping center into a recreational destination.

“It’s a place where people on a Saturday will say, ‘Hey, let’s go to River Oaks.’ Not necessarily, ‘Let’s go to a movie’ or ‘Let’s go to this restaurant or that restaurant’ but ‘Let’s go to River Oaks,’” said Andrew Bell, Kimco’s vice-president of leasing. “We’re trying to do things that promote that going forward … (The theater) plays very well into what our overall vision is for River Oaks.”

River Oaks town center?

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On 6/30/2006 at 9:34 AM, sachouston said:

Is this guy b.s. or what? I haven't heard anything about it:

"Dudes and Ladies,

I was very upset when I heard from a business owner in River Oaks Plaza that later this year, early next, they are getting rid of the theater to put in a 30 story high-rise.

word is, they are axing black eyed pea too, for a multi-level parking garage."

You can read the rest here: http://members.boardhost.com/hands_up/msg/1151627265.html

Anyone know anything?

Not anymore! The theater has been SAVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for at least the next 10 years and probably more!

https://houston.culturemap.com/news/city-life/02-02-22-river-oaks-theater-saved-open-star-cinema-grill-open-omar-khan-food-tickets/

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3 minutes ago, gene said:

Not anymore! The theater has been SAVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for at least the next 10 years and probably more!

https://houston.culturemap.com/news/city-life/02-02-22-river-oaks-theater-saved-open-star-cinema-grill-open-omar-khan-food-tickets/

It's a good sign that the vp for kimco references the Fox in Atlanta.  That's a very cool old-school theater if you've never been.  Glad they're committed to keeping the River Oaks Theater going.

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Another article here about the theater...i wonder if they would want to make it be a 1 or 2 theater instead of the 3 it was....i seriously hated the upstairs theaters with the odd angles and small uncomfortable seats... so either open back up the upstairs to be a balcony as it was or turn those 2 tiny theaters into 1 theater that way there would be 2 theaters total. One of the most exciting things though is that i am sure (i hope anyway) that they will replace all seats with wider and more comfortable seats..like the ones they have here: 

image.jpeg.ad4ddde9bf552f6dae4538acc43f5c02.jpeg

just basic information here: 

https://www.houstoniamag.com/news-and-city-life/2022/02/star-cinema-grill-river-oaks-theater-houston

 

💯

 

 

Edited by gene
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3 hours ago, gene said:

Another article here about the theater...i wonder if they would want to make it be a 1 or 2 theater instead of the 3 it was....i seriously hated the upstairs theaters with the odd angles and small uncomfortable seats... so either open back up the upstairs to be a balcony as it was or turn those 2 tiny theaters into 1 theater that way there would be 2 theaters total. One of the most exciting things though is that i am sure (i hope anyway) that they will replace all seats with wider and more comfortable seats..like the ones they have here: 

image.jpeg.ad4ddde9bf552f6dae4538acc43f5c02.jpeg

just basic information here: 

https://www.houstoniamag.com/news-and-city-life/2022/02/star-cinema-grill-river-oaks-theater-houston

 

💯

 

 

That upstairs theater was part of the charm to me, as well as that creepy bar…

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Charming? yes. Uncomfortable? yes 

haha

i understand though...although i sincerely say as much as i loved the theater in general, those upstairs screenings were the worst screenings of my life due to the reasons i mentioned so i was always so happy or at least relieved when a movie i wanted to see was playing downstairs. 

and oh my gosh that bar!!! haha...yeah it was interesting to say the least...

 

Edited by gene
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  • The title was changed to The Driscoll High-Rise & River Oaks Shopping Center Developments
  • 1 month later...

It appears Los Angeles pizzeria Pizzana is expanding to Houston. The pizza restaurant is listed in a site plan for River Oaks Shopping Center, which may have been updated in May.

Pizzana will be located at 2029 W Gray St, in the 1,500 sf unit previously home to Starbucks before closing in 2020.



https://pizzana.com

https://properties.kimcorealty.com/p/commercial-real-estate-listings/Houston-TX-77019/117820


spacer.png
 

Edited by IntheKnowHouston
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