Majestic Theater

406 S. Main Avenue,
Tulsa, OK

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For many years, the Majestic was the theater that showed first-run films. It started as a silent-film theater, and was the first Tulsa theater to convert to talkies in 1929. It featured a lavish interior and contained an organ.

Contributed by Lauren Grubb

Recent comments (view all 19 comments)

Okie
Okie on August 3, 2006 at 12:25 am

BFC link listed above now has an index arranged in alphabetical order. Vintage Majestic Theatre images can be found by looking at headings “4th and Main”, 1950, and “Majestic Theatre.”

Okie
Okie on August 5, 2006 at 5:09 pm

“Heart of the City by Night” postcard illustrates roof signs atop Tulsa’s Majestic and Ritz theatres,
View link

JohnMcConnel
JohnMcConnel on October 17, 2006 at 3:18 am

As to seating in the Majestic, the Nov. 30, 1930 inventory indicates a total of 904 seats. 607 were on the main floor and 297 were in the balcony. At that time, the theatre was owned by Ralph Talbot Theatres, who owned all four of the major Tulsa downtown first-run theatres.

In other details, the inventory indicated that the projection room had Simplex Model R double-bearing projection heads, Motiograph lamp houses with automatic carbon feeds, and two sets of Bausch and Lomb Cinephor projection lenses. It had a leased Western Electric disc and film sound system, which was the first theatre sound in Tulsa. There was a Powers double dissolver, with a 1000-watt mazda lamp. There was a vertical Hertner Transverter motor generator, mounted on the roof, to provide DC current to the lamphouses. Also on the roof was a smaller horizontal Hertner Transverter. No mention was made of its application, although it may have been used for the lamphouses when the screen size was smaller.

There was a DeVry C90 portable projector, presumably for screening, in the offices on the second floor of the Majestic.

The Majestic had the narrowest of the four buildings, at 50 ft. Its screen was also the smallest, at 14 ft. by 17 ft. The Rialto building was 65 ft. wide, and its screen was 14 ft. by 19 ft. The Orpheum building was the widest, at 80 ft., and its screen was 24 ½-ft. by 29 ½ ft. The Ritz, with a 72 ft. building width, was not the widest, but nevertheless had the largest screen, at 24-ft. by 33-ft. Both the Ritz and Orpheum had enlarged their screens, and the inventory listed their smaller screens which were still on the stages.

The Majestic had a 90-ton belt-driven Wittenmeier horizontal air conditioning compressor, with a 9-ft. flywheel, driven by a 100-hp., 220-volt, 600-rpm GE wound-rotor motor.

It had a 3-manual, 16-rank Robert Morton pipe organ, with its console on a hydraulic lift. A spare pipe organ blower was stored in Talbot Theatres' warehouse. The spare blower was a 15-hp. 1100 rpm Spencer Orgoblo.

The Majestic’s huge signature sign was most notable in Oklahoma theatre signage, and was described in the inventory as an electric skeleton sign. It was 49 ft. 6 in. wide by 28 ft. high. It had 935 bulbs, served by a 17-contact flasher and a 3-contact flasher.

When its pipe organ was removed, the resonators on the 16-ft. octave of the tuba rank were taken to the Tulsa dump. They were unmitred wood, and in perfect condition. Kenneth Knepper, a Tulsa machinist who had a love for pipe organs, rescued the resonators from the dump before they were damaged, and stored them in the attic of his shop. He didn’t use them, and sold them to me. In another transaction, I got the bass drum from the Majestic’s organ.

Near the end, the Majestic went from B-grade action bookings to XXX. It was converted into a 3-screen theatre. There was a fire, and it was built back as a 2-screen. In the late 60s, I was in it in its 2-screen configuration. I remember it as a neat building with good air conditioning, comfortable seats, a bright picture, good sound, and, a hot movie!

seymourcox
seymourcox on April 14, 2007 at 3:53 am

A new 1940s marquee & mansard roof for a spiffier look,
http://www.tulsalibrary.org/JPG/B0652.jpg

JohnMcConnel
JohnMcConnel on April 14, 2007 at 2:53 pm

Note the large elevated Ritz sign in the upper right-hand corner of the 1950s Majestic photo A0219. Would that have been for the theatre, or was there another building with the name Ritz?

seymourcox
seymourcox on May 18, 2007 at 1:23 am

Two more Majestic Theatre exterior shots, ten years apart -
c1948
http://www.tulsalibrary.org/JPG/B1354.jpg
c1968, after it had switched over to X-rated product. In those days it was best to remain discreet when promoting raunchy loops -
http://www.tulsalibrary.org/JPG/E0060.jpg

raybradley
raybradley on September 7, 2007 at 6:05 pm

What do you smoke, Seymour? There are twenty years between 1948 and 1968.

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