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Alamo Drafthouse

Hey look, a Regent Square update

Sometimes I forget this is still a thing.

In 2007, longtime urbanites said goodbye to the Allen House Apartments, a decades-old complex along Dunlavy just south of Allen Parkway. The multiblock property was a Houston institution, housing hundreds of college students, senior citizens and professionals behind brick walls and wrought-iron balconies that gave it a decidedly New Orleans feel.

The demolition of most of the units there – while marking the end of an era and eliminating scores of reasonably priced inner-city apartments – was done to make way for a more modern development covering 24 acres of prime property. The land has sat mostly dormant during the years following the initial announcement, but several new signs point to a coming revival of the project, Regent Square.

The development was the subject of a meeting Wednesday night of the North Montrose Civic Association. Scott Howard, the association’s treasurer, presented details about the project to residents. He said he had met with an official from the Boston-based development company earlier in the week.

“They’re ready to go,” Howard said, explaining how the project had been shelved during the recession. He showed off booklets the developer had passed along containing renderings and site maps. It was dated Nov. 16, 2015.

Howard told the group, which was meeting in the library of Carnegie Vanguard High School in the Montrose area, that the project would contain 400,000 square feet of shops and restaurants, 240,000 square feet of office space, 950 multifamily units and 4,200 parking spaces.

Plans for an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, an entertainment concept that combines a movie theater and dining, in Regent Square are still in the works, as well.

“Alamo is coming to Regent Square,” Neil Michaelsen of Triple Tap Ventures, owner of the Houston locations, said Thursday in an email.

See here for prior updates. The last news we heard about this was almost three years ago, when the announcement was made about the Alamo Drafthouse. The developers did recently finish off a high-end apartment complex a bit down the street on West Dallas, so they haven’t been completely inactive, but I think it’s fair to say the main event has taken a lot longer than anyone might have expected. At this point, I’ll believe it when I see it.

Where to see Bigfoot

And by “Bigfoot”, I mean whatever the huckster Rick Dyer has faked up to look like a “Bigfoot”. Be that as it may, the place to go is the Alamo Drafthouse.

Steve Austin knows the truth

Anyone who doubts a Texas man’s claim that he shot Bigfoot near San Antonio will have a chance, two actually, to check out the carcass at close range.

Rick Dyer, who says he shot the ape-human creature in 2012, is scheduled to make two evening appearances later this month at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema.

At 7:30 p.m. Feb. 24, Dyer will be at the Mason Park location, 531 S. Mason Road in Katy, and at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 25, he will be at the Vintage Park site, 114 Vintage Park Blvd., in northwest Houston.

The $20 admission includes a “mystery” Bigfoot movie to be announced and a 30-minute Question-and-Answer session with Dyer, to be moderated by a comedian, said Alamo Drafthouse programming director Robert Saucedo.

“We’re guaranteeing audience members are going to get their money’s worth in entertainment and have an amazing time,” Saucedo said Thursday. “We’re going to go all out to make sure no stone is unturned to offer up a fun event. After that, it’s up to the audience member to make up their own mind, whether Mr. Dyer is (for) real or not.”

Saucedo said he hadn’t yet seen the Bigfoot carcass, which Dyer described as being in a glass coffin.

“He’s talked about how he has some kind of refrigerated trailer,” Saucedo said. “I still need to work out the details about how we’re going to display it in our theater. I know the audience will have a change to get up close and take a look at this creature.”

See here and here for the background, and here for the Alamo Theater’s take. They’re selling this as entertainment, and I can’t argue with that. If anyone reading this does go, by all means tell us about it afterward.

Alamo Drafthouse at Regent Square

This is an interesting development.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, which is opening its second area location Thursday in Vintage Park Shopping Village, just announced that it will open a third location in the Inner Loop mixed-use project Regent Square, where it will also show outdoor movies in a park there.

[…]

At Regent Square, occasional outdoor movies will be among such other park activities as concerts and farmer’s markets, said James Linsley, president of its Boston-based developer, GID Development Group.

The park plaza will feature a portable movie screen and serve as “another anchor,” Linsley said.

“Since Alamo Drafthouse is the premier theater operator, we thought we should collaborate with them on programming the outdoor movies,” he said.

The 4.2 million-square-foot Regent Square project, already under construction, will include a 21-story luxury apartment high rise at 3233 West Dallas and other retail and residential components.

