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Sharpstown History?


Modernceo

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20s Girl, I don't think you offended anyone. You state facts that some don't want to hear/read.

I agree 100% with you about Sharpstown after dark. I beg my parents not to leave the house except for an emergency anytime after the street lights come on. It is far too dangerous to drive Beechnut/Gessner/Bellaire Blvd/Fondren and even Hillcroft after dark. There are too many thugs and crazies out there who want nothing more than to steal you blind or even kill you.

Best thing for folks to remember about Sharpstown is until you get rid of the apartments, you won't ever be safe.

Don't mean to offend anyone here, but I was mugged, stalked and my house broken into in Sharpstown. My car was also broken into by the stalker. Also had a flasher show me his goods while I was walking to school. And several neighbors had their houses broken into as well. I left in the mid-90s because I no longer felt safe there.

I'm glad you like living there but I would tell anyone considering moving there to check out the neighborhood well. There are many different parts of Sharpstown and some neighborhoods may be safer than others.

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Wow! You would've been my neighbor had you stayed. I lived on Darnell Circle from mid 70s to mid 90s.

pretty small world....I believe across the street one or two houses down was the Wittinghams and they had a son about 5 years older than me named Clay and next to us was the Hacks....the podiatrist...not sure how much longer either of them lived there after we moved....I think next to us on the other side (to the east) was the Mcdougals

wow stalker and stalker breaking into your car......you need to learn to shoot!

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Don't mean to offend anyone here, but I was mugged, stalked and my house broken into in Sharpstown. My car was also broken into by the stalker. Also had a flasher show me his goods while I was walking to school. And several neighbors had their houses broken into as well. I left in the mid-90s because I no longer felt safe there.

I'm glad you like living there but I would tell anyone considering moving there to check out the neighborhood well. There are many different parts of Sharpstown and some neighborhoods may be safer than others.

You just stated the obvious. Some people are still living in the past. Back in the 60's and 70's Sharpstown used to be a great place. Now I hesitate to even drive through it at night.

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  • 2 years later...

I have a question about Sharpstown (I didn't really want to start a new thread) that's been bothering me for a while: when Sharpstown was built, was it in the city limits? And if not, was it an "official" city?

Sharpstown was one of the first master-planned communities, a la Cinco Ranch or First Colony. Not sure where it was in relation to the city limit at the time, but I don't think it ever was an incorporated city.

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I have a question about Sharpstown (I didn't really want to start a new thread) that's been bothering me for a while: when Sharpstown was built, was it in the city limits? And if not, was it an "official" city?

I believe it was always inside Houston's jurisdiction.

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I believe it was always inside Houston's jurisdiction.

Well, The Woodlands isn't a "real city" (yet), but its in the jurisdiction of another city (Spring, I think). Was Sharpstown ever like that, where you could plausibly address a letter as "Sharpstown, TX"?

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The Woodlands is pretty unique. I don't think they fall under any city's jurisdiction. They rely on Montgomery county for many of their services. They have been talking about incorporating into a city for years but I don't know if it will ever happen. Sharpstown was always Houston and the schools were always HISD from what I can remember. Houston expanded it's boundaries on that side of town very early, to keep Bellaire from doing so.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have a question about Sharpstown (I didn't really want to start a new thread) that's been bothering me for a while: when Sharpstown was built, was it in the city limits? And if not, was it an "official" city?

My family moved to Sharpstown in 1962. We lived in the newly built section west of Hillcroft and south of Bellaire Blvd. I can at least say that in 1962, Sharpstown was definitely Houston.

We actually lived west of Osage, on Mobud Street. I remember when we moved in to the house that there was nothing south and west of our house but ranch land. For a long time, I had a sign that hung on the fence that said it was the R.E. Bob Smith ranch. Can you imagine not seeing anything looking west? Gessner was hardly a road. No tollway, just ranch land all the way to Alief.

I attended Pat Neff Elementary, the first year that it opened in 1965. First grade with Mrs. Lewelyn. I remember walking through the school with my father while it was being built, as well as St. Francis de Sales when it was under construction.

I grew up in Sharpstown, attending Pat Neff, Sharpstown Jr. High and Sharpstown Sr. High. I transferred in 1977 from HBU to Baylor and never lived in Houston again. My parents moved out in 2006. The neighboorhood has become too dangerous compared to the days when every child walked to school, kids hunted for turtles and frogs in the unpaved bayou along Osage, no bars on the windows, no alarms on the homes, kids played every day in the front yards until it was too dark to play and riding bikes throughout the neighborhood was a safe thing to do.

Sharpstown was a safe, friendly and great place to grow up in during the 60's and 70's.

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As a kid, I went to the domed Arena Theater, between those tall bldgs, on Hwy 59 South, near Sharpstown. That was in the late 1960's - early 70's, I remember it had nothing but prairie land and a chain link fence around it. Hard to believe, now.

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My family moved to Houston in 1966 and bought our house new on Carvel directly across from Neff Elementary. I attended grades 4-6( Mrs. Henry, Miss Darling, Mrs. Lantz), Did my first play there and am at the Alley today. Went to Sharpstown Jr/Sr High in its second year and then it became just Jr. Fond memories of Lansdale pool, and the Sharpstown Country Club pool. Summers I'd walk to K Mart on Beechnut which was new then and yes there was a Purple Cow in the little strip center between K Mart and Gessner but not for very long. Bought my first Broadway albums at Foley's Sharpstown Mall and saw my first live professional theatre at the Houston Music Theatre and saw many things there. I also fondly remember the GayLynn Theatre and the Gaylynn Terrace, both beautiful. I went to Sharpstown Drive Inn many times and the huge orange Globe sign was such a nuisance as they burned it after dark and it was in your left peripheral vision while watching the screen. Loved Gobe's Mongolian BBQ that opened next door to the drive in for a while. Hadn't thought about Across the Street in decades. Where was it? I seem to recall a Hillcroft location. I also remember the Royal Coach Inn which later became Dunfey's Royal Coach Inn and housed Dunfey's Dinner Theatre where I had my first paying job as an actor in its opening production, Guys and Dolls. I also remember eating at that Marie Callenders across from the Mall, usually chili. Anyone remember,on Main near the Stables restaurant, an upscale hamburger restaurant called Jamie's where you raised a flag on your table for service,the Menu was on a thick board with a kickstand that was brought to your table, and free spicy beans were served in little copper bowls? Also Hamburgers by Gourmet near St Thomas campus? This is a great site. Have loved everyone's memories!

