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Keep hope alive for the Alabama Drafthouse

Crossing my fingers.

More than six months ago, the owners of the Houston-area Alamo Drafthouse locations talked to Weingarten Realty about leasing the historic Alabama Theater. The negotiations fell apart when the groups couldn’t come to an agreement.

Now, with mounting public support to bring the cinema to the former Bookstop location at West Alabama and Shepherd, those talks have restarted, according to one of the owners of the Houston Alamo locations.

“With the groundswell of support, we’ve re-engaged discussions with them,” said Neil Michaelsen, a partner with Triple Tap Ventures. “As time goes on people’s views change. With the combination of support, we thought it was worth inquiring.”


Even though the Alabama space is smaller than desired, Michaelsen said his group has worked with architects to come up with scenarios that could possibly work, including a venue with at least two screens.

“We’ve spent money and time and effort to try and do something there,” he said.

I sincerely hope you figure it out, as do many other Houstonians.

UPDATE: The following message was sent to the members of the Put Alamo Drafthouse in Houston’s Alabama Street Theater! group, which by the way now has 2,143 members:

Here is the official response to our Facebook group from Neil Michaelsen, who is the President of the Houston Alamo Drafthouses and who is responsible for all future Alamo Drafthouse expansions in Texas:

“First and foremost we are flattered and very appreciative of the “Put Alamo Drafthouse in Houston’s Alabama Street Theater” fans for their support of the Alamo. In terms of the Alabama, we agree wholeheartedly with the group’s members that it would make an excellent Alamo location and space. Several months ago, we had a number of discussions with Weingarten in regards to bringing an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to the Alabama, unfortunately at the time, we were not able to come to an agreement with them. We’ve recently reengaged with Weingarten on that subject and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on the progress of these discussions.

It would be a shame to see the Alabama destroyed, and if there is a way to save it we want to take a lead in doing so.”


UPDATE: ‘stina, who gets the credit for coming up with the idea of having a Drafthouse at this location, has more.

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  1. Kirston says:

    After the Free Press’ story quoting Weingarten saying that they would never allow another theatre on the site, I don’t have much hope for this move. The old Landmark crew figured the Drafthouse would consider the site as soon as we heard Bookstop was closing a few years ago, but when I called Weingarten at the time they said that they would never let a film be shown in there again and wanted some $40k in rent and this was probably three years ago.

    While it would be nice to have a real independent theatre inside the loop (River Oaks has fallen from grace and will destroy itself before Weingarten can) and I’d certainly much rather have the Drafthouse than another business supply store, I’m not optimistic. I’ll get in touch with them when I’m in Austin in another week and see if they’re getting anywhere on it.

  2. […] only has 1 independent/alternative theater now?” That’s just wrong. Hey, if the Alamo Drafthouse doesn’t move into the Alabama Theater, maybe the Angelika can. Can’t hurt to ask about […]