Majestic Theater

406 S. Main Street,
Tulsa, OK 74103

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karlschneider
karlschneider on July 25, 2016 at 6:50 am

Yep it sure was, about 50 years ago…sadly. There are almost no surviving grand downtown houses any more anywhere. The Ritz and Orpheum were on the same side (south) of the same street…maybe 5th? The Majestic was on the north side and just 1 or 2 blocks away. I’m pretty sure it was not on the same street as the R&O. By the way we also went to the Delman and Will Rogers pretty often, I don’t know when those were demolished…I imagine one could Google it.

Chris1982
Chris1982 on July 24, 2016 at 7:28 pm

If the theatre was on 4th east of Boston, the theatre was demolished.

karlschneider
karlschneider on July 24, 2016 at 2:55 pm

That address is wrong, the Majestic was on an east-west street, not Main. I’m pretty sure it was 4th, just east of Boston. I know it was ‘around the corner’ from the Ritz and Orpheum both on the same street As an adolescent, I and my friends who lived around 36th & Lewis often walked, biked or bused into town to go to movies at all 3 of these (and pig out on Coney’s at the original joint) frequently. Sometimes at Nelson’s ‘buffeteria’ too.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on June 12, 2016 at 6:28 am

1957 partial marquee photo added.

raybradley
raybradley on September 7, 2007 at 10:05 am

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

seymourcox
seymourcox on May 17, 2007 at 5:23 pm

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

JohnMcConnel
JohnMcConnel on April 14, 2007 at 6:53 am

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 April 13, 2007 at 7:53 pm

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

JohnMcConnel
JohnMcConnel on October 16, 2006 at 7:18 pm

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!

Okie
Okie on August 5, 2006 at 9:09 am

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

Okie
Okie on August 2, 2006 at 4:25 pm

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 July 12, 2006 at 1:48 pm

The Beryl Ford Photo Collection is still under construction so image numbers change constantly. You may have to browse a bit to find wanted images, but it’s a fun site to explore!
This week the Majestic Theatre photo can be seen on page 23, image 267.
http://www.tulsalibrary.org/BFC/index.htm

xxx
xxx on July 8, 2006 at 5:53 pm

Here is a link with a clear vintage photo of the Majestic Theatre and its lighted roof sign which some sources called the largest “marquee” in the state. Go to Browse the Collection, then see page 20, image 235;
http://www.tulsalibrary.org/BFC/index.htm

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 28, 2006 at 5:06 pm

Here is a bio from tulsapreservationcommission.com. They may use the same fact checker as the Historical Society:

MAJESTIC THEATER (406 South Main Street)

Constructed in 1918, the Majestic Theater was Tulsa’s first theater designed for motion pictures. The 570-seat theater was the first in the city to be equipped for sound. It was also the first theater to include a pipe organ, and was once the possessor of the largest marquee in the state. In 1929, it was the first theater in the state of Oklahoma to show the “Jazz Singer,” Hollywood’s first “talkie.” In 1952, it was the first theater to show a 3-D movie, “Bwana Devil.” The popularity of the Majestic began to decline as suburban theaters, such as the Brook and the Delman, began attracting Tulsa audiences. By the late 1960s, the Majestic’s focus had become limited to adults-only films. The last motion picture was shown at the Majestic on September 9, 1973.

xxx
xxx on March 26, 2006 at 1:40 pm

I have contacted Tulsa Historical Society several times concerning their Tulsa theater information that is not correct. Since they have never updated their information, I can only assume that they are apparently a history society not too concerned about accurate historical fact.
The Majestic Theatre seated 900 and was not Tulsa’s first theater built to be a movie house. Tulsa had nickelodeons and other cinemas dating back as early as 1905.

Okie
Okie on March 19, 2006 at 6:39 am

These court documents indicate that Tulsa’s gorgeous Majestic Theatre was operating as a downtown first run movie house before 1918. Take time to read the first few pages as they are quite informative on Tulsa theatre history.
View link

xxx
xxx on October 22, 2005 at 9:45 am

Majetic Theater images can be viewed on this site- – -
http://www.tulsalawyer.com/page6.htm/

xxx
xxx on October 22, 2005 at 9:43 am

Majestic Theater images can be viewed on this site;
http://www.tulsalawyer.com/paget.htm/