Best Ways To Bring Middle Earth To Houston

December 10, 2012 7:00 AM

With the theatrical release of “The Hobbit” coming Dec. 14, there are many ways for Houstonians to discover or rediscover Tolkien’s beloved stories with the entire family.

(credit: Mark Pokorny/Warner Bros. Pictures)

(credit: Mark Pokorny/Warner Bros. Pictures)

J.R.R. Tolkien’s books have enchanted young and old alike ever since they were published more than 60 years ago, and an entirely new generation has been introduced to them through the feature films. With the theatrical release of “The Hobbit” coming Dec. 14, there are many ways for your to discover or rediscover these stories with the entire family. Some Houstonians have been celebrating their love for Tolkien and his hobbit friends for years, while others are newer to the scene. Check out these local businesses and their events to discover the best ways to bring Middle-earth into Houston.
The Hobbit Cafe
2243 Richmond
Houston, TX 77098
(713) 526-5460

Serving up delicious, Hobbit-inspired food since 1972, this beloved Houston institution offers up a bit of the Shire to all who wander into its doors. This cafe serves up sandwiches, salads and other tasty favorites with a Tolkien twist: Nearly all of its dishes are named after a character or other element from Tolkien’s books. Try the Smaug for a great turkey sandwich. Other favorites include the Mithril Mix smoothie and the Hobbit wrap. Don’t forget to check out all of its themed decor, as well, you could visit multiple times and still not see everything.

“The Hobbit” in HFR 3D
Marq’E 23 & IMAX
7620 Katy Freeway
Houston, TX 77024
(713) 263-7843

As digital technology gets better and better with each passing year, now you can see movies in a higher quality than ever before. Houston’s Marq’E 23 & IMAX theater will show “The Hobbit” in the highest quality available: 48 frames per second. Camera crews have long been filming at the 48fps rate, but traditional film projectors and the first levels of digital projectors could not display the film at such a high rate of output. With this exciting theatrical release, however, a few selected theaters across the country will debut the film in the 48fps 3D for the first time. You won’t want to miss out on the clarity afforded by this for a film full of such stunning cinematography.

Related: Best Places for Film Buffs in Houston

“The Art of the Hobbit”
Half Price Books
2537 University Blvd.
Houston, TX 77005
(713) 524-6635

One of Houston’s local bookstore chains is getting into the spirit of the movie and is carrying, along with J.R.R. Tolkien’s original works, “The Art of the Hobbit,” edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull. This large book compiles much of Tolkien’s paintings, plans, sketches, maps and other artwork into one volume for any Tolkien fan to dig deeper into the world of Middle-earth. Released just this year, this is the most complete set of supplementary materials for “The Hobbit,” released in honor of its 75th anniversary.

Bedrock City Comics
6517 Westheimer
Houston, TX 77057
(713) 780-0675

One of Houston’s favorite comic book stores, this shop has much more than just comics. Whether you’re looking for Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit miniatures, posters or other knickknacks, this is the place for you. Bedrock City Comics’s knowledgeable staff will help you to find anything your nerdy little heart desires, Tolkien or otherwise. From clothes to newly acquired back issues of stories you never knew you loved, this store promises to keep you in fantasy land as long as you need.

Related: Best Comic Book Shops in Houston

Studio Movie Grill
822 Town and Country Blvd.
Houston, TX 77024
(713) 461-4449

Enjoy dinner and a movie at the same time. Sit back in cushioned captain’s chairs and watch the movie in style as you are served appetizers, dessert or even a full meal during the film. Studio Movie Grill offers a diverse menu, full bar and seat-side service throughout your movie so you’ll never need to get up for more popcorn or soda during the film. This theater offers multiple screenings on opening weekend, but you’ll want to preorder your tickets because such nice movie-going accommodations sell out quickly.

Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at

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