Showing 276 - 285 of 285 comments
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but compared against those brawny young stud strippers who were also in the same show the aged adonises looked old and outdated.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.
I was truly sorry to read about Miss Rotunda’s health problems. His kindness, generousity, and talent are as big as his heart. I’ll remember him in my prayers!
Until these comments were posted I had forgotten all about those fun gay shows at the Chieftain. If I remeber correctly, “Sunday Knight” extravaganzas were produced by Miss Arnold Lee who had formerly owned the popular Roadhouse Show Club in the Northeast sector, next door to Frontier City. Miss Lee was testing the waters to find out if a big time drag show bar would go over on OKC’s Southside. As it turned out these glittering spectacles were a huge hit, but only a flash in the pan, because the area proved to be too dangerous.
For a couple months after the gay night shows ceased the Chieftain retained those brawny male strippers for “ladies night” programs.