The Alamo Drafthouse, part of the project’s phase 2, will begin construction later this year.

That’s very cool, and I’m certainly happy that I’ll have the chance to visit an Alamo Drafthouse without having to take a road trip, but I shudder to think what traffic will be like once that’s been built. West Dallas and Dunlavy aren’t exactly major thoroughfares, and the proximity to Allen Parkway will make this even dicier. I foresee a traffic light on Allen Parkway at Dunlavy when this is built, which totally ruins the Allen Parkway Psalm. Alas.

As long as I’m talking about parking, let me be the first to suggest that this new Alamo Drafthouse do what it can to provide bike parking, preferably in a covered location. The area around Regent Square is already densely populated, and I’d bet that folks who live around there would be willing to bike in. Hell, if the traffic is as heavy as I suspect it will be, it’ll probably be quicker to bike there if you live within a one mile radius or so. There will be a B-Cycle kiosk nearby, at the Sabine Bridge; perhaps a second location at the theater is a good idea, as well. Paging Laura Spanjian…

Alamo Drafthouse had previously announced plans for a Midtown location at a proposed development on Louisiana, but [Neil Michaelsen, CEO of Triple Tap Ventures, owner of its Houston-area locations] said his group now is “reviewing alternate sites in Midtown for an Alamo and is committed to bringing the concept to that market.”

That announcement was last May. I wonder what happened to make them change directions so quickly. Still, between that and the other new high-end theater mentioned in the story, which will be on Westheimer just inside the Loop, there will be more close-in movie options than we’ve had in a long time, at least since the days of the old Bellaire Theater.

Alamo Drafthouse coming inside the Loop

Woo hoo!

I am so thrilled to announce that we’re getting two new Alamo Drafthouse locations in Houston! I love living in Houston and I love the Alamo theaters here, and the expansion of the company in this wonderful city is nothing but great news. Northwest Houston is getting a theater, and we’re finally getting that long-coveted inner loop location. It’s a great spot, convenient to downtown, Midtown, museum district, Rice and Montrose and with plenty of room for a beautiful, spacious theater. You guys: this is HUGE!
From the press release:

(HOUSTON, Texas, May 30, 2012) – Triple Tap Ventures LLC, owner and operator of the Houston area Alamo Drafthouse Cinema locations in West Oaks Mall and on Mason Road in Katy, Texas, is pleased to announce it will bring two new Alamo Drafthouse Cinema locations to Houston in 2013.

[…]

The second new Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, scheduled to open after Vintage Park, is a highly anticipated inner-loop location, which will be centrally accessible and located in Houston’s bustling Midtown area. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – Midtown will be located at 2901 Louisiana Street as part of a mixed-use project developed by Crosspoint Properties and, like Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – Vintage Park, will offer state-of-the-art auditoriums featuring 100 percent digital projection and sound as well as an expansive and inviting lobby bar which will be visible from Milam Street and boast panoramic views of Houston’s impressive downtown skyline. In addition, there will be a ground floor lobby entrance leading up to the theatre, which will be located on top of a three floor parking garage.

“We are thrilled and excited to be announcing the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – Midtown and to have the opportunity to bring our unique experience to our existing inner-loop customers as well as introduce the Alamo brand to a new audience,” Michaelsen states. “The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema – Midtown will no doubt be the epicenter for movie going entertainment for the 700,000 plus residents living within 15 minutes of the new theater and a must-visit destination for those located around the Houston area. We greatly appreciate our strong relationships with inner-loop organizations such as Aurora Picture Show, the Downtown Management District, Market Square Park, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Whole Foods and many more, and look forward to creating new partnerships with our Midtown neighbors.”

I am over the moon at having this theater nearby. There’s a map of the location at the Chron’s Newswatch blog, and if you zoom and and switch to street view, you can see they’ll be using the space now occupied by some abandoned building. Alternately, you can look at the photos on Swamplot for more. Oh, and they’re a few blocks away from the McGowan light rail stop. Awesomeness all around. Via InnerLooped.

Kroger gets its 380

Despite neighborhood opposition, City Council has approved a 380 agreement for the proposed Kroger on Studemont at I-10.