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I have been a partaker of the opening of a closed wharehouse of memories located in my mind. Thank all of you for your detailed reccollections. I grew up in Braeburn Valley and wish I could have saved so much of the pictures of the times. So many people have never had the chance to see Houston as a oil boomtown.

Was doing a search and I stumbled on to this site and thread!! I have read the whole thing. DrFood has many of my same recollections, same age as well.

Here is my attempt to stir the cobwebs! :blink:

We moved to Edgemore and Cannok in (second house from NW corner) Oct'58 from Dallas. I was 7 months old.

Hurricane Carla hit September of ’61 when I was 3. We had a lot of roof damage and all of the fences were down. Some folks had much more, some less. We were two houses from the corner, so the water was pretty deep at the intersection. More than � the way up to the porch. One image that I can still recall was when I looked out the window at one time in the storm, there were horses walking down the street! Many years later when I mentioned this to my mother, she did recall that the neighbors across the intersection (SW corner) had put their horses in the back yard for safety. And of course the fences were now down.

I still have a newspaper clipping that Leon Hale (correction: it was Alisson Sanders- I just found the clipping)did back in ‘62 where I am the subject. Seems I was moving all of my furniture around in my room when my dad inquired as to what was going on. I answered that I was making room for the astronauts!

I had learned that the astronauts were going to be doing the parade in Houston, and I far as I knew, my house WAS Houston!! Do not know how Leon got word of this little ditty, but, there you go.

Went to Sutton for kindergarten.

I still know, and are friends with folks that were in kindergarten with me. Some went all the way through high school and beyond with me.

My dad worked for a commercial window covering firm at the time and that was why we were transferred from Dallas in the first place.

My mom was expecting her 4th child and we needed to move on up from the small digs on Edgemore. Dad was doing some measurements at the new Sharpstown Bank Building. He was friendly with Frank from working on several projects. Looking west you could see where they land was being cleared for Jesuit. Bellaire was a little 2 lane asphalt out to the site and stopped. No Fondren, No Gessner. Frank said he was opening a new section along the golf course called Country Club Estates. Section 2 was along the west side of the course, 8th and 9th fairways at the time. He showed my dad a layout of the soon to be section. He pointed out several streets and lots that were not going to be available right off the bat due to model homed going in for “The Parade of Homes”.

My dad bought one of the very first non-parade lot and held it for about two years before he built.

On Dashwood and De Moss, Sharp built about 10 or so very nice homes for the models on those streets. Burning Tree and Redding stopped at Hornwood, but Hornwood was not there yet. Nothing but country to the North but little FM1093, and nothing West to where, Sealy!! 

We moved to our new house there in June of ’64. We were right across from what would have been the 8th fairway tee-off back then.

In fact, in 1965 they held the Houston Classic Pro golf tournament at Sharpstown.

Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus, Lee Trevino, all the big wigs.

My little brother, about 3 years old at the time was sitting on his little tricycle in our driveway ringing the little bell on his bike over and over as any kid would do. They sent someone over to the house to stop the distraction!!

Men in the neighbor hood would walk over to the fields where Strake was going in and hunt quail and dove all the time. (did they have hunting seasons back then?)

The folks had to drive all the way to the Triangle to grocery shop at the time. Food Giant was not yet opened.

Later when I was around 10yo, several of us would climb on the Bellaire/Downtown bus and ride all the way to downtown and go to Archie’s Fun Shop! Black soap, itchy powder, flash paper, all sorts of gags and tricks. Would you let your kid do that today????

Of course back then in the summer, you would leave on your bike in the morning and come back when the street light came on. Getting lunch at whomever’s house you happened to be at. Also spent the summers swimming in the “clear” lake on the golf course, when we were not in the Sharpstown pool. Learned to jump from 3meter board when I was around 6yo.

I went to SFDS for 1st and 2nd grade, then to Neff, then the Sharpstown Jr.Sr. High

Remember the race riot? Helicopters, police everywhere. I was in 7th grade I guess.

Then to SHS(76)

Worked at Rice Food there in the strip center. Remember Wackers 5&10c store? Later became Hondo’s country bar in the 70’s. Ace Hardware was in there at first I think.

The taco place was a Church’s chicken originally. We had a dog that would disappear all the time, turns out she found her way to Church’s, and was begging food all day. We wondered way she was so fat!

Dad took us to see Marry Poppins, Chitty Bang Bang, 2001 Space Odyssey at

Gaylyn (sp) when they all first came out.

We used to ride our bikes, then mini-bikes along the trails next to the ditch on what would become Gessner between Bellaire and near Beechnut.

Worked at Lewis and Coker for quite a while sacking groceries. I can STILL sack groceries better than anybody!! And I regularly do just to keep things from being ruined. Canned food on top of bread! WTF?

Family used to load up the car for a night at the Lowes Drive-in

I remember the Super Slide by the mall.

Climbing the big dirt hill for the Music Theater

Alphie’s Fish and chips

Gene’s model shop at the mall. The rotary cases had Matchbox cars in them.

Estes rockets taped on the back of Pinewood Derby cars and sending them down the street at high velocity.

After Jesuit was completed, we had to go to the other side of St. Agnes out onto Smith Ranch to shoot our guns.

Bikes behind the skeeeeeeeeeter trucks – nnnnnothing wroooong witttttth meeeeee.

Skimboarding in 1970 on the golfcourse during hurricane Celia. Dad came out and found us all having fun. He was not happy.

