picture show at the plant
Game-changing and wonderfully walkable East End hub opens doors to longtime Houston cinema group's HQ
One of Houston's most beloved media arts nonprofits is making a move to game-changing development in Second Ward. Aurora Picture Show, a 25-year local arts fixture, will relocate to The Plant/Second Ward — the East End destination that's billed as “Houston’s first walkable urban corridor.”
Aurora Picture Show's new space (201 Roberts St.) will encompass 2,500 square feet in a converted warehouse — one of 13 historic industrial buildings that once served as the headquarters of oil field manufacturer W-K-M. The innovative — and potentially revolutionary Plant/Second Ward development comes courtesy of Concept Neighborhood, a Houston-based real estate investment, development, and management company.
Plans call for new offices and for the site to be a venue for its screenings, film festivals, installations, live performances, artist talks, and member events. Aurora Picture Show management expects the move to occur late 2023.
“Even as a 25-year-old organization, we never stop trying to build new connections, deepen relationships, and create meaningful experiences through moving image art,” Aurora’s executive director, Sarah Stauder, noted in a statement. “There’s no better part of town to center those efforts than the East End – a place with a strong cultural identity, a rich history, and a thriving creative community.”
That sentiment is echoed by Concept Neighborhood's visionary managing principal, Jeff Kaplan. “The Second Ward has a rich, robust creative and maker community, and Aurora Picture Show’s decision to relocate its headquarters here further validates the vibrancy of this unique pocket of Houston,” Kaplan said in a press announcement. “Much of The Plant/Second Ward will focus on creative maker space given the East End’s designation as a cultural district and its proximity to Buffalo Bayou, and we believe that their move into the neighborhood will further attract artists and arts organization to the corridor. Aurora Picture Show is an anchor institution in Houston, and we are excited to be working together and amplify the arts offerings within The Plant/Second Ward.”
Indeed, the 145,000 square foot assemblage making up The Plant/Second Ward include the creation of Roberts Row, a collection of hyperlocal shops and businesses. Walkable features — an absolute must for Kaplan and company — include new public green spaces, sidewalks, and trails along Roberts Street between Garrow and Commerce Streets, pre press materials.
Championing an creative-focused sensibility, Concept Neighborhood unveiled plans for The Plant/Second Ward late last year. The development will stretch from Harrisburg Boulevard to Buffalo Bayou East and is meant to integrate the community by way of a curated list of shops, restaurants, gathering places, and public amenities.
Concept Neighborhood plans to roll out some 250,000 square feet of retail and creative office/urban maker space along with more than 1,000 multifamily units designed for a mix of market-rate, workforce housing, per press materials.
A hallmark of hyper-local and indie arts, Aurora Picture Show has fostered exposure, appreciation, and understanding of cinema through showcases, events, educational experiences, and more for a quarter of a century. The organization regularly works with museums, nonprofits, festivals, schools, libraries, community centers, and hospitals to deliver clever, interesting works and engagements.