McSwain Musical Theatre

130 W. Main Street,
Ada, OK 74820

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Showing 1 - 25 of 29 comments

rivest266
rivest266 on March 30, 2014 at 10:10 am

July 19th, 1920 grand opening ad as well as the May 25th, 1956 reopening ads in photo section

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm

great pictures All. thanks.

seymourcox
seymourcox on April 19, 2011 at 2:08 pm

This link a tiny bit of history on the Liberty Theatre, http://mcswaintheatre.net/index_20.htm

raybradley
raybradley on March 26, 2011 at 3:02 pm

You’ll enjoy this link with lots of pictures,
http://mcswaintheatre.net/index_20.htm

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 3, 2011 at 8:37 am

I agree great photos Don.

DonLewis
DonLewis on January 13, 2011 at 8:33 am

From 2010, photos of the McSwain Theatre in Ada. [Please click thumbnails for larger view].

ERD
ERD on November 23, 2009 at 7:41 am

A very nice restoration of the exterior. Wishing the theatre good luck in the future years.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 23, 2009 at 12:15 am

The obituary of Foster McSwain was published in Boxoffice, May 19, 1969. It says that upon arriving in Ada in 1917 “…he acquired the Ada Liberty, following up this purchase with the Majestic, which he renamed the American. In 1919 he purchased a site at Main and Townsend streets and built thereon the McSwain, which still bears that name. During the big days of his operation here, he also built the Ritz and Kiva theatres, which he operated several years. Both these theatres have long been dismantled.”

McSwain operated the theaters in Ada in partnership with Griffith Consolidated Theatres starting in the 1920s and eventually became a director of Griffith, later to become Video Independent Theatres, and vice president of the Griffith Realty Company.

The McSwain Theatre got an extensive refurbishing in 1956, according to Boxoffice of May 19 that year. In addition to redecorating the lobby and auditorium, installing air conditioning, tiling the rest rooms, and adding new glass doors for the entrance, Video Independent installed a new marquee. According to a June 23 item, the house had reopened after ten weeks. There was new carpeting throughout,the seats on the main floor had been reupholstered and entirely new seats had been installed in the balcony.

The McSwain was twinned in 1972. The May 15 issue of Boxoffice said: “The new Mini penthouse theatre in Ada, created from the balcony of the McSwain Theatre, began operation April 27, with ‘The Hospital’ as its first film.”

In 1991, the dark McSwain could have been picked up for a song. The May issue of Boxoffice said the house, in good condition, with two screens, heating and air conditioning, but lacking seats, concession stand, and projection equipment, was available on a lease-purchase arrangement, or for immediate sale at $40,000.

holt9359
holt9359 on June 27, 2009 at 8:26 pm

I took some photos of the theater today. It appears that it’s going to reopen in July.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/asherok/3667171420/

Here are some others that include vintage and under remodel pics:
View link

raybradley
raybradley on May 28, 2009 at 4:47 pm

Advacned link with vintage interior / exterior photographs of the McSwain -
View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 17, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Here is a December 1926 ad from the same source:
http://tinyurl.com/optr9m

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 17, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Here is a February 1940 ad from the Ada Evening News:
http://tinyurl.com/qjjl2h

raybradley
raybradley on August 31, 2007 at 10:25 pm

Period photographs tell the McSwain Theatre story in pictures. During the 1930s the lovely auditorium style matched that of the Spanish Colonial exterior. A 40s Art Moderne atmospheric sky job came next. Then a 50s sweeping contemporary look accompanied a new wide screen. Though not pictured, in the early 70s beige fiberglass fabric was installed to cover auditorium walls. See for yourself by typing in word “mcswain”,
View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on November 6, 2006 at 3:49 pm

There was a boxing exhibition at the McSwain on 5/24/22, according to the Ada Evening News. Ringside seats $1.50, Ladies half price. In the same issue was this prescient comment from our old friend Samuel Roxy Rothafel:

In 10 years the motion picture will rival grand opera as an artistic
production. This is the prophecy, not by the ghost of Bill Nye talking over the ouija board, but by Samuel L. Rothafel, celebrated designer and director of the Capitol theater in New York. If Rothafel is right, the movies have a long way to go and it will have
to be at a fast clip. The movies, however, come in for a lot of unjust criticism. Critics forget that the motion picture is a baby among the various kinds of theatical entertainments.