Skateboarded in Landsdale and Parker many times in the mid 70’s, Pipeline too.

Climbed the Sharpstown Water tower over on Bentliff on the inside.

Purple Cow

Buying 45’s at Kmart – Crimson&Clover was one of the first, Time of the Season, Hot Smoke and Sassafrass! Many more. Still have them.

From 2004 until his passing this June, my dad was the Deeds Chairman for the Sharpstown Civic Association. With out his diligent work, Sharpstown would not be, at least, as good as it is. It was his mission to shut down the front yard auto dealers, continuous junk sales, derelict cars, you name it. Especially along Bellaire and Gessner.

What a tough and thankless job. I hope some one has stepped up to the job.

I moved to Austin in 83 but I am back home on a regular basis.

These memories are the tip of the ‘ol iceberg!

I am sure I would know some of you folks.

This site is way cool.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My stepfather was the manager of the Conquistador apartments across the street from Sharpstown mall in 1970, and we lived there for a couple of years. It was cool living in a high-rise as a 5 year old. I waited impatiently many times for the doors on the Clock of Texas to open, and I remember the billboard around Sugar Land advertising the mall with a picture of the clock. I can also remember waiting in line with my mother in the parking lot at the mall, hoping to withdraw money when the Sharpstown State Bank failed.

I hadn't been back to Sharpstown since the 70's, or to Houston since 1984, but in 2001 I decided to go for a visit. I got there the night of September 10, with plans to drive around and see some of the old places during the day. September 11th didn't turn out to be an ordinary day, and I didn't get to see much while I was there. I did visit the Conquistador, but they were pretty suspicious of somebody saying they'd lived there 30 years before who wanted to take pictures.

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  • 1 month later...

A lot of things destroyed Sharpstown. I think at the top of the list is Harold Farb and every other development company that saturated the area with apartment complexes. The other major factors contributing to its decline would be the Bellaire blvd expansion project. It was so poorly planned and slowly executed that it destroyed almost all of the businesses on the Bellaire corridor from the city of Bellaire all the way down to Sharpstown. What was once surburban bliss rapidly degenerated into urban blight.

Areas like Sugarland, Katy, and Alief suddenly became the attractive Suburbia that Sharpstown once was and most of those families evacuated with all due haste.

I too have a lot of fond memories growing up there. I lived on Rowan. I went to SFDS and Sharpstown Jr high. I loved the mall, Gaylynn theater, Games people play, and Taco bell/Del Taco back when they used REAL ingredients. Now all I am left with is a dream of the past and a post mortem analysis of its demise. Those of you that migrated to new Surburbia's, have you seen the same sort of downfall in those areas as well?

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A lot of things destroyed Sharpstown. I think at the top of the list is Harold Farb and every other development company that saturated the area with apartment complexes. The other major factors contributing to its decline would be the Bellaire blvd expansion project. It was so poorly planned and slowly executed that it destroyed almost all of the businesses on the Bellaire corridor from the city of Bellaire all the way down to Sharpstown. What was once surburban bliss rapidly degenerated into urban blight.

Areas like Sugarland, Katy, and Alief suddenly became the attractive Suburbia that Sharpstown once was and most of those families evacuated with all due haste.

I too have a lot of fond memories growing up there. I lived on Rowan. I went to SFDS and Sharpstown Jr high. I loved the mall, Gaylynn theater, Games people play, and Taco bell/Del Taco back when they used REAL ingredients. Now all I am left with is a dream of the past and a post mortem analysis of its demise. Those of you that migrated to new Surburbia's, have you seen the same sort of downfall in those areas as well?

Bravo on the user name. I would give at least a toe for some pics of the old Good Time Charlie's at Sharpstown as it was in the 80s.

Anyway, in answer to your question about suburban downfall, I can tell you that Alief definitely experienced a downturn similar to Sharpstown's. I grew up in Bellaire, but when my dad remarried in '88, it became clear that we couldn't afford a house there that could accommodate our new newly doubled household. Back then, Alief was still a viable alternative. It had good schools and decent, affordable single-family neighborhoods. I'm pretty sure that all began to changed about a week after we moved in. By the time I was a junior in high school, the change was in full effect. Football games had to be cancelled or rescheduled due to the threat of violence. School dances were poorly attended and, eventually went away. Our house was broken into a couple of times. I moved away fifteen years ago, but my folks still live there and - I can tell you - it's a depressing place to visit. It's a real shame when a neighborhood experiences such a dramatic and rapid downturn.

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I hate to step on anyone's dream, but Sharpstown is not "coming back". Ever. Take a look at the enclosed map. Each of those red dots is a large or gigantic apartment complex. In order to restore Sharpstown to a semblance of its former glory you would have to buy out and bulldoze every one of those complexes. I estimate the cost to be in the half billion dollar range. Please let me know when you come up with the money and we can go from "ever" to "soon".... :)

Food for thought. It is my theory that the rise of computing power coupled with the quest for new entertainment platforms will eventually result in some sort of "time machine" like system where you can roam geographical areas of the past for nostalgia's sake, in glorious 3d on your PC. So before all those Kodachrome pics from the 70's turn back to dust, I would get to scanning them. They may be invaluable in the future. Or maybe any real record of Sharpstown malls glory is really gone for good?

post-10148-0-90286700-1311088316_thumb.p

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  • 1 month later...

Before Fiesta, a discount store called Globe was at Bellaire and Hillcroft. There were several around town. When the Globes closed, it became Fiesta.

I remember Globe being at that location (as well as a location east of Meyerland Mall, on the opposite side of 610). I think there were other stores at that location though between Globe, which probably closed in the early or mid-70s, and Fiesta, which probably started roughly in the mid-80s. Kroger and/or Apple Tree sounds correct.

I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned it, but opposite (south of) Hillcroft at the corner was a drive-in movie theater. I remember driving by it in the late '60s, and possibly early '70s.

