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A houston Original


One of the oldest shopping centers not only in Texas, but the United States

The first commercial structures that later became what we call River Oaks Shopping Center were built in the 1930s. Overtime, the shopping center has seen extensive changes and improvements to the architecture, landscaping and accessibility of the center reflecting Houston's increasingly sophisticated tastes and high standards for both beauty and convenience.

The Theater

The River Oaks Theater was built in 1939

Landmark Theatres operated the cinema house from 1976 to 2021, generally showing foreign language and independent films, as well as other "art-house" movies.

In 1986, Landmark turned the one screen theater into a three-screen theater by splitting the spacious balcony in two, facilitating two smaller screens upstairs.

In 2022, Star Cinema Grille signed a lease to reopen the theater after completing renovations. The theater is expected to reopen in 2023.

Photo of River Oaks' Theater Then
One of the main plaza sections of River Oaks in the 1970s

1970 - One of the main plaza sections of the River Oaks on the north side of West Gray featured retail on the ground level and offices above.


Established in 1937, River Oaks Shopping Center was the first retail development of its kind in Houston, Texas. As the center evolved throughout the decades, River Oaks Shopping Center has stayed true to its roots by maintaining its iconic art deco architecture, originally designed by Nunn & McGinty. Today, signature palm trees line the center’s man drag along West Gray, welcoming you to River Oaks Shopping Center.

A gas station anchored in the 1960's

1960 - A gas station anchored the northeast corner of West Gray Street & Shepherd Drive.

Two stylized buildings in the 1950's

1950 - On the corner of West Gray Street & Shepherd Drive two stylized buildings welcomed shoppers to the early days of the River Oaks neighborhood.

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W Gray St. & Shepherd Dr., Houston, TX 77019