District H Councilman Ed Gonzalez, who represents the area around the proposed store and who championed the 380 agreement, insisted the deal was less an incentive to Kroger than it was a way for the city to extract benefits from a market-driven project. The deal gives the city two blocks of road, sidewalks and traffic lights more than a decade early, and also hands over to the city a third of an acre that it would someday need to extend Summer Street from Studemont to Sawyer.

Mayor Annise Parker said Houston’s strategy differs from that of cities that build infrastructure first and then try to recruit businesses to move in.

“We have not chosen to use that sort of what I would call ‘corporate welfare.’ We have said, ‘Business, if you want to open and you need the street, you pay for the street. We’ll pay you back, but if you really want to be there, you use your dollars upfront,'” Parker said.

The city will pay a premium on that upfront money. The deal calls for the city to pay Kroger back with 5.17 percent interest. The city’s rate on bonds through which it finances public works projects ranges from 2.55 percent to 4.06 percent, according to information that Councilwoman Anne Clutterbuck got from the city’s Finance Department.

“What do you make on your IRA? I would love to make a 5.17 percent return,” Clutterbuck said. “The taxpayer, in my opinion, should not be on the hook for that.”

The rationale given by Mayor Parker for the use of 380 agreements is sensible. It’s certainly a less risky approach than “build it and hope they come”. Aside from the premium interest rate, whether it’s good policy to use a 380 in this particular location is another matter. The outline of the deal here sounds better than what was struck for Ainbinder on Yale Street, but I’m dubious about the wisdom of a supermarket there. I’ve seen traffic at the light back up all the way to Center Street during the afternoon rush hour, thanks in large part to the many people wanting to enter I-10 West from Studemont. The thought of adding in grocery store traffic, not to mention another traffic light, makes my head hurt. Having said that, I’m not sure what kind of development could have been built there that would be both low impact on traffic and profitable to the developer. Long term, I may have to think about using Sawyer/Watson as an alternate route, though if the rumored plans of an Alamo Drafthouse come to fruition, it may not be much better.

Saturday video break: The Magnited States of America, where you are FREE to TEXT in a THE-A-TER

In case you haven’t seen it yet, another reason to love the Alamo Drafthouse:

I wonder if this girl has figured out yet what a spectacle she has made of herself. CNN’s Anderson Cooper picked up on it the other day:

Bravo, I say. See Austin360 for more.

Does this make an inner Loop location more likely?

One of the two Alamo Drafthouse theaters way out west will be closing down soon.

The arrival of an Edwards multiplex at West Oaks Mall will mean the closure of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema at the regional shopping center, leaving the specialty theater chain with a single location in the Houston area.

Construction of the 14-screen Edwards multiplex will start this spring, and the theater will open in fall 2012, according to Los Angeles-based Pacific Retail Capital Partners, which owns the mall at Westheimer and Texas 6.

[…]

Lacy Smythe Edmondson, a spokeswoman for Triple Tap Ventures, which owns and operates the two Alamo Drafthouses in the Houston area, declined to comment on the looming closure. The other location is on Mason Road in Katy.

“Right now we’re focusing on staying open,” she said, adding that “we are evaluating a number of locations for Alamo Drafthouse Cinema inside the Loop as well as additional areas in the Houston metropolitan area.”

It’s apparently going to remain open through the construction period, which will through the end of 2012, so nothing will happen immediately. All I know is that one possible location for a close-to-me Alamo Drafthouse is no longer available. Beyond that, I have no idea where they’re looking. I’m just hoping to hear an announcement some day.

Angelika says it’s looking for another location in Houston

The Chron notes that the relationship between the Angelika Theater and its landlord had deteriorated considerably.

Angelika’s landlord, Bayou Place Limited Partnership, filed suit more than a week ago claiming the cinema was threatening to remove equipment from the theater if it did not receive a new lease.

The landlord’s petition outlines a situation dating to 2007, when the theater’s first 10-year lease expired. It did not exercise an option to renew for another 10 years.

The Angelika – also called Bayou Cinemas in the petition – continued as a month-to-month tenant at reduce rent, according to the petition.

Bayou Place and the Angelika continued discussions on a new lease, even as the landlord, an affiliate of the Cordish Co., sought a tenant that would enter into a long-term lease for a cinema.

But during a meeting, according to the petition, a principal of Bayou Cinemas threatened to remove equipment if the parties couldn’t reach a deal. Based on the initial lease agreement, the property belongs to the landlord, the petition claims.

