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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.
These posted links are a welcome site, because I always thought it looked as if this house originally had a forecourt like the Egyptian and Chinese. Vintage photographs prove that it did not.
Sad to admit, in no way am I connected to any theatre folk. Nor do I know these gentlemen who post informative comments.
While living in San Francisco I met by happenstance dozens of celebraties.
Only one star I met had an air of aristrocracy. While eating at Jones Street Cafe, between Geary and O'Farrell, at the bottome of Nob Hill, in walked Ann Sothern and her daughter, Tisha Sterling. In person, Miss Sothern possessed dazzleling beauty. She wore cream linen slacks, a mint green angora sweater, a butter yellow silk scarf wrapped around her graceful neck, and sparkling emerald earrings. Everything Miss Sothern wore complimented her lovely hair, which she had let return to its natural copper penny colour. Though Miss Sothern did nothing to draw attention to herself, her presence was magnetic.
After it was discovered that this little side street cafe was quite popular with Hollywood personalities, I became a regular diner. There I also saw Lauren Becall, Yul Brenner, Jackie Gleason, Joel Grey, Betty Hutton, and Cesar Romero.
I’m with you Symco, how did all this interesting information wind up on the Inca Page? Your comments usually jog my memory as to something I once overheard.
Not so long ago a former Spectro employee explained that most theatre chains devided daily number of tickets sold into the daily concession sales to obtain an per patron average. If this average were too high it could indicated that tickets were being resold.
One reason for Miss Wesson’s strict drinks per gallon calculation method was to prevent managers from picking up used drink cups off the floor to “recycle” them. She also required that only cheap paper popcorn bags be used for matinee hours. The more expensive cardboard boxes were used during evening showings.
I’ve alos been told that Video concession prices ranged from a penny up to a dollar. They believed if children had money they would spend it, and no child should ever leave a Video theatre with money left in his/her pocket.
Architect Harry Randall was responsible for the lovey Colonial Theatre styling.
From the early 1950’s through the late 1970’s this building was used for an upscale shop known as Poplinger’s Ladies Wear.
For the Log Cabin (AKA-Frontier) Theater newspaper movie ads ran up to 1957.
If memory serves correctly, I recall that the Trend experienced a slow death. This tidy little theatre ceased regular seven day week presentations in the mid 1980’s, then opened only for weekend showings. After that it became a sporadic open and closed operation until shutting down completely in the early 1990’s.
Let’s see, Video Theatre’s yearly payroll would average out to $13,846.15 per theatre, and $1,396.43 per employee. Not so impressive, even for those days.
Funny thing, Video Theatres owned an interest in CBS, then was bought out by Capital Cities Com. who later controlled ABC.
During the summer season the old Frontier City Opera House always staged professional vaudeville, variety, or old time melodrama shows.
Besides the standard dozen or so amusement park rides like the Ferris Wheel, bumper cars, merry-go-rounds, etc., Frontier City also had some wonderfully lavish thrill rides such as Lost River, 89er Ghost Mine, Autopia, and the flying saucer.
Souvenir shops closed during winter months, but other memorable year round stores were the Jam Cellar, Taffy Shop, Norrick Antiques, and Jim’s Gems & Rare Books.