This Week in Old Movie Theater Rehab

Yes, the Alabama Bookstop carved out of the former Alabama Theater on South Shepherd closed down for good earlier this week. But a few miles to the north, another new business has opened in a reformed movie house. Tonight’s open house at the Heights Theater celebrates its latest incarnation: as a 7,000-sq.-ft. event space.

A quick tour of how the interior looked a year ago, before the latest round of renovations:


Photo of Heights Theater, 339 W. 19th St.: Patrick Feller (license). Video: deborahhelman

16 Comment

  • The had an event in there on White Linen Night. Pics of that event are on this site…

  • They will do really well! One question: Parking. The parking in that area is already horrible so will they have problems getting the permit due to parking requirements.

  • Maybe instead of writing silly “Save the Alabama” letters, Carolyn Farb should put her fundraising talents to work and start an “Alabama Theatre Repertory Group” that can just lease the Alabama before Weingarten decides to just save the marquee.

  • too bad that area is “dry”. thought it would be a great location for a brewery/bar.

  • Re parking: I think I saw something on the website about 25 parking spaces being available. And there’s also a valet option.

  • jost,

    I thought for existing structures parking doesn’t have to be provided.

    Many of the businesses along there (particularly food ones) don’t have adequate parking especially in the day time.

  • Parking is a tricky thing. You are subject to the COH parking requirements when you repurpose the building. When that happens, you have to provide x number of spaces per every 1,000 of sq ft. The x is based on the building use: x for retail, x for restaurant and so on. It is not an easy mine field to walk for a building in an older area, like this one, the Rice Village and such. It is one thing to get permits for new construction but a whole different discussion with an older building in an older established area.

  • Those who live up to 3 blocks from 19th Street are ‘treated’ to band noise whenever there’s a First Saturday, White Linen or other event. Fortunately, 10pm is the cut-off which means the noise is finished by 11pm. We cautiously watch the development of 19th Street, taking lessons from Washington Avenue re: noise, parking, and happy and not-so-happy revelers.

  • Knowing two of the business owners that participate in these events, they told me that these events are supposed to be shut down by 11pm the latest. Anything after that would not be a part of the official event.They are mindful of the neighborhood in this regard.

    For many in the younger camp, these events usually are the starting point for a fun night out. After that, they venture off to other areas of the city or to a house party.

  • I think this venue will do well. Even the name is auspicious. And easy to find, on all the maps including outdated Key atlases!

    [^CK thkx-just wasted 5 mins at your stupid-ok funny-site]

  • CK,

    Luckily I wasted time last week on that site! If I didn’t have a problem with taking random pictures of other people, I would have a catalog of my own. The Wal-Mart I go to at US290 and Tidwell has a plethora of weirdos to photograph.

  • Oh jayc – NO to liquor licenses. Parking is an issue, noise is an issue and what would become of all the Mom and Pop businesses on 19th – liquor would bring in the chains and soon it would be giant ferris wheels and babes in hot pants and very shiny panyhose all over the effin place.


  • If it’s a private party with open bar, then the liquor and beer can flow!

  • CK thanks for walmart site, a couple of those are hilarious gems and I only got to page 11–back to work

  • You should see all the white trash at the Livingston one I go to on weekends. It really boggles the mind all of the throwbacks there are in east TX. The store is actually clean and pretty well run up there, but gawd the people that frequent there. Whenever there’s a checker that waits on me that seems pretty normal, I usually tell her that she seems too normal to work here.