Historic River Oaks Theatre closes doors after 82 years open

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Friday, March 26, 2021
Historic River Oaks Theatre to close its doors today
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After weeks of back and forth with its landlord, River Oaks Theatre will hold its last showing tonight at 7:30 p.m.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The beloved River Oaks Theatre closed its doors.

The historic theater's closure comes after Landmark, the owner, said it could not reach an agreement with Weingarten Realty over rent.

The company was insisting the theater pay the same amount as prior to the pandemic.

For those interested in trivia, the 82-year-old cinema's last picture show was the critically acclaimed film "Nomadland."

RELATED: Dozens protest permanent closure of historic River Oaks Theatre

Several people gathered to protest the permanent closure of the historic Landmark's River Oaks Theatre earlier this month after it continuously suffered through the COVID-19 pandemic.

After a six-month closure at the start of the pandemic last year, the owners struggled to pay rent and fell behind on payments, according to Jeff Smith, a spokesperson for the theater.

Dozens lined up outside the cinema on West Grey Street with signs, chanting in support of keeping it open.

"This is the only place you can see vintage films in Houston, and most of the time, people don't even realize things like this until they're gone," said one supporter. "If you take away the Landmark, you take so much of Houston's heart."

The River Oaks Theatre has sat in the heart of Houston's River Oaks District since 1939, and it remains the longest running theatre that offers the "Rocky Horror Picture Show" every Saturday.

SEE ALSO: Houston film group launches new push to save beloved River Oaks Theatre