I agree with "good time charlies" above about Sharpstown's future, and that it is not likely to "come back". The trend over the past decades seems irreversable. Not that I haven't been surprised from time to time to see certain pockets of redevelopment and improvement while driving around old stopping grounds in SW Houston. But for the large area involved, and the scale of proportion we are talking about, its seems extremely unlikely.

Luckily we have sites like this that can pool information and memories together. I wish there were small museums in key areas around town (Sharpstown, Clear Lake, etc.) that could store, archive, and promote memories of these areas, and do them justice. A great way to remember the past for those who lived it, and great way to educate the new members of the respective communities, and learn about what came before.

Edited by Gurgis
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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

I am from central Houston (Lamar class of '98 btw), not all that far from the Montrose Library. I now live far west just past Dairy Ashford (the location i choose was the closest one avail). I don't have many old Sharpstown stories. We did shop at the mall from '87 on. I do remember it was a nice mall. I don't exactly remember when we stopped going there. I know it was after the mid '90s. I know we were still some times going there past '99. We also bought some of my daughters first school uniforms from the uniform store that was next to the Foley's and that would have been around 2003. Seems to me though that right around high school we started shopping at the Galleria more often. By then, though, the mall had started going down hill. I am not talking about the people there, either. The mall itself started to look really bad. It started to look dirty and unkept. The stores where also not that neat or organized any more. When it was my regular mall, I went there for clothes, excories, Christmas shopping and hair cuts. I also got my ears pierced there (anyone remember Piercing Pagoda). I loved shopping at Foley's and Clairs. There was also a pizza place (well more of a stand) I really liked (also had really good baked ziti) in the food court (started w/ a V). My brother lived for the Babbadges.(sp). I have a friend that grew up there (went to Strake and later SHS). His parents still live there. I do sometimes travel past and through Sharpstown. I feel it is perfectly save to drive through (I can only think of two neighborhoods not safe for that and Sharpstown is not one of them). Now I will say this, no I don't believe it is all that perfectly safe. Sharpstown is like a lot of Houston neighborhoods, a mixture. Parts are bad parts are good. The problem is they are starting to run into each other. I will tell you this. I would never tell any one it is safe to wander around at mid in any neighborhood...ever. Not alone at least. If you want to fix Sharpstown then get rid of the gangs. You don't have to get rid of the poor, at least not completely. Before building anything new get rid of the old and run down or fix it. Start building up parts for low middle class people. Meaning to attract low middle class. You can build it up from there. I would like to see a refurbished mall. (w/ real security at least for the moment)

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The mall was refurbished very recently. Its name changed to "PlazAmericas"

I am from central Houston (Lamar class of '98 btw), not all that far from the Montrose Library. I now live far west just past Dairy Ashford (the location i choose was the closest one avail). I don't have many old Sharpstown stories. We did shop at the mall from '87 on. I do remember it was a nice mall. I don't exactly remember when we stopped going there. I know it was after the mid '90s. I know we were still some times going there past '99. We also bought some of my daughters first school uniforms from the uniform store that was next to the Foley's and that would have been around 2003. Seems to me though that right around high school we started shopping at the Galleria more often. By then, though, the mall had started going down hill. I am not talking about the people there, either. The mall itself started to look really bad. It started to look dirty and unkept. The stores where also not that neat or organized any more. When it was my regular mall, I went there for clothes, excories, Christmas shopping and hair cuts. I also got my ears pierced there (anyone remember Piercing Pagoda). I loved shopping at Foley's and Clairs. There was also a pizza place (well more of a stand) I really liked (also had really good baked ziti) in the food court (started w/ a V). My brother lived for the Babbadges.(sp). I have a friend that grew up there (went to Strake and later SHS). His parents still live there. I do sometimes travel past and through Sharpstown. I feel it is perfectly save to drive through (I can only think of two neighborhoods not safe for that and Sharpstown is not one of them). Now I will say this, no I don't believe it is all that perfectly safe. Sharpstown is like a lot of Houston neighborhoods, a mixture. Parts are bad parts are good. The problem is they are starting to run into each other. I will tell you this. I would never tell any one it is safe to wander around at mid in any neighborhood...ever. Not alone at least. If you want to fix Sharpstown then get rid of the gangs. You don't have to get rid of the poor, at least not completely. Before building anything new get rid of the old and run down or fix it. Start building up parts for low middle class people. Meaning to attract low middle class. You can build it up from there. I would like to see a refurbished mall. (w/ real security at least for the moment)

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  • 1 month later...

I've lived here in Sharpstown near St. Francis since 1996 and I like it just fine. This neighborhood seems to be fine to me.

I always wondered what grocery store was originally behind the Walgreens at Bellaire/Fondren that is now some 2nd hand store....Whataburger is in the parking lot of this place. It was def. some 70's grocery store.

I also see they are demolishing St. Francis De Sales church ball and crane style this week, heavy demolision seemed to have started today. I thought that was a beautiful building. Haven't been able to find out what's going on though i do see a building permit pulled for $4,500,000 at that location. I hope they saved the pipe organ!

For those of you out of town, The Jesuits purchased the old car lot at bellaire/fondren and are building a sports stadium there. Its coming along nicely.

I always wondered all these years about the mansion at beechnut and gessner also. Rumors are that its haunted, of course. A person never sees anyone there. Once in a blue moon someone seems to "move in" and then they are gone. A few years ago some asians must have moved in, and hung up chinese lanterns all over the porch. There were cars there for about 2-3 days and then nothing and the chinese lanterns blew apart in the wind.

A priest told me that place was haunted with a ghost of "breakage" when people move in everything gets broken from glassware to the televisions. That was several years ago. He also said he had never been called in to bless the house. Then I read on here about it being gypsys that live there. Well whoever it is they are invisible for lo, I've never seen anyone come and go from there and it looks abandoned. A couple years ago it looked like a television crew was filming something there, trailers of film equipment were parked in front of that house and what looked like cameras were set up all around the house for a day and a night. Then nothing. After that crew the upper bathroom window was left open about 6" and it the window remained open like that for months afterwards. I thought maybe it was one of those Haunting hunting shows but never found out, no one knew anything.

