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The entire block where this theatre sat (along with the Criterion, State, Rialto, Sooner, Majestic, and former Empire) were razed in 1972 to make way for a high rise Sheraton Hotel.
Films shown at the Academy X and Sooner were loops, more explicit than sexploitation. The Majestic specialized in booking documentary films centered around nudist colonies, or 3D sexploitation movies.
As early as 1943 other OKC downtown theatres, such as the Gem and Joy, presented T&A “adults only” films, though content would be considered soft core by todays standards.
Glad I could be of some help!
This theatre was built to be a legit house. Grand opening attraction starred famed female impersonater Julian Eltinge. Eltinge’s drag act was such a smash success his show was rebooked a few weeks later as a “return engagement”, and played to SRO crowds.
Warner Bros Theatres bought control of this house around 1930 and renamed it Warner’s Auditorium.
Home Insurance bought the massive building during WWII years and renamed the theatre Home, which was leased to RKO.
Soon after closing the Wes Ten Theatre was renovated into a homeless shelter.
Not sure this would actually qualify as a theatre. Built within a grungy motel, the Dive Inn was a tiny video cinema that held a dozen movie chairs, plus hot tub seating.
The 2000 seat Park Terrace opened in the mid-1960’s as a single screen cinema. It was later twinned.
This was a nickelodeon operation that used the same equipment and chairs moved over from the failed First Street O.K. Nickelodeon.
Also see Okmulgee Rex Theatre info…
Architect Tack Corgan designed the 1000 seat Agnew Theatre.
This theatre opened in 1907 as the Olympic Nickleodeon. When re-opened around 1967 is was called Academy X Adult Cinema.
Was this theatre once a member of the Radio-Keith-Orpheum Circuit? Painted across the west side wall is a faded sign bearing the RKO lightning bolt logo.
From the early 1920’s thru the mid-1950’s Altus had four movie houses, one on each side of the town square. In 1970 one of these theatres was converted into the Dollhouse Cinema, but I don’t know the original name.
Plaza management was noted for hiring handsome, muscular young men for their doorman and usher staff. Uniforms were custom altered to insure a snug fit.
Constructed as the main attraction of a shopping center complex the Olde Tyme Twin Cinema was purpose built to showcase vintage Hollywood films. Auditorium one featured silent movies, auditorium two presented 30’s, 40’s, & 50’s (mostly musical) classics.
By the mid 80’s VCR video tape releases had put this sweet little cinema out of business.
I know Keith/Albee/Orpheum Circuit bought this theatre a few years after it opened. In what year did they rename it Orpheum?
After the Yale closed the First Baptist Church bought many of the theatre seats to install in the sanctuary balcony.
The First Christian Church bought the pipe organ, fixtures, and stage lights.
First Baptist built a new sanctuary 1971, but a few of the original Yale chairs still exist today in their educational buidling.
Where do some of these people get their facts?
Obviously this theatre opened in 1919 as the Cook theatre. Lower left corner of the Orpheum Bldg contains an engraved cornerstone that clearly states this theatre opened in 1919 as the Cook Theatre, Leon B. Senter, architect.
Along the building top are are molded letters spelling out COOK THEATRE.
Wonder if there are any historic “goodies” hidden inside that cornerstone?
Other OKC theatres that held 2200+ seating capacity were the 1903 Overholser Opera House (seating reduced during 1919 remodel), 1901 Delmar Garden Theatre, and the 1928 Market Theatre.
Several towns built civic auditoriums with seating capacity exceeding 2200.
Salina’s The Movies 1 & 2 opened in summer of 1971. This was the first cinema franchised from the home office based in Oklahoma City. The very first The Movies 1 & 2, opened 1969 in Altus, OK, was corporate owned.
Cactus Jack’s details in paragraph four describes the Baroque lobby of The Movies. Those mentioned nickelodeon slides were projected onto a small screen above the concession stand.
Also in the lobby was a faux Victrola that played (recorded) theatre organ music. This same music would be played during intermission inside the auditoriums. One particular organ song entitled “Granpa’s Spells” was a favorite amoung patrons, and they would request it, not realizing that the pipe organ was acctually a long magnetic tape reel.
In this group of vintage Purcell photos can be seen (top picture) an old time theatre, perhaps it was the Ritz or Dooley—-
In this group of vintage photos can be seen in the top picture a theatre, perhaps it is an image of the Dooley or Ritz-
The Movies Franchise opened their first theatre in 1969 in Altus, OK. Altus Movies 1 & 2 were built inside existing retail space at an established shopping center. Each auditorium held 200 seats, auditorium 1 had been an H & S Green Stamp Redemption Store, and auditorium 2 was a former billiard supply store and pool hall.
As written above, this twin cinema was designed to look like an old fashioned nickelodeon with a decor as described above.
Web pages do change and here is an updated address for above mentioned site.
This color postcard has a 1950’s view of the old Tulsa Theatre.
Some sources claim that Tulsa Theatre and Main Street Cinema were both the same movie house. This picture postcard destroys that theory, as the former Main Street Cinema sat (photo right) between Crown Drugs and JC Penney’s, and Tulsa Theatre is clearly across the street from that location,
The middle postcard has an image of the Majestic Theatre, photo left.
Under the heading “Main Street, Circa 1929” can be seen (photo left) the Lyric Theatre. This photo is fuzzy so even though the marquee and upright sign are visible, they are not legible,
Also in this image is the Gayety Theatre.