06/09/14 11:00am

Live at Bayou Place, 534 Texas Ave., Downtown Houston

The 4-bar complex upstairs in downtown’s Bayou Place known collectively as Live! at Bayou Place shut down at the end of last month. “Cowboy bar” PBR, Lucie’s Liquors, Shark Bar, and Chapel Spirits had replaced Slick Willie’s Pool Hall and Rocbar in 2011, around the same time the Sundance Cinemas took over the Angelika Film Center spot downstairs in the same building. (Previous upstairs nightspots had included BAR Houston and Whiskey Creek.) The 4 bars took up 18,000 sq. ft. of space, and required a single admission for entry.

A reader notes that Sundance, The Blue Fish, the Bayou Music Center, the Wine Cellar, Hard Rock Cafe, and Italian restaurant Little Napoli are still open in the same building, a 130,000-sq.-ft. entertainment complex carved out of the former Albert Thomas Convention Center almost 17 years ago.

Photo: Shea Serrano

Downtown Shutdowns
05/02/12 9:40am

MEDITERRANEAN TWINS IN BAYOU PLACE Two replacement restaurants operated by a single owner are now set for the Bayou Place spot Downtown left vacant by Mingalone Italian Bar & Grill when it closed a year ago. Little Napoli Italian Cuisine is moving from its place up the street to share a kitchen with Kabobs Grill Mediterranean Cuisine in the space at 540 Texas Ave. [b4-u-eat; previously on Swamplot] Photo: Mingalone

10/27/11 11:30am

Here’s what you’ll want to know about the new Sundance Cinemas taking the place of the shuttered Angelika Film Center in Bayou Place downtown: First, you’ll still get 3 hours of free parking underground. Seating is by single-seat reservation only, but you’ll be able to pick your preferred movie-watching spot (and print out your tickets) from the comfort of your own computer if you want to avoid lines. Adult tix for evening shows are $10.50 ($3 less for matinees), but there’s a tacked-on “amenity fee” that varies from nothing to $3 depending on the time of day and day of the week of your showing. What amenities will you be receiving in return for that little upcharge? Well, there’s the parking, the seat-reservation system, and the facility’s cost of maintaining “as green a facility as possible.” Plus, the 8-screen theater promises no TV-style advertisements before movies start.

And how’s the place looking so far?


04/20/11 9:57am

BAYOU PLACE TURNOVER NOW COMPLETE Curtain! The oldest tenant at Bayou Place downtown — and the only venue left from the original 1997 retail lineup at the revamped former Albert Thomas Convention Center — closed last week. Mingalone Italian Bar & Grill, with its balcony view of the Wortham Center plaza from across Texas Ave., had a 14-year run. Photo: Mingalone

03/31/11 12:58pm

IT’S OFFICIAL: ROBERT REDFORD, SUNDANCE CINEMA TAKING OVER THE ANGELIKA, HOLDING YOUR SEAT Robert Redford’s Sundance Cinema will spend $2.25 million to renovate the 36,000-sq.-ft. former Angelika Film Center space in Bayou Place downtown, according to today’s official announcement from the Mayor’s office. The new movie complex is scheduled to open on November 1 in the former Albert Thomas Convention Center at 510 Texas St. Underground parking will still be free, but movie showings will have reserved seating only. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo: Aaron Carpenter

02/10/11 7:25pm

The city of Houston and the Cordish Company are “deep into negotiations” with Sundance Cinemas to take over the former Angelika Theater spot at Bayou Place, Steven Thomson reports. Robert Redford’s Sundance Group has operated 2 Sundance Cinemas since 2007 — an 8-screen complex in San Francisco and a 6-screen multiplex in Madison, Wisconsin. If Sundance does end up taking over the vacant Angelika space at 510 Texas St. and maintains all existing screens, it would tie with the Sundance Kabuki Cinema near Pacific Heights as the largest complex in the small chain. The company appears to have scaled back the aggressive expansion plans it announced 4 years ago, which included new theaters in Chicago and Denver. The Angelika Film Center closed suddenly last summer.


08/31/10 11:54am

The high-stakes leasing drama that culminated in Sunday’s sudden early-morning shuttering of the Angelika Film Center at Bayou Place Downtown included some familiar plot elements: the wandering eye, the unwillingness to commit, the threats of retaliation, the uh . . . 30-day notice to terminate. Andrew Dansby and Nancy Sarnoff track the courtroom scenes:

Angelika’s landlord, Bayou Place Limited Partnership, filed suit more than a week ago claiming the cinema was threatening to remove equipment from the theater if it did not receive a new lease.

The landlord’s petition outlines a situation dating to 2007, when the theater’s first 10-year lease expired. It did not exercise an option to renew for another 10 years.

The Angelika – also called Bayou Cinemas in the petition – continued as a month-to-month tenant at reduce rent, according to the petition.

Bayou Place and the Angelika continued discussions on a new lease, even as the landlord, an affiliate of the Cordish Co., sought a tenant that would enter into a long-term lease for a cinema.

But during a meeting, according to the petition, a principal of Bayou Cinemas threatened to remove equipment if the parties couldn’t reach a deal. Based on the initial lease agreement, the property belongs to the landlord, the petition claims.

The theater’s lawyer has filed a general denial of the allegations in the suit.

And oh, the broken promises: Angelika says the company had received official notice ending its month-to-month tenancy as of September 18th; Bayou Place’s general manager says Angelika changed its mind about committing to something longer term. How will it all end?


08/30/10 12:30pm

ANGELIKA THEATER UPDATE: WHO’S ON DECK? From a statement issued this morning by Gary Rhodes, Bayou Place Limited Partnership’s general manager: “The Angelika Film Center had a terrific run at Bayou Place over the past 13 years. We had hoped that they would stay longer but unfortunately, after saying they would commit, Angelika changed its mind. It is amazing to think how far downtown Houston has evolved since Bayou Place first opened and helped spark the rebirth of downtown. . . . We will be upgrading Angelika with an operator of the highest quality and we will be making the announcement shortly.” [MyFox Houston; previously on Swamplot]

08/30/10 9:27am

Some managers at Downtown’s Angelika Film Center who showed up for work Sunday morning didn’t know any better than customers showing up for the Sunday morning matinees of Eat Pray Love and Farewell that the indie theater had been shuttered overnight. “After 13 years of continued service to the Houston community,” read a note posted on an empty ticket-booth window and papered-over front doors, “the Angelika’s lease has been terminated by the Angelika’s landlord, Bayou Place Limited Partnership, an affiliate of the Cordish Company.” But Cordish officials weren’t even returning phone calls from the Chronicle. Anyone want to tell us what really happened?