Pure speculation, but every neighborhood needs its "mystery house".

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that was a Safeway in the 70's, Apple Tree in the 80's, and ha been a resale shop ever since Apple Tree closed

and.. the mansion at Beechnut and Gessner was built in the early/mid 80's. It was a pretty damned dumb place to put a house like that- the area was already starting to decline, the traffic at that intersection was horrible, too many buses going by on both streets, etc

Edited by Tumbleweed_Tx
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  • 2 months later...

I've lived here in Sharpstown near St. Francis since 1996 and I like it just fine. This neighborhood seems to be fine to me.

I always wondered what grocery store was originally behind the Walgreens at Bellaire/Fondren that is now some 2nd hand store....Whataburger is in the parking lot of this place. It was def. some 70's grocery store.

I also see they are demolishing St. Francis De Sales church ball and crane style this week, heavy demolision seemed to have started today. I thought that was a beautiful building. Haven't been able to find out what's going on though i do see a building permit pulled for $4,500,000 at that location. I hope they saved the pipe organ!

For those of you out of town, The Jesuits purchased the old car lot at bellaire/fondren and are building a sports stadium there. Its coming along nicely.

I always wondered all these years about the mansion at beechnut and gessner also. Rumors are that its haunted, of course. A person never sees anyone there. Once in a blue moon someone seems to "move in" and then they are gone. A few years ago some asians must have moved in, and hung up chinese lanterns all over the porch. There were cars there for about 2-3 days and then nothing and the chinese lanterns blew apart in the wind.

A priest told me that place was haunted with a ghost of "breakage" when people move in everything gets broken from glassware to the televisions. That was several years ago. He also said he had never been called in to bless the house. Then I read on here about it being gypsys that live there. Well whoever it is they are invisible for lo, I've never seen anyone come and go from there and it looks abandoned. A couple years ago it looked like a television crew was filming something there, trailers of film equipment were parked in front of that house and what looked like cameras were set up all around the house for a day and a night. Then nothing. After that crew the upper bathroom window was left open about 6" and it the window remained open like that for months afterwards. I thought maybe it was one of those Haunting hunting shows but never found out, no one knew anything.

Pure speculation, but every neighborhood needs its "mystery house".

I think that store was a Safeway
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  • 7 months later...

Bumping up this entry to the forum. :D

I have lived in Sharpstown off and on since 1975. I remember going and sitting along Bellaire Blvd to watch the fireworks show from Sharpstown Center. I remember Del Taco and Burger Mountain Soda Fountain. Lewis and Coker, Sage Drugs, LaRosa's Flying Pizza, Bluebees, and some kind of fish place over at Beltway center (I think that's what it was called). I could hear the cows mooing and I would ride my bike to the western edge of the neighborhood to pet them. (we lived in the section off the southwest intersection of Gessner and Bellaire.

I remember walking to Sharpstown Mall and going to Good Time Charlies, Wendy's and Woolworths when there was still a restaurant in it. We ate at Foleys a lot too. There was some kind of pub... whiskey something? near Good Time Charlies that was open at night. I remember walking to the newsstand to buy my dad a Sunday paper - at the northeast corner of Gessner and Bellaire. I did that for years before I realized there was an adult section in there.

I remember when it was only Strake Jesuit ... WITHOUT a grocery store in front of it.

I remember the first Asian businesses moving into Sharpstown, saving it from becoming a ghetto.

I loved Sharpstown then and now. I lived in other sections of Houston, but Sharpstown is home. LOL.

Someone was saying the apartments are to blame for no revitalization - I only half agree with this. (As that comment was made years ago, things have obviously changed since then). I think some of the HOUSES in Sharpstown are in worse condition than the apartments - rental houses - we have a house on our street - owned by the original owner, but years ago, either he turned it into a HUD home or it was taken over by the city (according to HCAD, the original owner still has possession). We've had one group after another move into that house - I can't imagine what it's like on the inside. We have another house on the street a two-story house - the owners left it - leaving their dogs inside. For at least a year they left the dogs there, only coming back to feed them. The dogs had full run of the house until the SPCA showed up after Hurricane Ike. The house is rumored to have an unrepaired water leak and a bad foundation - who would want to invest in a house like that?!?

If you can track down the owners of the apartments, it's possible that major repairs can take place, changing the entire complex - I just feel like the houses are more difficult and more expensive. I HAVE seen some promising renovations, although there is a monstrosity that is currently being built on the corner of Leader and Redding - I don't know how they got permission.

It's true that there are some AWFUL apartments and I feel bad for the families that have to raise their children in those environments - But have any of you noticed the absolutely awful duplex-style homes on Gessner between Bellaire and Beechnut?

I've heard that the civic association can not really do anything about Gessner, as it is zoned as residential OR business and something about the Civic Association not being able to enforce deed restrictions there (hearsay - I have no idea what the facts are behind this claim).

Safety - I feel very safe in Sharpstown - Especially on the Asiatown/ChinaTown side - people in my neighborhood walk in the mornings or evenings. There are many people who walk over to the Chinese markets. The worst thing is the traffic on Bellaire.

Someone suggested there is a name recognition issue with Sharpstown - I could not agree more - It's unlikely that they would ever change the name of the subdivision, but I think it would go a long way to changing people's ideas about the neighborhood. Sharpstown seems to be a place that people love to trash on - but I'm not sure why as there are many beautiful homes, large yards, huge trees, and nice hard-working people.

Thanks for starting this thread - it inspired me to join the forum. :-)

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  • 1 year later...

