Bison Theatre

225 E. Main Street,
Shawnee, OK 74801

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Bison Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Bison Theatre opened in October 1927 with seating for 1,080. It was located on Main Street at Philadelphia Street. After it closed in the mid-1950’s, the former Bison Theatre was converted to a clothing store, later became a church, and today houses an antique mall. Any further information on this theater would be appreciated.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Lauren Durbin
Lauren Durbin on July 6, 2005 at 9:24 pm

This theater is not listed in the 1975 Shawnee phone book.

RonnyJones
RonnyJones on July 27, 2005 at 8:03 am

The Bison Theatre was located on the corner of Main Street and Philadelphia. It was built by Griffith Theatres, later called Video Independent Theatres of Oklahoma City. The theatre seated over 1000 people originally. It had a domed ceiling with twinkling lights to resemble stars. The theatre had a working stage and could accomodate traveling stage shows and entertainers as well as movies. In 1947, with the opening of the Hornbeck Theatre in Shawnee, the Bison was changed to a second run policy. In 1954 Jones Theatres, Inc. partnered with Video in the Bison’s ownership. The Bison was a victim of television in the mid-1950’s when it closed. The V-shaped marquee on the Bison was moved to the Ritz Theatre in Shawnee during a major renovation of the Ritz in 1966. The building was sold and first became a western wear clothing store, later a church and now an antique mall. The stage area is still intact in the antique mall.

jchapman1
jchapman1 on May 21, 2007 at 5:21 pm

On below site, historic photo of the Shawnee Bison Theatre is mistakenly listed as the one in Oklahoma City.
In search field type in word “theatre”, then press enter -
View link

raybradley
raybradley on October 8, 2007 at 8:15 pm

Seems OHS corrected their error. Both the Shawnee Bison Theatre and Enid Aztec (minus balcony) were sister houses, designed by Carl Boller. To compare images, on above post type in name “Aztec”, “Bison”, or “Esquire”.

seymourcox
seymourcox on July 20, 2010 at 7:33 pm

Roadside Oklahoma web showcases both vintage and modern potos of the former Bison Theatre,
http://www.roadsideoklahoma.com/node/642

raybradley
raybradley on March 10, 2011 at 6:29 pm

This is what the neighborhood around the old Bison Theatre looks like these days,
View link

Mike Marshall
Mike Marshall on July 30, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Ray, In your post on 10-8-07 you said the Bison in Shawnee and the Aztec in Enid “were sister houses, designed by Carl Boller.” In my research on the Aztec I haven’t been able to verify the identity of that theater’s architect. May I ask the source of your information? Thanks for your help!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 24, 2014 at 5:35 pm

The Film Daily of October 21, 1927, reported that the Griffith circuit’s new Bison Theatre in Shawnee had been set to open between October 16th and 18th.

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