Urban Cowboy Locations
Locations Manager(s): Frank Mancuso Jr.
Under their watchful eye, the following special places were used for filming "Urban Cowboy":
The correct address for the house in which "Uncle Bob" and "Aunt Corrine" lived is 2213 West Side Drive in Deer Park, TX 77536. There is a toilet in the owners restroom that declares that it is "The Official Throne of Urban Cowboy". If you do a google map search, plug in this address exactly and use the street view. Google has not completed the street view for the rest of westside dr. But the house is located just to the left of the one with the red pickup parked in the driveway which is 2211 westside. To verify the house look at the m design just above the garage. You can also the the steel towers for the high tension power lines in the picture. This is exactly how it was in the movie .... [Thanks to Robert Ellis]
Cody Austin adds: 2213 Westside Drive - I lived in this house. If the family that lives there now checks the attic we left some cool movie props they used up there. When the family moved I forgot to bring them with us!
Gilley's use to be known as Shelly's; also a bar with music and dancing. I lived in Pasadena, TX as a child and remember the place as Shelly's, long before the movie was filmed. [Thanks to Bill Carnal]
Gilley's Night Club actually existed at 4500 Spencer Highway, Pasadena, TX. Scenes were also shot at 2200 South Main and 2016 South Main in Houston, TX.
The Uptown 3 level nightclub Bud and Pam go to called Elan was located at 1885 St. James Place in Houston. In 1986 it re-opened as a dance club called The Ocean Club. It is now The Courtyard on St. James, a reception hall. The open levels have been closed off into separate floors, still visible remnants of its club days remain. [Thanks to Rage in H-town] UPDATE: The uptown club Elan (later The Ocean Club, recently The Courtyard on St James reception hall) at 1885 St James Place was demolished in 2014 to make way for a 15 story apartment building. [Thanks to John]
Regarding the Courtyard Demolition on St. James Place. I work next door and got to watch the whole process. The Courtyard was removed and an office building with a parking garage replaced it. The apartment building mentioned is actually next door to the new office building. The Art Institute of Houston was demolished (and relocated) for the the apartments. As an aside, my dad was an extra in the movie. I'm sure a lot of Houstonians were. :) I've got pics of John Travolta standing with my dad while they were getting their makeup done for the chemical plant scenes. It's pretty cool! [Thanks to Kay]
The Gilley's sign has been refurbished and can be seen at a Tex-Mex restaurant called "Cowboy Ranch", located on Spencer Highway In Deer Park, Texas. The sign can be seen from the road. [Thanks to Donald Abbott and Wanda Clifton]
During the opening montage, John Travolta is driving down Memorial Drive, and the former Jeff Davis Hospital, Allen Parkway Village, and Downtown Houston are seen. Sadly, Jeff Davis Hospital, which is seen in the opening sequence, was demolished in June 1999 and the land sold to the Federal Reserve for $23 million. Allen Parkway Village was demolished in 1996 (except for the 286 units preserved), and has been redeveloped into the Historic Oaks at Allen Parkway Village. There are several background shots of the Sam Houston Colleseum (demolished in 1999 and redeveloped into the Hobby Center, which opened in June 2002) and City Hall (901 Bagby) when the subsequent scenes take place on Interstate 45. [Thanks to TheEmissary]
During a night scene, the Montgomery Ward sign is visible, which is located at the corner of Spencer Highway and South Shaver in Pasadena, TX. The restaurant was bulldozed sometime in the mid-1980s. [Thanks to TheEmissary]
Bud and Sissy's Trailer home was filmed in Pico Rivera, CA. about 15 miles east of Los Angeles. The scenes were filmed in October of 1979 but the Street still pretty much looks the same as you drive up. [Thanks to Jack]
The oil refinery that was used in the filming of Urban Cowboy was then the Charter International Oil Company's refinery in Pasadena, Texas. It's now owned by the largest independent refiner in the nation, Valero Refining Co. [Thanks to Burt Donaldson]
I worked at Valero in Houston where the plant scenes were filmed. The unit that had the tower where Bud fell from was out of service but was still there until being removed March 22, 2017. I climbed that tower many times to the exact point where he was hanging by his foot. I asked some of the old timers about the filming and they said that the cast and crew were just as nice as they could be during the whole filming process. They wanted to do the explosion scene where Uncle Bob dies inside the plant. Plant personnel would not let them so they did it off site. [Thanks to Tim]
The trailer park that Sissy & Wes lived in is located on Paramount Blvd in Pico Rivera, Ca (adjacent to Whittier, CA). It is still there. [Thanks to Ray R]
Where 'bud' is practicing his moves for the bull, is on Howard Dr and Winkler southeast Houston [Thanks to ozzy]
Where Uncle Bob took Bud to practice on the mechinal bull was at Circle 8 Rodeo, located in North Houston off Aldine Mail Route and Hardy Street. "Red" Williamson owned it. I worked there. [Thanks to Ken]
