ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

River Oaks Theater, a Houston Historical Landmark

Updated on February 25, 2013
The River Oaks Logo ris the same as their sign outside the theater.
The River Oaks Logo ris the same as their sign outside the theater. | Source
The facade and interior of the River Oaks theater have remained virtually unchanged since it was built in 1939, except for turning the balcony into two smaller theaters.
The facade and interior of the River Oaks theater have remained virtually unchanged since it was built in 1939, except for turning the balcony into two smaller theaters. | Source

By Joan Whetzel

River Oaks Theater, Houston's last remaining historical cinema, has been honored with multiple local awards. Among the accolades: "Best Film Series" (Houston Press 2010) for its midnight movie screenings, Best Movie Theater (Houston Press 2000,2008 and 2003), Best Movie Theater by Inside Houston in 2001, and The Preservation of a Landmark Facility as a Unique and Special Venue for Art, Vintage and Independently Produced Films (Museum District Business Alliance, 2001). Other tributes include being included in the Houston Chronicle's list of 20 cool things about Houston (2006) and receiving an official proclamation for River Oaks Theater Day by Mayor Lee Brown (3/26/2000) and Mayor Bill White (11/6/2006).


Designed by Pettigrew and Worley, a Dallas architectural firm, River Oaks Theater opened in 1939. It was operated by the Interstate theater chain, under the management of Karl Hoblitzelle. Pettigrew and Worley also designed the Alabama Theater in Houston, which was operated as a book store for several years before being torn down and replaced by a modern strip center as part of an improvement project. River Oaks Theater is now operated as part of the Landmark Theater chain.


The River Oaks Theater is adorned with Art Deco moldings, ceiling medallions surrounding the chandeliers, wall sconces, and special sculptured artwork surrounding the emergency exits on either side of the large screen. These artifacts are still in place in the main theater downstairs as is the original color scheme of maroon and cream. The upstairs balcony, however, has been subdivided and turned into 2 small theaters, allowing the theater to run 3 movies daily.


The first film shown at River Oaks in 1939, was "Bachelor Mother" starring Ginger Rogers and David Niven. Nowadays, the theater shows mainly foreign films and independent movies, as well as the occasional classic film. It has become famous around town, though, for its midnight flicks every weekend. Every Friday and Saturday features a new or old popular film on the main screen downstairs. Although, the second weekend of every month is reserved for Saturday only showings of "Rocky Horror Picture Show" including a shadow cast.

It is currently the anchor for the River Oaks Shopping Center, situated near the prominent River Oaks subdivision. It's located at 2009 West Gray in Houston. When visiting Houston, come see a move at a Houston landmark. Check out the movies and show times on the River Oaks Theater's website at:

Contact Info

River Oaks Theater

2009 West Gray
Houston, TX 77019
(713) 866-8881


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)