Houston Community News >> River Oaks Theater Battle

7/28/2006 Houston-- The number of people who have signed petitions to save the historic River Oaks Theater has reached into the tens of thousands.


Some preservationists believe the battle to save the theater from the bulldozers is a sign that Houstonians are finally fed up with the lack of respect for historical landmarks. So much of Houston's history has already been gobbled up, but many Houstonians appear to be having a change of heart. So what will happen next? If it were a film, the genre would be suspense.

Preservationists hope the theater battle could be the beginning of something bigger. "Houston's at the right point where I think the community is now becoming vocal about the importance of their history," said Lynn Edmundson with Historic Houston. Those who have come to search out historic treasures can give you their opinion of the past.

"I think Houston gets a D-minus, I don't think they are doing a very good job," said Chris Caudill. But people, insists Edmundson, can make a difference.

Council member Peter Brown is proposing giving City Council authority to withhold a demolition permit for up to 18 months to hold public hearings. "No businessman around the world, no person thinking about moving to Houston respects a city that willy-nilly tears down its historic buildings," said Brown. Brown believes there could be sequels to the preservation fight.

And preservationists are determined the final film at the River Oaks will not be "An Inconvenient Truth" about Houston "The Lost City."

(Contributed by Nancy Holland)