Film Fans Mourn Loss Of Angelika, Bayou Place Says Another Theater In The Works

The Museum of Fine Arts is hoping it can help fill the void left behind by the sudden closure of the Angelika Film Center in downtown Houston. And the company that leased space to the Angelika is suggesting another theater will be in that spot before too long. David Pitman reports.

Marion Luntz is the curator of film and video of Museum of Fine Arts Houston.  Like a lot of other people, she learned about the Angelika shutting down when she showed up Sunday to see a film.  She says the closure was a shock, but not a surprise.  She says there had been rumors of the Angelika's demise for quite some time.

"They had two theaters without air conditioning earlier this summer.  Last winter, it was two theaters without heat.  They had never really established a warm feeling by brining in someone to run their cafe after it closed a few years ago."

The general manager of Bayou Place, which leased space to the Angelika for 13 years, said in a written statement that the theater will be upgraded, with a new operator to be named soon.  In the meantime, Luntz says the MFAH will reach out to the distributors of independent films..

"To see if there were movies if they planned to open in Houston in the fall that we could perhaps pick up later in the fall in Houston."

Luntz says fans of the Angelika should contact the managers of larger theaters and request they start showing more independent and foreign films.  The one remaining commercial venue for those films is the Landmark River Oaks theater, which has only three screens.

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David Pitman

Local Host, Morning Edition

The one question David hears most often isn't "What is it like to work for an NPR member station?" or "Have you ever met Terry Gross?" (he has)...