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A wonderful example of a prosperous small town cinema was the Princess Theatre. I believe this was a Paramount house. On below site type in word “princess” to see good vinatage photos …
A lost and forgotten jewel, the Rivoli Theatre was elegant, sophisticated, and had comfortable stadium style seating. Clear exterior/interior photos can be seen by typing in word “rivoli” …
Ginger Rogers' name appearing on the Palace marquee, in the same town where she attended grade school. To see the many lives of the Palace Theatre go below, type in word “palace”, then go search …
Only a ten or fifteen cent admission charge? See exterior and interior photos of the pretty Midwest Theatre. Go below and type word “midwest theatre” …
A most handsome theatre inside and out. To see vinatge photos of the Bays go to this site and type in word ‘bays’, then search …
Obviously Osage Theatre seating capacity far exceeded 475. Proof of this can be seen in fine images of the ultra streamline Osage. Go below and type in words “osage theatre”, then go search …
View vintage images of the Rex Picture House by going below and type in word “rex”, then search …
Styled in fun Art Deco fantasy, the Lyric surely was most colourful inside and out. To view vintage images type in word “lyric”, then search …
This theatre opened 1902 as Oklah, then became known as Odeon, and finally Liberty. To see vintage photographs see ODEON and/or LIBERTY listings.
This theatre opened 1902 as the Oklah Theatre, then became known as Odoen, and finally the Liberty. To see vintage Odeon view type in word “odeon”. For Liberty shot type word “liberty”, then go search …
The lavish Tivoli Theatre was a perfect setting in which to watch a Jeanette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy operetta. To see what I mean go to site below, type in word “tivoli”, then search…
To see exterior/interior photos of the Temple Theatre type in word “theatre”, then search…
An obvious carry over from nickelodeon days, when one bought a ticket to the Star Theatre it was purely to see a movie. There was no pretense of glamour.
Type word “theatre” in search field to see exterior/interior photos of this simple little cinema…
Advertisements in old issues of City Key Magazine show this cinema went under the name X-cite during its last couple of years in business.
To see exactly what the Isis Theatre looked like go the the below web site and type in word “isis”. This photo is representative of what most Griffith Bros. theatres.
Old time showman have oft repeated a persistent rumor; Griffith Bros. Theatres were big frogs in little ponds, powerful in small towns of the hinterlands, known for bullying managers and devising ways to avoid minimum wage laws.
Griffith Theatres held little or no clout (or respect) in large towns like Muskogee, Oklahoma City, or Tulsa. In each of these cities Griffith controlled only two or three skid row theatres.
By the late 1940s Griffith finally broke into the big time when they bought the Barton Theatre Chain of OKC. About the same time Talbot sold a few of his mid size Tulsa houses to Griffith.
When Griffith sold out to RKO General and the name was changed to Video Independent Theatres. RKO invested money to upgrade the run down circuit which brought about new found prestige, and Video looked indestructable.
By the time Video noticed a young breed of creative showman who had come on scene it was too late. Video’s massive size and outdated practices caused a quick decline.
Below links show vintage views of the home of R. E. Griffith, youngest of the Griffith bros.
and View link
Courtesy of Tulsa Library come these 1899 images of the Lyric…
http://www.tulsalibrary.org/JPG/D8103.jpg ~ http://www.tulsalibrary.org/JPG/E0606.jpg
Above photo clearly illustrates that the Strand Cinema started life as the Wonder Land Theatre, probably Tulsa’s first movie house.
This 1885 photo depicts what may have been Tulsa’s very first stage theatre, the Famouse Variety Show, operated by Jack Marris. As native Tulsan Paul Harvey might say, photo caption tells “the rest of the story”.
While the Lyric was Tulsa’s first purpose built theatre, it was certianly not the very first theatre. As this 1885 photo depicts, on the corner of Commerce and Soledad sat Jack Marris' Famous Variety Show that presented live acts in a chamber behind Sim Hart’s Cigar Store. If the stage entertainment turned out not to be too hot, one could retreat upstairs to the 101 Gambling Rooms.
1918 Overholser Opera House program ad inside 1925 scrapbook
As Tulsa’s first “grand” building the Lyric’s rough exterior basically staying the same, but seemed to constantly evolve in subtle ways. Here is an 1896 image (photo right) that illustrats an early look.
I do suspect that the Lyric was like most other Eighteenth Century opera houses, occupying only upper floors. In later years a new stagehouse was built when the theatre expanded to utilize the entire interior.
Photo right of this c1907 image can be seen the arched entrance of the Strand Nickelodeon, just beyond Palace Clothiers. Lyric Theatre is seen photo left.
Photo left of this c1907 Main Street shot can be seen the Lyric and Roof Garden Theatre. Photo right is seen the arched entry way of the Strand Nickelodeon, just beyond Palace Clothiers.
Another shot of the former Broadway Theatre snapped in 1953. Rialto can be further up the street.
An important fact should be noted, once Warner Bros took over this house in 1930 the name changed to Warner’s Auditorium and the main entrance moved around the corner to 210 Northwest Sixth Street, and remained there until the theatre closed in 1951. Photos on above posting are of the Sixth Street entrance, showing the official name as Home State Auditorium.
During WWII years the tiny auditorium on the fifth floor began showing Fox News Reels, making this one of the first twin cinemas.