Heights Theater . . . A Brief History

Construction of the Heights Theater was began in 1928 and was completed in 1929 for Bob Wygant, Sr. by his father and the building remains a focal point on W. 19th St. in the Historic Houston Heights. Wygant operated this popular independent neighborhood theater until his death in 1951. Ticket prices were 5 cents for children and 15 cents for adults. Beset by the competitive power of the expanding theater chains, Wygant resorted to imaginative promotions to fill the seats. One memorable promotion involved a personal appearance by the awesome American Indian actor “Iron Eyes” Cody. After Wygant’s death, his son Richard operated the Heights Theater until it was “torched”.

In 1968 the theater was destroyed by arson. “I Am Curious Yellow” was showing at the time and one rumor states that churches in the area would not stand for such “filth” being shown in their community. The Heights Theater was a family owned and operated business with no apparent need for union membership. The day after the fire there certainly was reason to ponder the benefits of such a membership and to this day the arsonist has never been discovered.

After the fire the theater never recovered fully, the Wygant family placed the beloved Heights icon on the market, and in 1988 the property was purchased by Sharon Kopriva as a gift to her husband Gus. Their idea was to maintain and keep  intact the original intent of the structure, that is, entertainment, culture, and escapism. Personal careers kept Sharon and Gus busy and devoting themselves full-time to the theater was not possible so the desire to fill the facility with such worthwhile endeavors would wait a little longer.
In June of 2009 the Koprivas invited Gallery M Squared to occupy the space after being vacant for two and a half years. Max and Michael , owners of the gallery, have just completed their two year anniversary in the Heights Theater. Gallery M Squared has been located on 19th St. for almost 8 years now and is looking forward to many exciting years of showing and selling artwork and assisting clients with their private events.

Gallery M Squared | 339 West Nineteenth Street  |  Houston, TX  77008  |  713.861.6070
Wednesday through Saturday 10am - 6pm | Sunday Noon through 5pm
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