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The tour of the paramount is well worth the $3. It’s nice to go there for a show (movies or live performance), but the in-depth information and time you get to spend with the theater on the tour is a real treat. The groups are small and you get to take your time appreciating all the details without having to navigate a crowd or hustle to your seat. The lounge areas adjacent to some of the rest-rooms are just as much of a treat as the auditorium. Going to the Paramount for any reason is like stepping into a time machine – highly recommended, and if you’re in the area you have no excuse NOT to see it.
I currently live in the building that once housed the Rockridge Showcase West, it currently houses a number of loft apartments. My understanding is that the building itself was built in the 1940s as a furniture warehouse, then converted to theater use in the 1970s or 80s. The sealed concrete floors show evidence of diagonal tile and pits from things being bolted to the floor at one time. The theater parking sign remained at the parking lot across the street until just a couple of years ago; it has since been taken down, as that lot and its adjacent building are now a Kaiser Permanente facility. Does anyone have photos of what this building looked like during its theater incarnation?
The Eastland was originally built as a “twin” theater and played first-run films well into the 1990s. Not sure when it became a $1 theater (probably sometime after the addition of chain theaters to the local Mall).
I remember seeing ET, Blade Runner, and many, many other blockbusters at this theater. It was a pretty decent theater in the late 70’s and early 80’s. The lobby featured an old projector as “decoration.”
The Penn was closed in the early to mid 1990s and was “renovated” with the purpose of being an “Opry” style performance house. The Opry was short-lived and since then the Penn has stood vacant.
After 1979 and before the addition of chain theaters to Bartlesville’s Washington Park Mall, the Penn and the Eastland were the only two movie theaters in Bartlesville. The Penn was originally a single screen (curved, I believe) and the Eastland was a “Twin” theater.
The Penn’s style was beig-y, simplified modern / moderne.
As of 1997, this theater was still showing first run films and was run by the original(?) owner and her daughter. The owner, although elderly and disabled, still greeted customers in a smart dress suit and full make-up!
Lovely little beaux arts lobby, Hollywood baroque carpet. Sadly, in the mid to late 90s the balcony was off limits and unsafe and there was such bad water and mold damage to the ceiling and walls that it made movie-going almost unbearable.
Once I exited out the back of the auditorium by the stage and saw behind the screen – lots of rigging and plenty of stage room for vaudeville performances in the past. Also lots of old lobby cards, some from 1960’s Steve McQueen features.