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Cinema wars heat up: Luxury movie theater wants to take over the vacant Books-A-Million spot

Cinema wars heat up: Luxury movie theater wants to take over the vacant Books-A-Million spot

new theater, River Oaks, iPic Theaters
A source tells CultureMap that iPic Entertainment, a Florida-based company know for its luxury movie theaters, is "seriously looking at" the spot.  Photo courtesy of PRNewsFoto/iPic Entertainment
Books-A-Million, bookstore, closing, December 2012
The Houston Pavilions may soon be getting a new tenant to fill the Books-A-Million void.  Photo by Dillon Sorensen
new theater, River Oaks, iPic Theaters
Books-A-Million, bookstore, closing, December 2012

Houston's movie theater scene has recently seen something of an arms race to fill an entertainment void, with Florida-based iPic Entertainment signing a lease in the forthcoming River Oaks District development and Alamo Drafthouse Cinema headed for North Montrose for one new location and real estate shopping in Midtown for another.

Now, a well-connected source tells CultureMap that iPic is "seriously looking at" the spot in the Houston Pavilions that was recently abandoned by Books-A-Million. 

Midway Companies, owner of the Pavilions, did not immediately return a request for comment, but had indicated in a statement in December that the historically hapless development looks forward "to bringing additional entertainment, dining and shopping options to downtown Houston in the coming year."

A movie theater in the spot — especially one that promises "iconic design and contemporary luxury" and offers chef-prepared cuisine and an exclusive bar — would round out the Pavilions' draw as an entertainment hotspot, alongside Lucky Strike Lanes, Pete's Dueling Piano Bar, House of Blues and Scott Gertner's.

Is Houston's movie market becoming oversaturated? Would a(nother) luxury cinema bring you downtown after dark?