Tower Theater Gets A Fancy Facelift

Categories: Spaced City
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Photos by Katharine Shilcutt
Half of the new marquee installed and in place.
Back in November 2009, the Hollywood Video store that occupied the erstwhile Tower Theater on Westheimer at Waugh closed for good. Since then, the property has sat vacant, the same sad way as the Alabama Theater has been empty since Bookstop finally sold its last book in August 2009.

But a drive past the theater this morning revealed some new life for the old building, which was originally a movie theater when it was built in 1936 and which was once the home of the popular nightclub Clubland in the early `90s before becoming Tower Theater. Workers were unloading what looked like shiny new marquees from flatbed trucks, marquees that match the orange and blue facade (albeit with far less Westheimer wear and tear). Could the theater finally be making a comeback?

A call to Beeson Properties, which currently owns the theater and the surrounding properties, revealed that we shouldn't get our hopes up quite yet.

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A representative from Beeson confirmed that they were renovating the facade. "It looks fantastic," Hair Balls mentioned. "Oh, does it? I need to drive by there and look," she replied. "I didn't even realize it was going up today."

Sadly, no tenant is planned for the space. The representative merely stated that they were hoping the renovated marquee and exterior would attract a client, steps which Hair Balls is happy to see taken. There were worries that the theater would lapse into total disrepair and further depress the area, which also has to contend with the vacant Mary's and the almost empty Tower Community Center nearby. Yes, the building which houses a languishing Spec's and Half-Priced Books has a name; it was built in 1937 as a companion to the theater across the street.

At least Beeson seems to be taking steps to prevent another beautiful Houston landmark from slipping away into the ether of demolition and decay. Weingarten? Pay attention. This could be you, too.

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