Mayor Annise Parker and David Cordish, Chairman of the Cordish Companies, have announced that Robert Redford’s Sundance Cinema will open in Bayou Place in the heart of Houston’s downtown theater district. Sundance Cinemas Houston will feature specialized film programming, playing the finest movies for a discerning audience culled from film festivals and the best in general release. The venue will offer drinking and dining choices, all reserved seating, digital stereo sound and presentation, filmmaker screenings and exclusive events, plus free parking for patrons and community events. In fact, community events will mark the opening celebrations when the theatre opens on the first of November, just in time for the holiday season.
“Houston is very lucky to be chosen by one of the most sought-after theater operators in the country,” said Mayor Parker. “I want to thank Ed Wulfe, chairman of Wulfe and Co., for his pro-bono efforts to help make this happen. Sundance’s investment in Houston and Bayou Place is another validation of the ever-increasing strength and vitality of our downtown. This location will provide movie options for a large underserved area. We look forward to years of world-class cinema to follow.”
As a boy, Redford spent summers in Austin and San Marcos, where his mother's family is from. He has often said that his love of nature is rooted in those Texas summers. Redford commented on the Houston location opening, "I am so happy to see our newest Sundance Cinemas facility coming to Houston. It's a great city for our next step forward."
Sundance Cinemas President and CEO Paul Richardson also expressed his excitement about expanding into Houston, "I am personally thrilled for Sundance Cinemas to be coming to Houston, a city where I went to college and operated other theatres in my days of running Landmark Theatres, and I believe that Bayou Place is the perfect location for us."
Bayou Place is housed in the city-owned building that was once the Albert Thomas Convention Center. Baltimore-based Cordish Company has had a 55-year lease for the entertainment complex since 1997. “We are thrilled that Sundance Cinemas will be opening at Bayou Place,” said Cordish Companies Vice President Blake Cordish. “Robert Redford’s Sundance brand has earned world-wide recognition in independent film and his theaters offer an unmatched theater-going experience. Sundance Cinemas is the ideal addition to Bayou Place and Houston’s world-class Theater District.”
Sundance Cinema will occupy space abandoned by Angelika Theater last fall. It is anticipated that improvements to the 36,000 square-foot space will cost $2.250 million.