Heights Theater: A New Life for an Old Houston Building

A Dallas developer has resurrected a neighborhood icon in The Heights.


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More than two years ago, Edwin Cabaniss fell in love with an old building in Houston.

"Finally, our agent called us one day and said, ‘Would you believe it? The Heights Theater is for sale,'" Cabaniss explained. " I said, ‘Okay, here we go.'"

The theater sits among the shops and restaurants on a busy stretch of W. 19th St. in the Heights. It was built in the 1920s and has been through several transformations ranging from its original purpose as a movie theater to an antique shop. Most recently, it served as an event space and an art gallery. It was even fire bombed in the late 1960s. About a year ago, Cabaniss began restoring the place with the vision of creating an intimate concert space.

The live music venue could also bring more business to the nearby shops and restaurants. "Night in and night out, we'll be putting three or four hundred people into the neighborhood that probably otherwise wouldn't have been here," Cabaniss says. "We'll probably do that about three or four nights a week. So hopefully it'll have a net positive impact for the neighborhood."

Cabaniss says they still consider themselves to be in the "soft opening" phase, but they officially opened the doors to the public in late November. He modeled the interior after the historic Kessler Theater in Dallas, which he also owns.

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