houston theater 1936

The Houston theater building in 1936

The city of Houston’s tourism board recently purchased the old theater building on the square. They plan to turn it back into a theater. Here’s why that is just what Houston needs right now.

The city of Houston has seen a pretty steady decline. Don’t get us wrong, it is still a great city, it just suffers from a problem that plagues many small towns in America…boredom. There is hardly anything to do around town, and thus the citizens look elsewhere for their entertainment. Cities like Tupelo, Starkville and Oxford, just to name a few, benefit from this.

How to stop this? Answer: Give the citizens a reason to stay in town. That’s where the theater comes in.

Known to many as the former Papa’s Pizza location, the old theater building has been vacant for a while. Sean Johnson, Director of the Chickasaw Development Foundation, then began to inquire about it.

Jump forward several months. With the approval of the tourism committee and its chairman, Jason Brooks, a deal is made and the building belongs to the city. Now the planning can really begin.

They decided early on that turning it back into a theater and hopefully restoring some of its former glory was the most feasible option. It was a wise decision too, if you ask us.

One thing that almost all people love is movies. A town devoid of a theater is lacking something that can’t be replaced with new restaurants or chain stores. It is lacking a means to unite the people.

If most people love movies, then when they go see a movie, they are in a room full of people who share the same interest in movies, as apparent by their presence there.

So, there’s nothing but shyness to stop friendships from forming and bonds being made. However, without a hometown theater, the catalyst for this interaction has been removed from the equation, rendering it useless.

In addition to the movie aspect of the theater, they also said that it would double as a performing arts center. This could really benefit the community, in one way more than all others…community theater.

Most people coming through Houston have probably noticed the banner waving in the wind. On it is written, “Bring Back Community Theater, Houston Needs the Arts.”

Well, it stands to reason that these two go hand in hand. If community theater can come back – and there have been rumors it will – then the purchase and renovation of this building into a theater/performing arts center would offer the perfect base of operations for it.

There is not only the community aspect of it, however. There is also the monetary aspect. It would be unwise to undertake such a project if the city wouldn’t profit from it. However, that shouldn’t be an issue.

According to data from the National Association of Theater Owners, the United States and Canada had a combined box office of $11.858 billion in 2018. If a fraction of this was from Houston, that would be thousands of potential dollars that could pour into the city, making other projects like this one possible in the future.

This theater could also pull people in from surrounding areas seeking a smaller theater experience. While they are here, they could check out the locally owned businesses that Houston has to offer.

It is really hard to see a downside from this deal, and we look forward to seeing it come to fruition. The future definitely looks bright for Houston.

Recommended for you

comments powered by Disqus