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The Rex Theatre was not open during WWII years because it was an idenpendently owned theatre and the owner had enlisted.
When possible all black cast films were booked for the African American community in Okmulgee. Whenever black films were not available independent product was exhibited, such as Monogram, Tiffany, PRC, Qaulity, etc.
Rex seldom ran newspaper or radio ads, but instead relied heavily on word of mouth from a loyal fan base.
Ed Swallow, a great guy, once told me how Griffith Theatres tried every trick in the book to gain control over this independent theatre, but somehow the black gentleman who owned the Rex bravely held on to his one and only movie house.
Rex was a medium sized theatre that surely held seating capacity far greater than 300. At any rate, movies were shown there up to 1961.
McAlester Public Library has provided the correct address for the Forum Theatre, it was at 202 East Choctaw Avenue. A law firm now occupies this location.
While on Tulsa Public Library/BFC link be sure to check out the 1920 Central High School (not the 1905 Central High) images to see pictures of a mammoth 1927, Kilgen 4-manual, 45-rank pipe organ. When installed this was reputed to be one of the largest pipe organ ever built.
Below link also has recent images of this fine organ, along with the 1927, 3-manual Robert-Morton theatre pipe organ that originally was installed inside the Capitol Theatre, Steubenville, OH.
This link contains a good photograph of the 1927, Robert-Morton 3- manual theatre pipe organ that was originally installed inside Steubenville’s Capitol Theatre. This fine instrument is now showcased in Tulsa, owned by Sooner State ATOS Chapter,
Styling for the Boomer Theater was 1940’s modernist streamline. Exterior color schemes were cream and foam green, with gray star accents. Terrazzo sidewalks guided ticket buyers to a corner box-office, which led into a low ceiling, triangular shaped vestibule lined with coming attractions poster display cases.
A spacious oval shaped lobby was twenty-five feet high. Lobby walls were painted moss gold with foam green trim, and green cove lighting. Green velvet roping directed ticket holders to a brightly lighted concession stand. Lobby carpeting was in rich green with gray accents.
Seperating the lobby from the auditorium was a long standee area, also with green cove lighting. This space, as well as the back row, was known as a ‘cruise" area for gay men.
Moss gold auditorium walls were staggerd with indirect lighting inside indentations, and around ceiling coves. Oversized tufted plaster proscenium panels complemented heavy green stage curtains that were trimmed in zigzag gold fringe.
During the middle of a hot summer night in 1968 an unknown source caused stage drapes to catch fire. To hide resulting smoke damage the side walls were covered over by drab fiberglass curtains, which eliminated indirect lighting inlets, and new scarlet stage drapes replaced the fancier originals.
Installed throughout the theater was new carpeting with an abstract red/black/gold swirl pattern. RKO held a copyright on this carpet weave and used this same design in all its subsidiary Video Independent Theatres. RKO also had a copyrighted design on its drink cups and popcorn boxes, also used by (RKO) Video Theatres.
Both the Bison and Mayflower theatres were built using the same blueprint floor plan, but the Bison’s dominant decor was buffalo/Southwestern styling, while the Mayflower held a nautical/sailing ship theme.
Within the above mentioned BFC link also check out heading “Interior Orpheum Theatre”. This (c1970) photo of the New Orpheum balcony was shot after the old vaude/movie house had shuttered, shortly before demolition.
Even though this was one of Eberson’s earlier theatre creations one can clearly see the direction in which this fine architect was heading. Every dollar spent shows in this elegant, well balanced design.
This short cut takes you to a most interesting link containing historical facts and photos about every drive-in theatre that ever operated in Tulsa,
Here is a short cut to a web site with complete historical data and photos of every drive-in theatre ever built in Tulsa,
This web site contains complete history and photos of every drive-in theatre that ever existed in Tulsa,
Here is a site with complete history and photos of every drive-in theatre that ever existed in Tulsa,