I loved the snorting bulls and six shooters. And the concerts… and the rodeos. Who remembers ‘Luv Ya Blue’?
The Alabama on S. Shepherd opened October 23, 1939 with the film “Man About Town”, starring Jack Benny and Dorothy Lamour.
I remember the Alabama [as it's always been known] as a Bookstop in the River Oaks Shopping Center, sandwiched between Whole Earth on one side and Whole Foods on the other, a Butera’s sandwich shop on the south end.
They finally closed the Bookstop last year and though the old Alabama is listed as a historic building, it’s definitely on the ‘endangered’ list.
I loved that shopping center but don’t think I want to see the big, bland concrete edifices that have gone up on either side of the Alabama. Progress, you know.
The River Oaks theater on West Gray, also built in 1939, is sort of a ‘sister’ site and is also endangered.
Opened June 1, 1968 on 57 acres, it ultimately expanded to over 75.
Sold to Six Flags in 1975, it was our Disneyland. Its last day of operation was October 30, 2005 and it was demolished soon after. According to wiki the space where it stood is now empty grassland used occasionally for parking.
That’s just sad.
Constructed near the Texas Medical Center in the forties, the Shamrock succumbed to Houston’s deep micro depression of the eighties and was demolished in 1987.
If you were a child in the Houston area in the 60′s, chances were excellent that you watched Kiterick on channel 13 every afternoon.