This was fun reading the History of the place I grew up. My family moved to Sharpstown in the summer of 1969 when I was 5. We bought a house in the "NEW" section west of 59 off Fondren near the corner of Lugary and Prestwood. Id say that was FAR west Sharpstown. I didn't consider past Harwin as Sharpstown. I went to Sharpstown Christian School (Church of Christ) from 70 to 76.  I went to the Church of Christ every Sunday and Wednesday on the little white minibus that would come pick us up.  I went to Sharpstown Jr High from 76-79 and then moved to Alief ISD although we still lived in Sharpstown on Gessner in the San Louis Apts... I lived with my dad when my parents divorced. He moved there specifically so I could go AISD schools. I was a curious kid and rode my bike everywhere so I know Sharpstown well, I have literally pedaled down every single street between Braeswood and Harwin, Hilcroft and Gessner. I have a photographic memory so I remember every house, every business, every sign, i even remember license plates and cars that were parked in front of certain houses.

 

I remember all the things you have all posted about. I used to hang out at the Neptune Pet Center and help them with the Goldfish Giveaways. I used to bowl every saturday in the Jr Leagues at the Southway 6 bowling alley and get tacos al carbon afterwards at the Rolandos Burger Factory. I remember riding my bike out "west" across the golf course to Gessner, must have been circa 1972 and looking west from the corner of Sandspoint and Gessner and seeing NOTHING... except for a line of cement trucks heading west... presumably to build the road... Harwin and Bellaire were dirt roads past Gessner. Harwin was a dirt (actually shell) road past Fondren and Milton Koy who owned COD (the concrete company) was the only thing on Harwin between Fondren and Gessner. 

 

I remember watching Star Wars at Southway 6. I remember watching the 2nd story being added to the mall. I used to be one of those kids that tried to sell you the big styrofoam planes in the mall. I bought my first rc car at Jean's Model shop, an orange Porche 911 Targa for $44 that I got a paper route and saved up to buy, I remember the live bands at the Chelsea Street Pub. I remember listening to the Steve Miller band play as I racked up the high score on the Astec pinball game upstairs in the arcade at Good Time Charley's. When Video cames got more popular, I was the Tempest Champ, I always left the initials, JAX on the machines.

 

I really enjoyed growing up in Sharpstown. I felt safe and nurtured. All of us kids would make up games, play hide and seek or war, we would build ramps and jump them with our bikes, we would fashion stilts from 2 by 4's. We would pull crawfish out of the bayou until dark, we would watch the fireworks at Sharpstown Mall, from our backyard sitting on the brick wall separating us from Fondren. I went to HBU Summer Day Camp every year. 

 

I remember sitting in my last period  English Class upstairs at Sharpstown Jr High during the last few days of the semester, right next to the open windows, not listening to the teacher while the winds blew the cords on the flag poles outside making a familiar and beckoning "tinking" sound, teasing us... school is almost over... come out and play. Come jump in the pool over at Landsdale Park or ride your bike on the paths on the hill or go over to the Odom's, Wood's or Mondshine's house and get into some trouble.

 

My sister and I used to do Sesame Street puppet shows at the Walter Branch Library in the summer. I still remember that musty smell of books and the huge paper card catalog. I loved that Library. Did many a book reports there. Learned about Magic from an old man that would teach us on Saturdays.

 

Favorite restaurants: The Ground Patti... they had a kewl reel to reel music system behind glass. Wan Fu, by Safeway, I remember Frank Wong well. First Chinese restaurant in Sharpstown. Loved the Tidbit Platter. James Coney Island, friends worked there, so I got leftover food, tried my first cigarette upstairs. Rolandos Burger Factory of course, who invented Fajitas. Mr Gatti's, with the big screen TV. Antonios Flying Pizza over on Hillcroft, the food court at Good Time Charley's, Zyder Zee seafood on Fondren (later became Wendy's), Alfie's Fish and Chips, Steak and Ale, my parents would take me sometimes and I would see my old friend, Clark Walter, with his 3 piece band play hits from the 60s and 70s, 

 

In my jr high and highschool days, after my parents were divorced, I would often skip school and ride over to the Radio Shack Computer Center on 59 and hang out there. I taught myself how to program the TRS-80s and the sales people let me write code all day, they didn't care. I invented the game, Breakout, but Atari stole it, I was 14. I wrote lots of code that is still out there today. I was using this:  8-)   the sidways smiley face before anyone else was in 1977.   I invented the "squiggly" line on a TRS-80 that you might see in emails...

~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~

 

 

My dad and step mom still live in Sharpstown on Bonhomme in the "new" patio homes, right next to the park which used to be my friend, Keith's house. I say new because they were probably built around 1980. Its fun to make up some excuse to go over and visit. It is such a beautiful and quiet area there off of Wanda Lane with huge mature trees. My dad fashioned a sliding gate next to his hot tub in the back yard so he can open it up and have a 10 foot view of the Bonham Acres Park there where Keith used to live.

 

I know things change, but it is really sad to see Sharpstown mall literally die as it has. It is interesting to see how something so grand and so special, the first of its kind eventually gets passed by and fades away. But it is not all bad. As I said, my dad's neighborhood and that part of Braeburn Valley still have some large and beautiful houses there and some people are building new homes there. 

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 I was the Tempest Champ, I always left the initials, JAX on the machines.

 

 

 

 

you MF..... lol

 

You always beat my high scores on those machines.... I used to put XTC or AAR as my initials.   :)

Edited by Tumbleweed_Tx
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I owned a house in Sharpstown Country Club Terrace from about 1989 to about 1992.

I knew it was time to move when, more than once, we were awoken by a police helicopter overhead shinning roving search lights into all the yards looking for some suspect. Not good.

The apartments that ring all of sharpstown were problematic back then and they likely have only gotten worse.

This young man died just last night less than a mile from my old house:

http://www.khou.com/news/local/Houston-teen-shot-dead-when-bullet-flies-into-his-bedroom-265190761.html

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This was fun reading the History of the place I grew up. My family moved to Sharpstown in the summer of 1969 when I was 5. We bought a house in the "NEW" section west of 59 off Fondren near the corner of Lugary and Prestwood. Id say that was FAR west Sharpstown. I didn't consider past Harwin as Sharpstown. I went to Sharpstown Christian School (Church of Christ) from 70 to 76.  I went to the Church of Christ every Sunday and Wednesday on the little white minibus that would come pick us up.  I went to Sharpstown Jr High from 76-79 and then moved to Alief ISD although we still lived in Sharpstown on Gessner in the San Louis Apts... I lived with my dad when my parents divorced. He moved there specifically so I could go AISD schools. I was a curious kid and rode my bike everywhere so I know Sharpstown well, I have literally pedaled down every single street between Braeswood and Harwin, Hilcroft and Gessner. I have a photographic memory so I remember every house, every business, every sign, i even remember license plates and cars that were parked in front of certain houses.

