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While visiting a dear friend in Tulsa a few years back, his beloved great uncle told us all about the Cozy Theatre.
Decorated inside/out in Southwestern styling with earth tone colors, unglazed red tile, and rough stucco, the clean Cozy Theatre was popular amoung both white and black audiences. A T-shape lobby flaired out into a wide standee. Lighting fixtures were composed of hammered iron and amber tulip glass.
Auditorium sidelights gave off an amber glow that was warm and comforting. Because of its steep slope, main floor seating was stadium type, but there was also a good size balcony that was a “make out” spot for teenagers. An oversized movie screen had to be placed exactly at the right sight line in order to keep balcony rails from blocking rear seat views. Rough wood beams supported a stepped ceiling, silk and velvet tapestry dressed sidewalls, while amber valour drapes defined the stage.
Rows of tracks ran beneath the Cozy Building and during it last years the shuttered theatre became home to rail tramps. Many years passed before a wrecking crew finally came to tear down this dilapidated, but still lovely little movie house.
Cinema 69 and Cinema 69 Drive-In were one and the same. United Artist Theatres originally opened this complex as an indoor twin cinema with an adjoining drive-in. In the early 1990’s UA sold this complex, and it was eventually expanded to six indoor screens. As listed above, the drive-in is now only a memory.
United Artist Theatres opened their Cinema 69 around the early 1970’s as a twin indoor cinema, with an adjoining drive-in.
UA sold the complex in the early 1990’s, and that is when it was then expanded to six screens.
Actual name of this odeon was Greeley Theatre, Bowlegs, OK. This information was obtained by researching the back of the vintage photograph mentioned above, where the Greeley name is pencilled in.
Even toward the sad end, in a most run down condition, this crappy burlesque house supplied its burlesque queens with live music. The band was made up of an organ, drums, sax, and clarinet.
On the below sites one can listen to samples of classic burlesque music-
and another site-
Leon Senter performed the 1940’s Modernist face lift for Tulsa’s Rialto Theatre.
During the Grand Theatre’s burlesque phase it was reputed to have had a fine seven piece house orchestra that would have sounded a lot like those in the links below.
and this one too-
Thank you so much for your kind compliment, Seymour, you handsome devil you. Why didn’t you come backstage to say “Hello”? I would have treated you to a cocktail.
Do any of you theatre buffs know in which Wichita theatre a juvenile vaudivillian named Louise Hovick developed her stip tease routine and changed her name to Gypsy Rose Lee?
Occasionally Google Maps seems to be off the mark. In this case the old M & M Mini Cinema can be seen a little West of the arrow. It was located on the corner of W. Britton Rd. and Britton Cr. behind that long shopping center with the white roof, between the cul-de-sac housing development and apartment complex.
I know the M & M was a popular place to go watch a good vintage movie, and think it was open up to 1983.
A complete history of the Major Theatre can be read on the link below;
A complete history and vintage color pictures of the Orpheum can be found on the link below;
A brief history and vintage clear images of the Miller Theatre can be found in the link below;
A brief history and a vintage photo of the Crawford can be found on the below link;
A brief history and vintage photos of the 81 Drive-In can be found on the below link;
Original name of the Tiffany Cinema was the Centre Theatre.
Correct address for the Dollhouse Cinema is 107 N. Hudson, Altus, OK.
My mother worked as a maid for a Scots household near the Penn Theatre. She reminisced about the times when she would take her young ward to the Penn which frequently showed Scottish films. These pictures were quite popular since this theatre was in a Presbyterian neighborhood.
My mother remembered this theatre for its William Castle publicity gimmicks. For “House on Haunted Hill” a skeleton with red light bulb eyes flew over the audience. “The Tingler” had pre-selected electrified theatre chairs that shocked some viewers and caused them to jump to their feet screaming during scary scenes. Other films used other corny techniques to garner ballyhoo.
Vintage Tulsa World Newspaper ads reveal that this theatre specialized in cheapie B-pictures from low budget producers like William Castle, Roger Corman, Kroger Babb, etc.
Judging from old newspaper movie ads the Westen speicialized in cheap B-product from production companies like Roger Corman, William Castle, Kroger Babb, etc.
Everybody in the gay community always referred to this porn horn house as Cinema C.A. Jones.
Auditorium three, the one that showed gay features, was nothing more than a screening room with maybe fifty seats.
Below are links that illustrate the type of gay fare shown at this establishment,
After OKC’s vast Habana Inn Gay Resort complex opened in the mid 80’s it took away the unique niche offered by these adult cinemas that begrudgingly offered gay film entertianment, at inflated prices.
Admission tickets were five bucks. The Chieftain seated probably 900, and for the first few weeks these shows played to rowdy packed houses full of sreaming queens.
As the novelty wore off attendance began to steadily dip. To boost sagging ticket sales 50’s and 60’s era beefcake models were brought in to pose onstage while slides from their glory days were shown, but compared against those brawny young stud strippers who were also in the same show the aged adonises looked old and outdated. During the last few performances there were more people on stage than in the audience. All in all these gay pageants probably ran a total of three months, maybe a bit longer.
I performed my hootchy momma routine in the first show and the in the last. What a contrast in attendance.
Seymour at the Regent?
Somehow I just can’t picture a handsome WASP like you stepping inside that crappy Regent Theatre. Talk about slumming!
You and me both, Seymour. We could have had so much fun cruising the Big Apple together.
Actually, I just wish I could get to know you. You’re an incredibly gorgeous man!
The Dive Inn Theater was definetly located on SE 29th St, near Trosper Park. I am sure of this because I went to this porn house several times.
The only way to get inside the theater was to go through the motel office. The auditorium walls were lined with tropical print leno. The floors were covered with green outdoor carpeting. The giant projection television set showed XXX videos and was flanked by lush tropical foliage that put out a nice earthy scent. Facing the TV were three rows of theater seats, seven chairs to a row. Behind these rows was the elevated hot tub that sat eight people. Off to one corner was a cedar sauna that was also surrounded by thick foilage.
The same porn videos that were playing in the theater were also showing inside the motel rooms via a closed circuit system. Whenever the front desk clerk suspected the vice sqaud or undercover cops were checking out the place the video showing would abruptly switch to a mild sexploitation video like “Getting Into Heaven,” or “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls.” This action also helped warn the theater audience to stop any illegal activity that was going on.
The city finally condemned the motel unit as a health hazard and the entire complex was soon torn down.