The new owners of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema franchises in Katy and at the West Oaks Mall tell the Chronicle‘s Nancy Sarnoff they’ve begun new talks with Weingarten Realty about turning the former Alabama Theater into the first Inside-the-Loop location for the dinner-drinks-and-movie chain.
Triple Tap Ventures partner Neil Michaelsen tells Sarnoff his group had held discussions with Weingarten about the former Alabama Bookstop location at 2922 South Shepherd more than 6 months ago — but “couldn’t come to an agreement” about leasing the space. Triple Tap announced its purchase of the two Houston Alamo Drafthouse locations — and plans to construct new cinema locations in Amarillo, Corpus Christi, Lubbock, the Midland-Odessa area, San Marcos, and Houston — just last October.
Sarnoff explains that the Alabama Theater building isn’t exactly Triple Tap’s ideal location:
Even though the Alabama space is smaller than desired, Michaelsen said his group has worked with architects to come up with scenarios that could possibly work, including a venue with at least two screens.
“We’ve spent money and time and effort to try and do something there,” he said.
Michaelsen wouldn’t discuss what the sticking points were during the first round of talks with property owner Weingarten, nor would he speculate on what he thought the chances were of a new deal happening.
Of course back then, Triple Tap didn’t have a 2,000-plus-member Facebook group behind it urging the theater’s owners to accept its terms. What happened in the meantime? A few people read Swamplot’s reports last week that a local construction firm was already accepting bids from subcontractors for a comprehensive interior demolition of the 1939 Art Deco theater space — using construction documents prepared expressly for Weingarten Realty by a local architecture firm.
- Alamo Drafthouse: Talks with Weingarten renewed [Prime Property]
- Put Alamo Drafthouse in Houston’s Alabama Street Theater! [Facebook]
- Alamo Drafthouse Franchise Info [Alamo Drafthouse]
- Triple Tap Ventures
- Previously on Swamplot: Weingarten Realty: We Won’t Demolish the Interior of the Alabama Theater Until a Lease Is Signed, Chasing Down Weingarten’s Mysterious “Alternatives” to Demolishing the Alabama Theater, Weingarten’s Alabama Theater Plan: Speculative Demolition for Fun and Profit, and Weingarten Plans an Alabama Theater Demolition. Is Staples Moving In?
Photo: Chris Adams