 

I remember all the things you have all posted about. I used to hang out at the Neptune Pet Center and help them with the Goldfish Giveaways. I used to bowl every saturday in the Jr Leagues at the Southway 6 bowling alley and get tacos al carbon afterwards at the Rolandos Burger Factory. I remember riding my bike out "west" across the golf course to Gessner, must have been circa 1972 and looking west from the corner of Sandspoint and Gessner and seeing NOTHING... except for a line of cement trucks heading west... presumably to build the road... Harwin and Bellaire were dirt roads past Gessner. Harwin was a dirt (actually shell) road past Fondren and Milton Koy who owned COD (the concrete company) was the only thing on Harwin between Fondren and Gessner. 

 

I remember watching Star Wars at Southway 6. I remember watching the 2nd story being added to the mall. I used to be one of those kids that tried to sell you the big styrofoam planes in the mall. I bought my first rc car at Jean's Model shop, an orange Porche 911 Targa for $44 that I got a paper route and saved up to buy, I remember the live bands at the Chelsea Street Pub. I remember listening to the Steve Miller band play as I racked up the high score on the Astec pinball game upstairs in the arcade at Good Time Charley's. When Video cames got more popular, I was the Tempest Champ, I always left the initials, JAX on the machines.

 

I really enjoyed growing up in Sharpstown. I felt safe and nurtured. All of us kids would make up games, play hide and seek or war, we would build ramps and jump them with our bikes, we would fashion stilts from 2 by 4's. We would pull crawfish out of the bayou until dark, we would watch the fireworks at Sharpstown Mall, from our backyard sitting on the brick wall separating us from Fondren. I went to HBU Summer Day Camp every year. 

 

I remember sitting in my last period  English Class upstairs at Sharpstown Jr High during the last few days of the semester, right next to the open windows, not listening to the teacher while the winds blew the cords on the flag poles outside making a familiar and beckoning "tinking" sound, teasing us... school is almost over... come out and play. Come jump in the pool over at Landsdale Park or ride your bike on the paths on the hill or go over to the Odom's, Wood's or Mondshine's house and get into some trouble.

 

My sister and I used to do Sesame Street puppet shows at the Walter Branch Library in the summer. I still remember that musty smell of books and the huge paper card catalog. I loved that Library. Did many a book reports there. Learned about Magic from an old man that would teach us on Saturdays.

 

Favorite restaurants: The Ground Patti... they had a kewl reel to reel music system behind glass. Wan Fu, by Safeway, I remember Frank Wong well. First Chinese restaurant in Sharpstown. Loved the Tidbit Platter. James Coney Island, friends worked there, so I got leftover food, tried my first cigarette upstairs. Rolandos Burger Factory of course, who invented Fajitas. Mr Gatti's, with the big screen TV. Antonios Flying Pizza over on Hillcroft, the food court at Good Time Charley's, Zyder Zee seafood on Fondren (later became Wendy's), Alfie's Fish and Chips, Steak and Ale, my parents would take me sometimes and I would see my old friend, Clark Walter, with his 3 piece band play hits from the 60s and 70s, 

 

In my jr high and highschool days, after my parents were divorced, I would often skip school and ride over to the Radio Shack Computer Center on 59 and hang out there. I taught myself how to program the TRS-80s and the sales people let me write code all day, they didn't care. I invented the game, Breakout, but Atari stole it, I was 14. I wrote lots of code that is still out there today. I was using this:  8-)   the sidways smiley face before anyone else was in 1977.   I invented the "squiggly" line on a TRS-80 that you might see in emails...

~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~

 

 

My dad and step mom still live in Sharpstown on Bonhomme in the "new" patio homes, right next to the park which used to be my friend, Keith's house. I say new because they were probably built around 1980. Its fun to make up some excuse to go over and visit. It is such a beautiful and quiet area there off of Wanda Lane with huge mature trees. My dad fashioned a sliding gate next to his hot tub in the back yard so he can open it up and have a 10 foot view of the Bonham Acres Park there where Keith used to live.

 

I know things change, but it is really sad to see Sharpstown mall literally die as it has. It is interesting to see how something so grand and so special, the first of its kind eventually gets passed by and fades away. But it is not all bad. As I said, my dad's neighborhood and that part of Braeburn Valley still have some large and beautiful houses there and some people are building new homes there.

Zuider Zee Seafood Inn? They had those in Houston, too?
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  • 2 weeks later...

In my jr high and highschool days, after my parents were divorced, I would often skip school and ride over to the Radio Shack Computer Center on 59 and hang out there. I taught myself how to program the TRS-80s and the sales people let me write code all day, they didn't care. I invented the game, Breakout, but Atari stole it, I was 14. I wrote lots of code that is still out there today. I was using this:  8-)   the sidways smiley face before anyone else was in 1977.   I invented the "squiggly" line on a TRS-80 that you might see in emails...

~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~'`^`'~*-,._.,-*~

 

Ahh...the old "trash 80's".  I cut my teeth on those, too.

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  • 7 months later...
  • 3 months later...

Lived on Sharpcrest from 65 till 81, well I moved out in 78 parents in 1981. Nothing but fields around when we first moved in, went to Neff, Sharpstown jr and sr high, grad in 1978 . I had forgot most of the stuff people posted about the area. Fun read,  We played baseball, football, and other games in back yard, our  house and  the Beans didnt have fence between the houses, Fun stuff. 

Edited by toga
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  • 10 months later...

