Popular downtown theater closes suddenly

August 30, 2010 8:03:16 AM PDT
Houston's Angelika Theater is suddenly closed Sunday, leaving fans stunned and saddened.

Many people were caught off guard Sunday by the closure. One woman had even driven 90 miles only to find the doors locked. It was a sign that ruined a lot of Sunday afternoon plans.

"I'm just stunned," said one person we spoke with Sunday.

"Very shocked," added Angelika fan Kimberly Garcia. "It had always been here since we can remember."

Karen Dailey drove from Beaumont through a traffic accident detour while her husband kept her newborn at home.

"This was my first time out of the house without my baby in four months and this was gonna be my treat and I guess I'll turn around and go home," she said. "I am very sad."

The closure was so fresh on the inside that flowers remained in the ticket booth. On the outside were wilted faces and looks of confusion all day. The Angelika has been a popular spot for specialty, foreign and independent film fans.

"It's horrible news because this is a place they show independent movies and it's unlike any other film house," said Angelika Fan Leo Grove.

"There's definitely the consumer base here," said Angelika Fan Olga Pena. "There's more people we know when they find out will be crushed."

The sign says, "After 13 years of service to the Houston community, the Angelika's lease has been terminated by its landlord."

Angelika fans hope it's not too late for a sequel.

"Houston can't do without it," said Angelika fan Melissa Moore. "We need it."

Angelika management says it will explore alternative cinema locations in the Houston market.

On Monday, Bayou Place released the following statement:

    "The Angelika Film Center had a terrific run at Bayou Place over the past 13 years. We had hoped that they would stay longer but unfortunately, after saying they would commit, Angelika changed its mind. It is amazing to think how far downtown Houston has evolved since Bayou Place first opened and helped spark the rebirth of downtown. Bayou Place is extremely proud to have a played a leadership role in the renaissance of downtown and looks forward to being a part of the community for years and years to come. We will be upgrading Angelika with an operator of the highest quality and we will be making the announcement shortly.

    - Gary Rhodes, General Manager, Bayou Place

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