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I uploaded to the Photos section a July 1950 newspaper ad from the Daily Oklahoman, touting a Marx Brothers double bill.
I’ve been in NYC since 1982 and walked past this theatre easily a hundred times back in the day. It’s one of my great regrets that I never patronized the place — I was more easily intimidated back then by places that looked a little rough.
This theatre reportedly was destroyed by fire on Friday, 11/27/2015. Whether it was just the concession stand that burned or also the screen, ticket booth, marquee, etc., the story linked below is not clear about.
The exterior of this theatre is seen briefly in a scene towards the end of a 1970 episode of DRAGNET entitled “DHQ—The Victims.” Friday and Gannon drive by, but the theatre is not mentioned and otherwise plays no role in the episode. It’s just in the background (if rather prominently so) as the two police detectives drive by.
I couldn’t quite make out which picture(s) were listed on the marquee as they drove by.
Okemah’s a very small town, Judy, but the theatre’s on the main drag, such as it is. There should be plenty of parking—on side streets if nothing else. You may have to park two or three blocks away, but otherwise, it shouldn’t be an issue.
From some years ago, a short magazine story, with pictures, on the Washoe.
Can anyone tell me the current the status of the Crystal? Is it still showing movies?
“Not as nice as the Lafayette” is an understatement, which makes it a crying shame that the Big Screen Classics series, which was such a perfect fit for the Lafayette, will be moved in March 2009 from that gorgeous single-screen theatre to a chopped-up multiplex like the Cedar Lane.
The Redskin is still showing movies, though it does appear to have been twinned, based on their current movie scheduling.
It’s a beautiful theatre, but it breaks my heart that they don’t show movies any more. I used to make the trip from Oklahoma City when I came home for the holidays, just to experience this lovely theatre. It’s a darn shame.
TC, I wonder if you’d be able and willing to provide a larger version of that image — I’d love to have it as the desktop background on my monitor.
In 1937, when it was known as the Filmarte, this theatre also hosted the first Japanese picture ever to screen in America, Mikio Naruse’s WIFE! BE LIKE A ROSE (though it was shown under the alternate title of KIMIKO).
I drove down from OKC to see KING KONG at this theatre in December 2005 and found it underwhelming. The only thing that felt particularly vintage about it was the neon sign out front.
The older auditorium inside looks virtually the same as the two newer theatres that were added some years ago. There’s very little sense of a vintage cinema here. It definitely was not worth the lengthy drive from Oklahoma City.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s perfectly serviceable as a functioning theatre, but there’s little feeling of the old days here, the neon sign aside.
For a real vintage moviegoing experience, I recommend the Poncan in Ponca City. Now THERE’S a movie palace.
Thanks for the info.
What kind of shape is the theatre in — is it worth going out of one’s way to visit? I wouldn’t mind seeing an Indian picture if the theatre’s worth the trip.
The late, “great” moviemaker Ed Wood Jr. (of PLAN NINE FROM OUTER SPACE fame) grew up in Poughkeepsie and, as a teen, worked as an usher at the Bardavon.