Weingarten: We’re Saving the Alabama Letters

WEINGARTEN: WE’RE SAVING THE ALABAMA LETTERS Weingarten Realty is preparing reporters for a photo op in front of the Alabama Theater at 2922 S. Shepherd Dr. now being outfitted for a Trader Joe’s. The letters spelling “Alabama” that the company had removed earlier this week from the original tall totem sign in front of the 1939 Art Deco theater that the company recently gutted and leveled will soon be returned intact and unscrambled, a spokesperson promises. The letters are being painted and the neon lighting hidden inside them is being replaced. Expected homecoming date for the letters: sometime between June 13th and June 16th. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo: Jay Rascoe

8 Comment

  • They killed the theater, but they’re saving the letters. I think they should get an award.

  • Are they trying to show that they care? I mean, I’m glad that they are saving~something~ but really, what’s in it for them?

    I think folks that want to shop TJs would shop there with or without the sign.

    Reputation? I don’t think so.

  • Oh! Intact letters! Well, bless their hearts.

  • Knowing WRI, I’ll only believe it when I see it.

  • Life goes on. I used to watch Rocky Horror Picture Show in that theater in the 80s. In the 90s I hung out there and read magazines. In the 00s I rarely went in. Soon I’ll be buying my two buck Chuck there.
    I mean, really… who cares? Nobody seemed that upset when the put a big box pet store in there. How is Trader Joes any different than that?
    If I were them I’d replace the Alabama letters with Trader Joes letters in the same style. Makes more sense really.

  • The pet store was further down the strip center. Anyway, I am not sure who if anyone is upset that TJs is going in to that particular spot. I don’t plan up shop there, but I’m not upset about it. What upset me is that yet again Weingarten has destroyed a piece of Houstonia. Your attitude is exactky why they keep doing it, with impunity. And I know it’s their property and they can do what they like. I can still not like it.

  • I’ve never been in the Alabama Theater when it showed movies but I do remember the bookshop since the 80s. Loved it, and miss it.

    I once inhabited a northern clime and a similar cultural icon (built 1927) closed in 1992 after a fire and handed to the city in 2011. The result being a slow decline into moldy ruin. That could have been the alternative to Weingarten’s efforts, so, it could be worse.

    The letters themselves will become a figurehead of an icon. Lending brand to bland but at least giving us some sense of history.

  • If all the people who “loved” the Alabama Theater had actually patronized the establishments inside it, Weingarten wouldn’t have an economic case for what they are doing. The Alabama Bookstop had been losing money for years before it was closed. As did the movie theaters that preceded the Bookstop. So I say, “Thank you” to Weingarten for turning an empty, decaying, relic of a building into a job creating, tax paying, business establishment. The fact that they decided to save any of the building’s history is just an added bonus.