That story and this CultureMap blurb say that Angelika is looking for another Houston location. Clifford Pugh, who thought downtown was a bad fit for the Angelika theater, suggests some possible replacements for it at that location.

The only way for a downtown art house to survive is to offer the affluent moviegoing audience something they can’t find elsewhere. A unique movie and a unique moviegoing experience.

Alamo Drafthouse or Studio Movie Grill are logical replacement choices because they have married a food-and-beverage experience with the movies and have achieved spectacular results in the Houston suburbs. The Angelika has a full kitchen, but the theaters would have to reconfigured for a premium moviegoing experience. It’s gonna cost some bucks to do that because it will almost be like starting from scratch.

Alamo spokeswoman Lacy Smythe Edmundson won’t confirm rumors that the Austin-based theater chain is looking at the Angelika space. “At this time we are looking to explore inside-the-Loop and are exploring different possibilities,” she said.

Sundance Cinemas, a small chain affiliated with Robert Redford’s film project, and Sunrise Cinemas, a 58-screen Florida chain that specializes in independent films and hosts The Miami Jewish Film Festival, France Cinema Floride, The Israel Film Festival and The Fort Lauderdale Gay and Lesbian Film Festival are also rumored to be looking at the Angelika space. Other possibilities: Landmark, which owns the River Oaks Theatre, and the California-based ArcLight cinema chain.

In a vaguely worded statement Gary Rhodes, general manager of Bayou Place Limited Partnership, said, “We will be upgrading Angelika with an operator of the highest quality and we will be making the announcement shortly.”

We’ll see what happens. Where else do you think would be a good location for the Angelika? Leave a comment and let us know. Swamplot has more.

Angelika Theater closes

Bummer.

“After 13 years of continued service to the Houston community, the Angelika’s lease has been terminated by the Angelika’s landlord….”

No word yet as to whether the Angelika, one of a global group of affiliated theaters, will reopen outside of the Bayou Place location downtown.

As one commenter said, “Houston, a city of 5+ million, only has 1 independent/alternative theater now?” That’s just wrong. Hey, if the Alamo Drafthouse doesn’t move into the Alabama Theater, maybe the Angelika can. Can’t hurt to ask about it, that’s all I know. CultureMap has more.

No Staples for the Alabama Theater

Some news from Swamplot, from a commenter there named Andrea:

“After writing to Staples PR this is their canned response: ‘While there has been speculation about Staples in connection with the historic Alabama Theater, we do not have a lease agreement at this location. Staples will continue to be a good neighbor that supports the communities where its customers and associates live and work as the company continues expanding in the Houston region. The rumors, however, have sparked a larger debate about the location. Therefore, we recommend that concerned citizens direct their letters and suggestions to Weingarten Realty as we are not involved in this development. Many thanks, Amy Shanler,
PR Director’”

So that would be one less obstacle in the way of the hoped-for outcome of an Alabama Drafthouse. (The Facebook group now has 3,420 members. Have you joined yet?) That makes this call to action from Sarah Gish somewhat out of date, but here is is anyway:

I am asking you to write Weingarten Realty Investors and Staples, Inc. to let them know that you care about the interior of the Alabama Theater. A brief note will do, but remember to be polite. Anger does not create long-term changes – it only incites short-term ones. Having “good manners” will give your letter a better chance of being read. And, in the end, I hope that both Staples and Weingarten will listen to us and will realize that we want to preserve the historic interior of the theater. Thank you for taking action if you can. You can write letters, send emails (feel free to forward this one), tell your friends, and spread the word.

Skip the Staples addresses she lists there, and you’re good to go.

Keep hope alive for the Alabama Drafthouse

Crossing my fingers.

More than six months ago, the owners of the Houston-area Alamo Drafthouse locations talked to Weingarten Realty about leasing the historic Alabama Theater. The negotiations fell apart when the groups couldn’t come to an agreement.

Now, with mounting public support to bring the cinema to the former Bookstop location at West Alabama and Shepherd, those talks have restarted, according to one of the owners of the Houston Alamo locations.

“With the groundswell of support, we’ve re-engaged discussions with them,” said Neil Michaelsen, a partner with Triple Tap Ventures. “As time goes on people’s views change. With the combination of support, we thought it was worth inquiring.”

