Theatorium Theater

212 W. Main Street,
Ardmore, OK 73104

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DECEMBER 27, 1907

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The Theatorium, opened in 1906, was the first theater to be built in Ardmore. It took much pride in showing only films that it considered of “high class” such as “Life Portrayals” and “Pictured Melodies”. It was closed in 1922.

Contributed by Lauren Grubb

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

raybradley
raybradley on January 21, 2011 at 1:34 pm

American International’s 1973 release “DILLINGER” (starring Warren Oates, Michelle Phillips, Richard Dreyfuss, Ben Johnson, and Cloris Leachman) shot several key scenes in Ardmore. When Dillinger pauses to rob a bank, just after escaping jail, the Theatroium Bldg. can clearly be recognized.
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TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 6, 2011 at 2:59 pm

What an interesting name for a theatre.

rivest266
rivest266 on March 23, 2014 at 6:28 am

March 13th, 1907 announcement in photo section.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 23, 2014 at 12:32 pm

Unless Ardmore renumbered its lots at some point, the Theatorium must have operated in two different locations. In the December 1, 1907, issue of the Daily Ardmoreite, the Theatorium was advertised at 212 West Main Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 23, 2014 at 3:47 pm

So the question is did the Theatorium first operate at 114 W. Main before moving to 212 in March, 1907, or did it move to 114 after operating at 212 for some time (or is 114 simply the wrong address?) 212 West Main is currently the location of Splatters Paintball. The front has some nice tapestry brick work, but there’s nothing especially theatrical about it (nor is the building at 114 especially theatrical, for that matter.)

Looking at the building at 212 in satellite view, I’m pretty sure the storefront to its east is part of the same structure, but the east side has been remodeled with one of those aluminum false fronts that were popular in the 1960s. Maybe the theater could have occupied both sides of the building, which I don’t think would have been the case at 114.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on April 1, 2017 at 5:15 am

In the 1914-1915 edition of American Motion Picture Directory the Theatorium is listed as 212 W. Main Street.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 5, 2017 at 8:17 pm

I don’t believe the Theatorium ever operated at 114 Main Street. Early references that include the address always say 212 West Main. A modern source by a local historian gives 114, but that same historian conflated the Palace and Princess Theatres, claiming that the latter was the original name of the Tivoli, when more reliable sources say that the Tivoli actually began as the Palace.

For a time in 1913, the Theatorium was called the Thanhouser Theatre, but the name Theatorium appears to have been restored before the end of the year. The name change had probably been occasioned by some sort of agreement with the Thanhouser Film Company, which operated out of New York City, and existed from 1909 to 1920.

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