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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:34 pm 
Closet Thespian
Closet Thespian
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Joined: Sun Nov 07, 2004 1:41 pm
Posts: 309
Location: south ATX
If you didn't see the article in Saturday's Chronicle, tenants of the River Oaks Shopping Center on West Gray have been informed by the owner of the property that much of the property on the corner of West Gray and Shepherd will be razed in order to put in a high-rise residential building and, of all things, a Barnes and Noble.


They plan to demolish the entire center on both the south and north sides of Gray, including Black Eyed Pea, Three Brothers Bakery and, worst of all, River Oaks Theater, a Houston landmark.

To make matters worse, because Barnes and Noble owns Bookstop, many also fear they will eliminate the Bookstop inside the old Alabama Theater building on Shepherd and Alabama and demolish that as well. That Bookstop won awards for its unique preservation of the classic theater.

Losing the River Oaks Center and the River Oaks Theater is TOTALLY unacceptable. A petition drive has begun at the link below. Please visit the link, sign the petition and pass the information along to as many concerned people as possible. You can also get more information through the links below.

Thanks!


Petition:
http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/riveroaks/


Chronicle story:
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/printstory. ... an/4064372


Please click on the link and search for River Oaks. This will lead you
to the right petition.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 12:47 am 
Drama Queen
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Joined: Tue Jun 10, 2003 10:41 pm
Posts: 608
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Considering the state of the Montrose and the Heights it's not surprising to see this turn of events. Over the past 5 or 6 years they have been remodeling both of the neighborhoods I used to call home. In fact, a few years ago they completely redid 4th ward (a ghetto-like inner city neighborhood zoning project) and made it completely condo yuppie-land. Naturally, it makes sense for them to move that direction down West Gray. Even the Cineplex Odeon in the River Oaks Plaza didn't survive redevelopment. The vintage neighborhoods in that area are being levelled to make way for more condos and extended stay hotels.

It fairly sickened me to see the state of it the last time I went to visit my family. Houston is expanding and turning away from it's heritage. Anyone that lived there and frequented the downtown area can tell you that it has changed for the worse. All those terrific local downtown bars became swanky downtown nightclubs that none of the locals could afford. The cops descended upon us the second we pulled out our skateboards threatening incarceration while the week before they were watching and applauding our tricks.

I began my Rocky career in 1992 at the River Oaks and played there until 1998 when I was surreptitiously banned from the cast. It still is the oldest functioning theater left in Houston after the travesty of Discovery Zone landed on the Bellaire and is also one of the (if not the absolute) most amazing places I have ever performed Rocky in. It is an enormous theater that seats around a shitload (no really, an absolute shitload) and is just freaking gorgeous with old theater ambience including enormous wood carvings on either side of the enormous screen. Complete with a 40 foot ceiling and 4 aisles (2 middle and 1 on either side of the theater along the walls) there is also an enormous amount of space up front for performing. Finished with alcoves on both sides that have stairs leading up to, on the left, a giant prop room and, on the right, a small landing. Further, there is a large section in the back of the theater behind the seats and projection booth (that I can't really describe without a pen and paper).

For those of you that have never been there I highly recommend going if only to see what I am talking about. For those that never got to see Rocky there, well, bummer. It was a haven for art and independent fims in Houston including the premieres of Blair Witch Project, Requiem for a Dream, Amelie, City of Lost Children and a vast shitload of other movies you could never see in mainstream theaters. Likewise, their midnight movie series was kickass too including A Clockwork Orange, The Goonies, Eraserhead, Blue Velvet, Dr. Strangelove and many more.

I already miss the theater. Much love to Dr. X's Feature Creature.

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