I grew up in Sharpstown in the 70's and 80's. My parents lived in one of the townhomes on Gessner just before moving to one of the homes in the far west end of Sharpstown, CCT3.

I remember before Corporate drive and the apartments were built, civilization (in my little kid mind) ended at Eichler. Beyond that was bike trails and then the cow pasture that is now Art Storey park, then Alief beyond. We explored Brays Bayou from Bellaire to 59. There used to be a partially burned wooden bridge over a small creek that emptied into Brays just across from Art Storey park, in the Chambers elementary ball field. That bridge was probably 1910 or earlier and I think it was connected to a road that came down from Alief. Old USGS maps imply it.

I found an old map of Ft Bend that shows two parcels of land listed as "Leo Roark" right on the edge of Harris county, right over western Sharpstown and the Westwood area. Look due north of the large William Stafford league:

http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth493129/

I assume this is where Roark road (which was along 8 from 59 to Harwin) got its name. Leo Roark was the son of one of Austin's original colonists:

https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fro03

I've seen mentioned on this forum that in recent times that ranch was owned by Bob Everett Smith:

https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fsm57

 

At Roark (now 8) and Bellaire there used to be 4 or 5 metal buildings and a small short street of to the side of the main. When the buildings were gone, people used the old road bed as a runway for RC planes.

 

Back to Gessner.... there was a tire store at Bellaire, on the sw corner. It's still some sort of tire shop. I don't know if it was a Firestone, but it had a Firestone sign, which I think is still there, but painted over. There's a large tractor tire, painted yellow, on the curb.

Further down Gessner at the Bissonnet fire station, just north of the Bissonnet interesction is a low spot in the road. This was the natural path of Brays bayou, but sometime in the 50's or 60's, it was re routed to cross Gessner further down at Braeswood. I guess they didn't fill the old channel well enough and subsidence has taken over.

 

One of my favorite things growing up was being able to take our bikes into Westwood mall on Sundays when everything was closed. The main mall area would still be open. We could ride about two crazy fast laps before the security guard got off his butt and chased us off.

Edited by Zenjive
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  • 1 month later...

I don't know if this should be a new post or not, but does anyone remember people painting fire hydrants in unique and funny ways in the 70's?

I'm not sure if this was just in Sharpstown or all over town. I remember almost all of the hydrants in our part of the neighborhood had been painted in one way or another. One really elaborate one was painted to look like a dalmation in a firefighter uniform. Many were patriotic, I think this may have started in summer of 1976. But by 1980 or so, they'd all been re-painted and standardized by the city.

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Many hydrants were painted as part of the Bicentennial in 76. Fire departments went along with it but most were painted back to original soon after. Most people don't know it but hydrants in many cities are painted different colors to indicate water pressure/volume at that point.  

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  • 2 months later...

Does anyone know what Diho Square at Ranchester and Bellaire was named before it was Diho Square? Did it even have a name before it was Diho?

 

This would be back when Lewis & Coker and La Rosa, etc were still there. Someone in the Sharpstown facebook group is asking to settle a family discussion and now it's bothering me, haha.

 

Thanks!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I remember that my mom's friend showed me her yearbook from the 80s - she went to Sharpstown Middle School and it was 100% white. I was thinking "wow" how things have changed. Sharpstown used to be what Katy is now. I think when the oil crisis happened, everything started going down for SW Houston and a lot of apartments sprung up.

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1 hour ago, PhilBrown said:

I remember that my mom's friend showed me her yearbook from the 80s - she went to Sharpstown Middle School and it was 100% white. I was thinking "wow" how things have changed. Sharpstown used to be what Katy is now. I think when the oil crisis happened, everything started going down for SW Houston and a lot of apartments sprung up.

As I recall, the SW Houston deterioration, especially regarding Gulfton, was because they built cheap, dense apartments for well-paid yuppies in the oil industry, and that was fine and good, but then the oil crisis happened, the well-paying jobs disappeared, and the resulting apartment glut led to below-average rents and below-average renters.

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I don't think it had that much to do with the oil industry slump. The key was they were built cheap to begin with and were not kept up as is the case with many large apartment projects in Houston. When they opened the Fiesta on Bellaire and Hillcroft, Hispanics were drawn to the area. They didn't mind the ruin down apartments as long as they were cheap. The yuppies moved to newer apartments on Westheimer and places further out.  

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Houston ended up with a lot of residential overbuilding because of the early 80s oil industry crash (not slump) and the savings and loan crisis that then erupted before oil got back on its feet.  The Gulfton apartment city was actually pretty new at the time; much of it was built in the mid to late 70s, as was what was then called Fondren Southwest; Sharpstown was a product of the late 50s - early 60s.  All of them started out as white as a box of rice, and all of them went down the income ladder because there was less money to go around and newer stuff was available for cheap elsewhere.  Fiesta was expanding a lot in the 80s, part of which was its becoming more international in scope and moving into areas that were not part of its original Hispanic focus - not just Bellaire at Hillcroft, but also Gulf Freeway at NASA Road 1 and Katy at Bunker Hill, to name just a couple, as well as some former Apple Tree/Safegarten's locations in places like Montrose.

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  • 2 years later...
On 2/15/2006 at 7:13 PM, roym said:

I found this listing for Southway 6 on cinematour.com:

Southway 6, 8006 S. Gessner Dr., Closed

Unfortunately they didn't have any photos or other information. Don't know which theater was at W. Bellfort & Fondren. Maybe a similarly named one?

 

This thread is way old, but the cinema was called PLIT or maybe PLITT.  No idea what that stood for, but it was built around the same time that Welch Middle started up, in the very early '80s.

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  • 9 months later...
On 2/15/2006 at 7:13 PM, roym said:

I found this listing for Southway 6 on cinematour.com:

Southway 6, 8006 S. Gessner Dr., Closed

Unfortunately they didn't have any photos or other information. Don't know which theater was at W. Bellfort & Fondren. Maybe a similarly named one?

 

Edited by cdenker
question already answered.
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