[…]

Even though the Alabama space is smaller than desired, Michaelsen said his group has worked with architects to come up with scenarios that could possibly work, including a venue with at least two screens.

“We’ve spent money and time and effort to try and do something there,” he said.

I sincerely hope you figure it out, as do many other Houstonians.

UPDATE: The following message was sent to the members of the Put Alamo Drafthouse in Houston’s Alabama Street Theater! group, which by the way now has 2,143 members:

Here is the official response to our Facebook group from Neil Michaelsen, who is the President of the Houston Alamo Drafthouses and who is responsible for all future Alamo Drafthouse expansions in Texas:

“First and foremost we are flattered and very appreciative of the “Put Alamo Drafthouse in Houston’s Alabama Street Theater” fans for their support of the Alamo. In terms of the Alabama, we agree wholeheartedly with the group’s members that it would make an excellent Alamo location and space. Several months ago, we had a number of discussions with Weingarten in regards to bringing an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema to the Alabama, unfortunately at the time, we were not able to come to an agreement with them. We’ve recently reengaged with Weingarten on that subject and we’ll be sure to keep you posted on the progress of these discussions.

It would be a shame to see the Alabama destroyed, and if there is a way to save it we want to take a lead in doing so.”

Hope!

UPDATE: ‘stina, who gets the credit for coming up with the idea of having a Drafthouse at this location, has more.

Alabama Drafthouse Theater idea gains momentum

With the revelation that Weingarten has plans to demolish the interior of the former Alabama BookStop so that it may get turned into a Staples or something like it, more people are expressing the wish that something be done instead to preserve the old theater’s unique look. One obvious idea: Make it a theater again.

Whenever I’ve written about the historic theater and former Bookstop on Shepherd and West Alabama, readers always comment about how great it would be if Alamo Drafthouse took over the space.

Now there’s a Facebook page promoting the movement called “Put Alamo Drafthouse in Houston’s Alabama Street Theater!”

Well, I certainly agree with the idea, which as far as I can tell was first expressed by ‘stina last September. Nancy Sarnoff asked some real estate brokers who didn’t think this was a realistic idea, but until the Alamo Drafthouse CEO (whom Sarnoff has contacted for comment) says it’s a no go, I say keep the dream alive. By the way, as of this publication, there are 1,317 members of that Facebook group. Whether that means anything or not, that’s the question. Hair Balls has more.

More Alamo Drafthouse locations on tap

Some news of interest from Nancy Sarnoff’s new blog.

The two Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas in the Houston area are being sold to an investment team that plans to open at least seven more in Texas.

Triple Tap Ventures LLC will convert the company-owned locations at West Oaks Mall and on Mason Road in Katy to franchises.

The Austin-based theater/dining concept shows first-run and independent films while a wait staff serves hot meals, beer and wine to your movie seat.

The new franchisees wouldn’t say where in Houston they plan to build new stores, but there’s been talk over the years about this type of operation opening near downtown Houston.

“There is a lot of potential to grow Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas throughout Houston and we are currently evaluating a number of sites throughout the metropolitan area. We plan to develop the concept rapidly throughout the area and all of our expansion territories,” Neil Billingsley-Michaelsen, president of Triple Tap Ventures, said in an e-mail.

As she notes, I passed along a suggestion to them from ‘stina that I think would rock: Let the Alabama Theater become a theater again. I have no idea how viable this idea is, but I sure do hope they at least consider it.

The best idea you’ll hear for what to do with the Alabama Theater

How about turning it back into a movie theater? And not just any theater, either, but an Alamo Drafthouse theater. I wholeheartedly endorse the concept that ‘stina enunciates in her letter to the Alamo Drafthouse corporate office.

I don’t know anything about movie theaters or real estate, nor do I have any money. But the historic Alambama theater in Houston has recently been vacated by the 25 plus year tenent, and it seems like a perfect location for an Alamo Drafthouse similar to the one in downtown Austin. The theater dates back to the thirties, and it’s more or less been in use for most of its existence. Twenty five years ago, another Austin company, Bookstop, renovated the theater and turned it into a wonderful bookstore. The rows were turned into stacks of books; the stage, a magazine stand. There’s a lit up marquis on the front of the building, and the art deco decor still is on the walls. The screen and curtains still hang. After Barnes and Noble bought out Bookstop, a Starbucks went into the balcony. Sadly, Barnes and Noble recently built a larger store in a nearby location, and they closed Bookstop at the Alabama Theater on September 14.

