Iconic River Oaks Theatre at risk of closing

Landmark's River Oaks Theatre is at risk of closing if it cannot come to an agreement over unpaid rent with Weingarten Realty, the owner of the retail center. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)
Landmark's River Oaks Theatre is at risk of closing if it cannot come to an agreement over unpaid rent with Weingarten Realty, the owner of the retail center. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)

Landmark's River Oaks Theatre is at risk of closing if it cannot come to an agreement over unpaid rent with Weingarten Realty, the owner of the retail center. (Community Impact Newspaper file photo)

The lease between Landmark Theatres, which owns River Oaks Theatre, and Weingarten Realty is coming to an end, and negotiations to continue the partnership have stalled, ABC13 reported.

Paul Serwitz, Landmark Theatres president and chief operations officer, said the ongoing COVID-19 crisis has not helped.

"Obviously, the government-mandated closure during the COVID-19 crisis had an enormous impact on our revenue, and we are trying to work with Weingarten on a proposal that will be to the benefit of both parties as well as the Houston community," Serwitz said in a release.

ABC13 reached out to Weingarten Realty and received the following statement:

"Silver Cinema Acquisition Company has been a key component to River Oaks Shopping Center. We have continued to work with the Company who has not paid rent since March of 2020. Conversations have indicated that their business model does not support paying more than a fraction of the previous rent going forward. Unfortunately, the pandemic has caused many businesses in the entertainment industry, such as theaters, to fail. We cannot comment on lease negotiations at this time."


Opening in November 1939 with the film "Bachelor Mother" starring David Niven and Ginger Rogers, the theater has been voted Best Movie Theater by the Houston community five different times and has won multiple awards, including for Preservation of a Landmark Facility as a Unique and Special Venue for Art, Vintage and Independently Produced Films by the Museum District Business Alliance.

Landmark has owned and operated the theater since 1976.

This article was originally published by Community Impact Newspaper media partner ABC13.
By ABC13
A Community Impact Newspaper media partner


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