The property that Gilley's was located on is now owned by the Pasadena Independent School District. It was aquired in a tax lien (I beleive). They have been trying to sell it for years, but since it is off a main street, Spencer Highway, it is not a desirable property. There has been talk of the school district using the land for a new elementary school or possibly a new natatorium for the school district. The school I coach and teach at, Sam Rayburn High School, is about 1 mile from the old Gilley's property. In fact Mickey Gilley's children went to Sam Rayburn, however they were long gone before I arrived in 1990. There is now a resturant named "Gilley's" on Fairmont Parkway in Pasadena, and yes, it is owned by Mickey Gilley. Sherwood Cryer now owns G's Icehouse in the Pasadena area. [Thanks to Robert Kelly]
At one time the 'Guinness Book of World Records' listed Gilley's as the largest indoor club in the world. I have the book somewhere but cannot find it so i can't tell you the year it was printed but i know it was and also included a picture. I now live right down the road from the original location and the montgomery ward's is no longer there it is now a flea market. You can only see the old parking lot, the outline of the club as it was burned down, and you can tell it was really huge. Gilley now runs a restaurant, and rumour has it he wants to open up a "new" gilley's but in Dallas. Not where the original was. They are rare but original gilley's T-shirts found, I have a friend who owns a pink one and someone offered her four hundred dollars for it as they do fetch quite a penny for an original. Ironically, they can pop up from time to time in the weirdest of places. I found a tattered worn one...in all places a thrift store here in Pasadena go figure. [Thanks to Joey V.]
Pam's condo 2016 S Main still exists. In 79-80 it was nice. Now, a 700 sq ft corner unit sells for about 90k. Google the address and Urban Cowboy and you can see photos of a similar condo. Filming also took place down the street at 2200 S Main. Not sure what was there.
Pam's condo at 2016 Main - named by its address - still exists and the unit used for the film - "penthouse number 1" - sells for close to 500k in 2009. It's also over 3000 sq ft. Smaller 700 sq ft units on lower floors sell for about 90k. The condo was hot in the 70's. It is still nice, but trendier places have naturally arisen - although not with the same view, which is a much better view nowadays (the downtown Houston skyline is considered one of the best and no downtown condos are as tall as this one). [Thanks to Steve]
Rey kindly wrote in to add that he was trying to look up Pam's condo at 2016 Main and it says it is now a bar or club called VICE? UPDATE: MC Way kindly wrote in to say that they own this condo. "When we purchased the condo it looked exactly like it did in the movie (rented the movie to verify what I had been told). Incredible views of downtown. VIAO Club is located on the ground floor."
At one point in the film, Pam mentions going the Cowboy Club. That was an actual higher scale CW club on the 610 west loop by the Galleria. Did not see that address in the film location details. [Thanks to Steve]
You mention the club Cowboy. I was a bartender there during filming (and until 1982). Cowboy was located on the corner of W. Alabama and Yorktown, right near the Galleria. I don't live in Houston now, but last time I was there went by -- I think it's a strip mall now. Also, I think your citation of Elan (which was a sister club of Cowboy, both owned by the McFaddin - Kendrick Corp.) is incorrect -- they may've had a scene fr. there, but most of the scenes were shot at Cowboy. The scene where they're dancing around the pole -- that was in the center of the Cowboy main dance floor. [Thanks to Mike Slemmer]
Cowboy nightclub was located at 5351 West Alabama at Rice. A long time Houston nightspot that saw several formats since. Known for the last 20 years as The Roxy. Closed it's doors for good in 2013. It is being redeveloped for office space. [Thanks to RageNHtown]
The two other Houston proper (Gilley's was in Pasadena - Houston suburbs) film locations were in the upscale Galleria area, the old Cowboy club off of 610 Loop West and a multi-layered dance club formerly called Elam. The latter was hot in the 70's and 80's and was one of many Houston discos that thankfully changed - virtually overnight - to c&w with the craze of the film. It is is now rented for private events. [Thanks to Steve]
The farmhouse Bud leaves in the opening scene was in Sealy, TX. A nice family of 4 lived there and was so excited to have been chosen for the use of their home. There were no changes done to the home. It was exactly as it was in the film. Address anyone? [Thanks to Keith Clemons]
Can you help? Do you know any of the Texas (or any other) filming locations used for Urban Cowboy? Please Update Us
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LX is our radical new locations feature that we've been beavering away on.. For years!
Each location will have it's own page with then/now pictures, maps, StreetView, discovery story and the most detailed explanations on how the location was used. Most importantly, the locations will have a status that shows whether they are verified correct and by whom. We are working with the actual locations managers or other crew where possible. The whole thing will be very interactive and you will, of course, be able to update everything.
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