I don’t know anything about the building’s cost or square footage or leasing requirements. I don’t know anything about your company and the way it expands. This theater seems different than the other franchise Alamo Drafthouse locations, aside from the original, as it’s a single screen well within the heart of a city. But the demographics of the neighborhood seem like they’d work. The theater is where River Oaks and Montrose and Midtown meet. There is a Landmark theater in the River Oaks Theater about a mile and a half away, and there is an Edwards Megaplex about two miles away on the freeway. But there is nothing like the Alamo Drafthouse anywhere nearby. River Oaks/Upper Kirby residents tend to be affluent and cultured. Montrose/Midtown/Heights residents tend to be ecclectic and progressive. Rice University is just down Shepherd 2 miles.

This weekend, a Buffy-Sing-a-Long was held in one of our public parks in downtown Houston (about 5 miles from the Alabama theater) and the response was overwhelming. The park was filled with happy Buffy fans popping poppers and telling Dawn to shut up. I don’t know the numbers, but it seemed that at least a thousand people were there.

I’m just a resident of Houston who is sad to see the Alabama theater empty. When chatting with my friends about the fact at the Buffy Sing-a-Long, we realized that the match up of the Alamo and the Alabama could be perfect. Should you have any Houston based investors/inquiries, maybe you would want to direct them to the Alabama?

Sincerely,

‘stina
Movie fan

I would love to see this happen. The main obstacle is likely to be parking, as the strip center the now-defunct BookStop is in doesn’t have an abundance of it. But surely something could be worked out. Please, Alamo Drafthouse, take a look at this. Thanks very much.

Mixed use development on the west side

I don’t know about you, but when I think about mixed-use development in Houston, I’m usually picturing it inside the Loop, or maybe in the Galleria area. But there’s no reason it can’t be farther out from the core.

The new CityCentre in west Houston may be the most fully realized example of the [mixed-use] concept, according to Scott Shillings, president of Riverway Retail, a Houston-based retail/tenant representative.

He noted that CityCentre has the four main components of mixed-use: residential, retail, office and hotel. And it is a pure mixed-use development, he maintains, in that it isn’t adjacent to a mall. And unlike some other local mixed-use projects, CityCentre has retail anchors: a cinema and a huge fitness center.

“The term ‘mixed-use’ gets thrown around a lot, but, to me, this is the first time that Houston has actually seen it in its full depth and breadth,” Shillings said: “Architecturally and functionally, they’ve done a great job.”

[…]

Located near Interstate 10 and Beltway 8, the 37-acre site houses clean-lined contemporary brick buildings, brick streets and pleasant landscaping.

CityCentre has an elegant luxury hotel, Hotel Sorella; a sleek movie theater, Studio Movie Grill; and Norris Conference Center.

CityCentre contains several residential projects: the recently opened 370-unit Domain apartments and 35-unit Brownstones at CityCentre, which are for sale.

The 250-unit apartment project the Lofts is set to open next month.

[…]

CityCentre is next door to Town & Country Village, which has a Randalls and numerous shops and restaurants.

Town & Country Village is a big benefit to CityCentre, said Anita Kramer, senior director of retail and mixed use development at the Urban Land Institute.

“You can build these places that are walkable but have no connection to anything else,” she said. “It’s very useful to the CityCentre residents” to be next to Town & Country Village.

Certainly having it near a grocery store is a good thing, especially if there’s a pedestrian connection between the two. It kinda defeats the purpose if you have to always drive from one to the other.

I’ve been to CityCentre, though I didn’t give it any thought at the time. Tiffany and I saw “Julie & Julia” at the Studio Movie Grill about two weeks ago. It’s a theater like the Alamo Drafthouse in that it has full restaurant and bar service, which you order from your seat. We went there because we wanted that experience without having to drive halfway to San Antonio to get to one of the Drafthouse locations. We enjoyed it, and will look there first the next time we want to do that.

In case you’re wondering, this site is where the old Town and Country Mall used to be. I’m glad to see it turn into something this cool.

I will say that I think there is, or at least there should be, a fifth component to mixed-use development. That would be nearby transit options, to further minimize the parking requirements. The good news is that it looks like there’s a plan for that.