Rothafel has a golden dream of future movies. He believes movie
theaters will be shaped like an egg, the pictures made realistic by a fusion of colors, high-grade music, magic lighting effects, the characters “talking” their lines, with sounds and even odors reproduced to complete the hypnotic state of the audience.

Rothafel even predicts that movie theaters will be endowed by national state and city governments, like the endowed theaters of ancient Greece. In the background, however, is the possibility that 10 years from now movie theaters may be closed, with the finest movies broadcasted by wireless to the humblest home. In that case, you wonder, who would pay the actors? It would be the same process as the future of radio music. The finest of vocal and instrumental talent will undoubtedly be employed by the radio industry as a free inducement to further the sales of their instruments.

Okie
Okie on July 30, 2006 at 12:21 pm

This collection of antique photos holds images of Ada’s Convention Hall, 1903 Opera House [after convertion to a furnitue showroom], and McSwain Theatre,
http://www.adaok.com/old_ada_photographs.htm

kenckin
kenckin on April 3, 2006 at 9:58 am

The Chickasaw Nation, current owner of the McSwain Theatre, is renovating the building for aesthetic enhancement and structural integrity. In addition, the façade of the building is being restored to reflect its 1920s origin, and the top story will now house an art gallery, replacing the old living quarters. As for the address, the building has never moved, and there is only one McSwain Theatre in Ada, OK. Here is a pertinent link to an article published in the Dec. 2005 issue of the Chickasaw Times and posted on Chickasaw.net: http://www.chickasaw.net/governor/index_2752.htm

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on October 15, 2005 at 3:41 pm

This is a vintage photo from around 1941-42 of the McSwain Theater in Ada.

xxx
xxx on June 17, 2005 at 1:32 pm

Lostmemory; very good, clear McSwain exterior image.
During the early 1970’s while working at the Sooner Theater in Norman, an old timer projectionist once worked as a McSwain stagehand. He had many facinating stories about great and (mostly) near great vuadvillians who appeared onstage at this historic house.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 28, 2005 at 12:09 pm

I forgot to post this the other day. I called the store that is located at 131 W Main and asked if the McSwain theater was across the street from them. Their answer was yes. You can change the address above to 130 W Main Street.

deleted user
[Deleted] on January 27, 2005 at 12:17 pm

I saw the 1908 date in the linker above so maybe there was 2 of these theatre with same name in differant years.

deleted user
[Deleted] on January 27, 2005 at 8:20 am

The McSwain theatre is located on the corner of W Main St and N Townsend St. The exact address is 130 W Main St also known as W OK-19. The build date for this theatre is 1920. If there was another theatre named McSwain prior to this one I cannot find any hard evidence of it.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 26, 2005 at 7:16 pm

If you click on the map above next to this theaters address, it will say “Your Search for "217 Johnston Street, Ada, OK” matched 2 locations. Please choose one. 217 N Johnston St, Ada, OK 74820-4848, PONTOTOC COUNTY, US or 217 S Johnston St, Ada, OK 74820-6327, PONTOTOC COUNTY, US.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 26, 2005 at 7:06 pm

There is no street called Johnston Street. It is either South Johnston Street or North Johnston Street. At 217 South Johnston Street is a store called Bare Wood Furniture. This is the link where I found this store. Its the first store on the list.
http://www.ok-dir.com/ada-furniture-store.htm

deleted user
[Deleted] on January 26, 2005 at 6:29 pm

The address for the McSwain Musical Theatre is 130 W Main St regardless of what the Ada Business Search shows. The plague is interesting. It is possible that there was an earlier McSwain Theatre at another location and the current theatre was its replacement.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on January 26, 2005 at 10:59 am

I found a few websites that gave small amounts of info on this theater. There were two websites where people were discussing the McSwain theater. I got two clues from these websites. One clue was, this theater is a corner building and is located around the block from the police station. And the second clue was, a guy had a friend that lived one block away from the McSwain theater on 12th street. The police department is located at 231 S Townsend St. I mapped that address and it is located one block west of Main St. Also, 12th street is one block south of Main St. That would place the McSwain theater on West Main St and South Broadway Ave.

I found a photo of the McSwain theater and it is a corner building. I also found a photo of a plaque that reads: Original site of McSwain theater. I’ll post the links and see what you think about this. I wish that this theater had a human answering the phone. Until that time, this is the best that I can do.

Link to plaque:
View link
Link to McSwain (corner building)
View link