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Around 1912 the World Newspaper Building was converted into Tulsa’s first Rialto Theatre. After the World Bldg. was demolished to make way for a high rise Kress five and dime store, Rialto signage was moved next door to rename the Orpheum Theatre. From the Tulsa Library/Beryl Ford Collection comes this 1905 image of the World Bldg -
A tropical ambience permeated the Capri grounds. Mimosa trees, frothy ferns, and exotic foliage surrounded the porperty perimeter that formed a natural privacy fence.
From the Beryl Ford Collection comes this vintage view -
Was this building formerly a cinema? It certainly looks like it, especially the expansive marquee.
From RoadsideOK come these exceptional images of the Boomtown Theatre -
Usually the Uptown Theatre kept their display cases loaded with advertising cards and posters. For one reason or another poster baords are empty in this forlorn image -
Though it has been rumored that Griffith Amusement neglected their theatre interiors. It is also known that Griffith Amusement usually kept exteriors up to date, utilizing them as oversized billboards.
Long before the Will Rogers Theatre was to be torn down it was allowed to fall into decay -
Submitted here for your inspection is a 1920s photograph of the Railto Theatre. Rising above the Rialto can be seen the back side of the Criterion stage house, which was located one block North on Main St. A few doors right of the Rialto sat the Folly and Colonial. Around the corner (left) were the State and Liberty. Directly across the street was the Novelty.
This shot was taken before RKO bought control. During the short period when RKO operated this tiny house (above mentioned), a mamoth “42nd Street” style box marquee was installed that dominated the Railto facade, but the towering Coca-Cola sign still distracted attention.
To view image, in search field type in work ‘theatre’, then enter
Shown below are 1954 shots of the Akdar after it had been made over into a popular ballroom. Clear detail of ornate plasterwork can be studied in these views.
From Tulsa Library comes this image of the long neglected Lyric Theatre. Buildings across the street had already come down, and this shot would have been snapped a short time before the wrecking crew would move in to take down the 1895 Lyric Building.
Shown on below web site is an interesting night shot of the Cove Theater. Obviously the Cove catered to teen age taste.
Below web site has a 1937 exterior photograph of the State Theatre. Once page downloads, type in word ‘theatre’, then hit enter -
If you study historic 1930s, 1940s, & 1950s photos of downtown Oklahoma City you will find no theatre marquees to be seen along the 200 block of Broadway. Since Gem Theatre ads clearly list an address of 217 N. Broadwy, this leads to an obviouse assumption that the Gem Theatre must have been a walk up theatre located within the old Elk’s Lodge Building on the corner of Broadway at Second.
This lovely sandstone building was constructed at the turn of the last century. A drugstore occupied ground floor footage, while upper floors held an embellished auditorium and meeting halls. Within only a few short years membership outgrew the size of this building and the Elks moved to a much larger location farther North.
Although a modern facade sheaths the original ediface, this building still stands. From the Oklahoma County Tax Assessor web site are images of the original structure, and a modern day view as it looks today (main entrance to the Gem would have been on the far right corner, obscured by a delivery wagon on photo left),
Perhaps Bijou angels thought OKC’s entertainment district was going to grow East of the elevated tracks. It is only now doing so, a hundred years too late for the Bijou. Take a shorter route to the above mentioned L of C 1910 image,
Take this express line to the L of C 1910 image. Once photo downloads click on it again for supersize vew,
Located on Sheridan (nee-Grand) Ave. & Harvey St. the Bijou Airdome was a sister house to the Bijou Theatre. The Bijou Airdome opened on May 13, 1906, as a rooftop, summer theatre. Advertisements show it was a two a day vaudeville venue.
Use the free search option of this web site to access further details,
Newspaper ads from this site reveal that there was also a Majestic Airdome atop the Majestic Theatre. This rooftop theatre would have operated during sizzling summer months when temperatures bacame much too hot for the main auditorium to remain open.
Check out the free search option,
After reading this post I researched William “Bill” Tilghman. What an extraordinary live. More exciting than any movie ever made.
I had no idea that during the teen years Ponca City had an extensive motion picture studio where Tom Mix and Lon Chaney made their movie debuts.
Sadly, in 1924 Bill Tilghman was gunned down. Here is one bio of many found on the net,
Here is a site that shows a picture of the Highland, and other Guthrie theatres
It is doubtful that Guthrie Nickelodeon and Highland Theatre were one and the same. The building where the nickelodeon stood still stands today and architectural accents don’t match the Highland image.
As a warm up band for Jerry Jeff Walker my group also played onstage at the Boomer.
Harold Gimeno designed the Sooner Theatre. Mr. Gimeno also owned this theatre building, and was a Professor of Architecture at Oklahoma University. South of the OU Student Union is an elaborate memorial fountain dedicated to Prof Gimeno.
Oklahoma Today Magazine (Vol 32, Number 4, Fall 1982-pp 18,19,20,21) published a complete history of this movie house.
To read the entire article and see good theatre photos, click here-
Architect Leonard S. Bailey designed the Woodward Theatre. OKLAHOMA TODAY MAGAZINE (Vol 32, Number 4, Fall 1982, pp 18, 19, 20) published a complete history of this movie house, listing original financier, owners, construction company, etc. There are also nice theatre photographs.
To read the entire article and see photos, click this site-
Exterior of the Pollard Bldg was designed by Joseph Foucart, a renouned French architect from Paris. Foucart migrated to Indian Territory to get a fresh start, participated in the Great Land Run of 1889, and set up practice in Guthrie.
Brooks Opera House was designed by Joseph Foucart, a renouned architect from Paris, France, who pariticipated in the Great Run of ‘89.
On the above site entered by Mr. Cox, go to Archive page, then type word “Enid”. Several theatre images can be seen in the street scenes.
To contact CT, just send an e-mail on Add Theatre News.
This site contains history on Griffith Bros. Amusement Co. Apparently this box also holds photos of Griffith theatres. Click on link archive, then type “amusement”.
Other theatre images can be pulled up by entering these words,
Fort Supply Opera House
Probably an image of Okmulgee’s Rex Theatre can be found at Oklahoma Historical Society. Contact Curator Bob Blackburn.