Former Alabama Theater’s Pastel Modernistic Forehead Browned Out

New Paint Job for Trader Joe's, Petsmart at Former Alabama Theater, 2922 S. Shepherd Dr., Upper Kirby, Houston

The front of Weingarten Realty’s Alabama Shepherd Shopping Center now sports some big dark blocks on its Shepherd-facing facade, Houstorian James Glassman notes in a drive-by of the scene this afternoon. The gradated yellow vertical fluting above the movie-theater-turned-bookstore-turned-sandbox-turned-grocery store’s marquee sign (which the city’s landmark designation writeup says is made of enameled steel) has been done over in a single swath of brown, matching the shade applied above the formerly tan Petsmart facade as well. Marketing materials on Weingarten’s website for the shopping center still show the old color scheme:


Alabama Shopping Center from Weingarten Realty marketing materials

Photos: James Glassman (top), Weingarten Realty (bottom)

Trader Joe’s Trade

15 Comment

  • OK! Who’s old enough to have watched a movie there?

  • Seems like it is a Weingarten strategy to progressively make their historic properties progressively uglier in the hopes that eventually people will lose interest and not care when they try to demolish them.

  • Not sure if it counts but the Bookstop there used to play the occasional movie in the background on the wall.

    I ‘member

  • @bill_b: Lots of us, I imagine. I saw “Empire Strikes Back” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show” dozens of times. It was the best place for “Rocky”, since they had a stage and spotlight. That was a fun group.

  • Old School, I think you’re right.

    bill_b, I saw Rocky Horror there many times. Lots of fun.

  • I saw _The Empire Strikes Back_ for the first time there. One or two other movies, if I recall correctly.

  • Horrible choice of color! The dark red and blue in both retail signs just blend into the dark brown color now. The signage stood out more with the previous yellows.

  • Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  • bill_b: “Who’s old enough to have watched a movie there?”

    I am. I watched the movie Grease there in the summer of 1978 while on my honeymoon.

  • @ Old School: Yes, yes, yes. I think you are right about Weingarten.

  • Was it the Houston exclusive for the premiere of _The Empire Strikes Back?_ And how could I forget Rocky Horror? Rocky Horror and Cactus Music open until midnight. Good times at Shepherd and Alabama in the 70s and 80s.

  • I think the new color looks great. It gives the center a refreshing look and makes the fascia sign’s pop. The color is also a dark grey not a brown.

  • “More brown and grey all over the place…that’s what Houston needs…less color…something less interesting…” said no one ever.

  • My elementary school class (can’t remember which grade) saw Romeo and Juliet there. The one with Olivia Hussey as Juliet. I remember the seats were velvet and rocked. If you kicked the seat in front of you really hard it sent the person’s popcorn flying for several rows.

  • @Tangyjoe

    Wow. Heady stuff for an elementary school class. Bloody swordfighting and a pretty darn sexy (and revealing) bedroom scene.