Houston >Arts & Entertainment > Landmark River Oaks Theatre
2009 West Gray Street, Houston, TX | Directions 7701929.752794 -95.408968
Mon. - Thu. 11:30am - 11pm;Fri. 11:30am - 12pm;Sat. 5:30am - 11am;Sun. 5:30am - 10am
Neighborhoods: Neartown/ Montrose, Central
Catch an Independent or Foreign Film at this Elegant Theater – Moviegoers with savoir-faire can catch an independent or foreign flick at this theater, built in 1939.
The downstairs theater is grandiose and baroque, all heavy red-velvet curtains, patterned carpet and ornate carvings, with moderately comfortable seats. The two upstairs screening rooms are tiny and cramped; even the most diminutive person will want for more space. Two concession stands carry standard fare, as well as herbal teas, gourmet coffee, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, high-end candies and vegan cookies. A funky cafe-like hangout next to the upstairs concession is painted in folk-art style and includes all sorts of alternative reading material. Alcoholic beverages including beer, wine and cocktails are available upstairs and may be consumed while enjoying your film.
Tip: Catch special midnight movies on Friday and Saturday nights.
No Parking?? – I drove 40 minutes to Landmark to see The Road earlier this week, only to find that the parking in front of the theatre apparently consists of about 6 spots.
No big deal, I thought. I'll just park somewhere else...wrong.
I drove through a parking lot nearby and all of the parking spots were 20-30 minute spots. There were no other parking lots nearby that I could see, after driving around for 5 minutes-much of that time spent trying to convince all the rich people in 100k $ Mercedes, etc. to let me in their lane.
Not wanting to support Houston's enormous towing industry, and with no time left before the movie started, I drove 40 minutes back home.
So, basically - don't go to this theater unless you know the area, or you have a long time to find parking.
Also, don't go there if your car is valued at less than 10k, because all you will see is the underside of people's noses as they look down them at you.
By far the hippest place to catch an independent film. If they close it I'll die!!! – The River Oaks 3 and I go way back -- every film I've seen there has left a lasting impression on my psyche and I love slipping out to Marfreless after for a little after-film nightcap. The Angelika and Greenway are not acceptable substitutions. I hate the Angelika's downtown crowds/parking and Greenway has always creeped me out for some reason. Hang in there River Oaks 3!!
Some good movies only show here. – There are till some places with character and good independent movies. Sure it does not have the latest and greatest tech projectors and plush seats but it plays the right kind of movies. The human kind.
nice change to the big commercial theaters – This theater is great for playing independent and foreign films, which typically are not shown in big commercial theaters. If you can get over limited parking, cold temperatures and the movies NEVER starting on time, its a nice change. The atmospher and small and intimate, especially if you are viewing the movie in one of the upstairs screens.
Good films/bad presentation – Watched 'Broken Flowers' on a trip to Houston. I really wanted to like this theatre. The shopping area is very cool, and the theatre does look cool on the outside. It is inside that needs work. Landmark needs to put some money into renovating this theatre. You expect the lobby to be small and cramped, but a quick lobby and restroom remodel would be great. The theatres need new seats as well as an upgrade in projection. The picture was dim and the sound, though in digital, was very poor.
Moviegoers with savoir-faire can catch an independent or foreign flick at this 65-year-old theater. – In Short
The downstairs theater is grandiose and baroque, all heavy red-velvet curtains, patterned carpet and ornate carvings, with moderately comfortable seats. The two upstairs screening rooms are tiny and cramped; even the most diminutive person will want for more space. Two concession stands carry standard fare, as well as herbal teas, gourmet coffee, Ben & Jerry's ice cream and high-end candies. A funky cafe-like hangout next to the upstairs concession is painted in folk-art style and includes all sorts of alternative reading material.
Love it except for the seats – One of the best due mostly to its atmoshpere. It's cozy with a unique vibe & attracts most filmlovers. Audience is polite & undistracting - as opposed to the typical teen crowd at bigger theaters. Concessions are good & comparable in value to other places. Nice selection of indy & midnite movies. Friendly workers. Despite what another reviewer posted, I've never had to wait outside when I've been early?! Cons - No student discount whereas there is at the Agelika (other indy theater) - but the lower price in concession evens it out when comparing to Agelika. Big con - the seats upstairs ... They're small & cramped together which can be uncomfortable if you're overweight and/or next to people. I'd recommend trying to catch the movie the first wknd it's out so you can see it in the Downstairs theater. Those seats aren't so bad.
All about film... – River Oaks Theatre is a Houson icon. It is the place to go for independent films, and classic midnight movies. I saw Monty Python's Life of Brian there yesterday, an opportunity I missed on its first release as I was 8 years old. I've seem Rocky Horror there over a dozen times. The seats remind me of the theatres when I was growing up. They are comfortable, but not as comfortable as the newer theatres now. The films and the audience is what really makes this a special place. The indy movies bring in people who truly love films, and the cult favs bring out the big fans of whatever the movie of the night is. Either way it's nice to be around people who are as enthusiastic about movies as I am.
FYI, They are applying for a liquor license, hopefully soon they will serve fine beers!!!
THE theatre for independent movies – To complain about this theatre is pointless. River Oaks has been around for over 50 years and the fact that it is still running is enough to garner respect. The upstairs theatres don't even compare to modern theatres. but there's something about this theatre that just makes it feel special. Maybe it's the applause that usually follow most movies. Maybe it's Rocky Horror on Saturday. Whatever it is, you have to go here just to get away from the mainstream sometimes.
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