2/2/2022 - On Wednesday, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner made a big announcement about the future of the Historic River Oaks Theatre.
It will now become an upscale dine-in theater while also preserving the 80-year history and design of the building.
"It is the spot where a whole lot of magical moments happen in Houston," said Kyle Vaughn.
Vaughn is a part of "Friends of River Oaks Theatre", a group that was formed by concerned Houstonians after news broke last year that River Oaks Theatre was shutting its doors.
"The concept of this becoming a Trader Joes or a parking lot broke my heart." Vaughn said.
Kimco Realty entered into a long-term lease with the owner Omar Khan to reopen the River Oaks Theatre.
The venue will keep its name and remain an art-house theater. Kimco Realty, an affiliate of Star Cinema Grill, will transform the historic venue into an upscale dine-in theatre concept with top-notch food and beverages and what they describe as new cutting-edge theatre amenities.
"Holding onto the culture, the personality, and the art of our city," Turner said.
The Mayor says initially the fate of River Oaks Theatre didn’t look promising, but the Houstonians who sent emails, and made calls speaking up played a major part in saving the theatre.
"People are listening, people do care; they recognize how important preserving and enhancing the River Oaks Theatre is, so let me just thank all the people who spoke up," said Turner.
The city says there’s a lot of renovation work and things to get in order before a grand opening will be announced, but of course we’ll follow the progress and keep you up to date.