Goodbye, Aurora Picture Show: Houston’s Best Known Movie House, Up for Sale

Home theater specialist Andrea Grover is leaving Houston — and selling the Sunset Heights church-turned-movie-theater-turned-residence where she founded a well-known local arts organization 13 years ago. For the 10 years that it operated on Aurora St. just east of Main, Aurora Picture Show featured a ridiculous range of obscure and not-quite-as-obscure film and video screenings in its sanctuary space, along with 13 weddings and a couple of memorial services. Then 2 years ago, Grover explains, the microcinema went south — to Montrose:

Aurora relocated its office and library to a bungalow in “Doville” (the neighborhood affectionately named after Dominique de Menil). Their programming has been nomadic and site-specific in order to attract new audiences and activate different sites in Houston. This strategy has worked extremely well for the organization, which has seen increased attendance and membership as a result of catering to Houston’s love for new experiences and one-of-a-kind events. I retired at the end of 2008, and Aurora is doing so well that I wonder why I didn’t do it sooner!

The house includes a movie chapel with pew seating for 96, audio-video equipment, and a “disused baptistry,” along with a small freestanding outhouse for theatergoers that was “designed by a well-known architect (Michael Bell), though you would never guess it,” writes Grover.

The home comes with a trailer, too:


The church was built in 1924. Grover purchased the building in 1997 — shortly after the congregation of the Sunset Heights Church of Christ voted to relocate — and built this residential addition in back:

Asking price: $409,000.

Exterior and sanctuary photos: Kenny Haner

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