Grand Theatre

115 East Second Street,
Tulsa, OK 74103

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 15, 2011 at 2:28 am

Kewpie’s links worked for me. Here they are embedded in glorious HTML:

Opera House photo from 1971.

Opera House photo from 1906.

And here is the 1920 Tulsa City Directory (you’ll have to click the “pages 40 & 41” link in the frame on the left.)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 14, 2011 at 12:49 am

The address currently listed on this page is wrong then. The caption of the photo of the Opera House on this web page says that it was located on the north side of Second Street between Boston Avenue and Cincinnati Avenue. That’s the 100 E. block, so 115 E. Second would be the correct address, the entrance having been in the middle of the facade.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 29, 2011 at 1:57 am

I’ve found two sources saying that the Grand Opera House in Tulsa burned in 1920. The first is this timeline from an Oklahoma genweb page. The second is more thorough, but also problematic as it gives the address of the theater as 117 E. 2nd Street. It is from the October, 1921, issue of the journal Safety Engineering:

“October 9, 1920. Tulsa, Okla. Grand Theatre building, 117 E. 2d Street. Opera house, stores and room. One 3-story building destroyed. Walls, brick. Floors, wood. Roofs, gravel. Cause, electric wiring. Fire started under stage in theater. Discovered by night watchmen at about 1:03 a. m. Alarm, night watchman passed up 3 fire alarm boxes to notify fire department. Duration, 3 hours. Stopped at fire wall. Fire was retarded by construction of building. Firemen handicapped by overhead wires. Private fire apparatus, six 3-gallon soda and acid extinguishers. Persons in building, 6. Killed, none. Injured, none. Means of escape, 75-foot aerial truck. Value of building and contents, $58,000. Property loss, $55,000. Papers were protected.”
Were there two different Grand Theatres in Tulsa, one block apart? The address discrepancy might be an error in the 1921 publication, or perhaps Tulsa renumbered its blocks at some time. The photos from before 1920 and from the much later period when the building had become a furniture store show that the facade of the theater was the same, fire or not. Presumably the building was only gutted. I’ve been unable to find any other sources providing information about the fire, or saying anything about the rebuilding of the Grand Theatre.

raybradley
raybradley on March 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm

A 100-year-old tinted picture postcard view of the Grand Theatre can be seen on below site by typing in “tulsa second street looking west”,
View link

missmelbatoast
missmelbatoast on July 22, 2010 at 6:58 pm

This bouncy montage shows the type of burlesque routines that were performed live upon the Grand lighted runway-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIdt0aLl3Bg

missmelbatoast
missmelbatoast on December 15, 2009 at 8:52 pm

Hear this peppy example of a strip-tease tune …
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmTYdousWkg
and here are some fun examples of strip queen routines …
View link
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5PEJmBdtAE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIdt0aLl3Bg
Tame by todays standards, but quite racy back in the day!

seymourcox
seymourcox on November 10, 2007 at 9:33 am

When the Grand was a burlesque house “patrons' listened to these snappy tunes while strip-tease queens pranced up and down the run-way …

View link

View link

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javascript:openRecsRadio(‘/gp/recsradio/radio/B0000033ZA/ref=pd_krex_listen_dp_img/102-0656888-2129720?ie=UTF8&refTagSuffix=dp%5Fimg’)

Courtesy of this album
View link

seymourcox
seymourcox on October 31, 2007 at 7:20 pm

Hear a recording of one of Gypsy Rose Lee’s burlesque routines …
View link
courtesy of this web site …
http://www.unicornmeat.com/

missmelbatoast
missmelbatoast on October 13, 2007 at 2:05 pm

Here is a c1907 photograph of the Grand -
View link

raybradley
raybradley on September 2, 2007 at 3:36 am

The earliest view found so far of this historic theatre can be seen on below site by typing in words “opera house',
View link

seymourcox
seymourcox on June 24, 2007 at 12:09 pm

Go to the map function to see a satellite view of the Chapman Theatre and Park, built where the Grand had formerly stood.

Rodney
Rodney on June 18, 2007 at 2:49 pm

Shown here is another 1961 snapshot of the Grand Theatre, showing a most pathetic condition during its last years -
http://www.tulsalibrary.org/JPG/E0064.jpg

seymourcox
seymourcox on April 29, 2007 at 1:42 pm

By the time this 1961 shot was snapped the former Grand Opera House was being used as a furniture sales room, and Tulsa had literally grown up around the ancient theatre.
http://www.tulsalibrary.org/JPG/B8856.jpg

missmelbatoast
missmelbatoast on February 18, 2007 at 7:28 am

Leon Senter performed the 1940’s Modernist face lift for Tulsa’s Rialto Theatre.

During the Grand Theatre’s burlesque phase it was reputed to have had a fine seven piece house orchestra that would have sounded a lot like those in the links below.
View link
and this one too-
http://www.spaceagepop.com/lester.htm

JohnMcConnel
JohnMcConnel on October 11, 2006 at 5:01 pm

It isn’t likely that Leon B. Senter designed the Grand Theatre. When the Grand opened in 1906, Mr. Senter would have been 17 years old, and very likely was just graduating from Manual High School in Kansas City, MO. He then enrolled in Architectural Engineering at International Correspondence School in Scranton, PA. While getting his schooling, he worked as an office boy for Moore Brothers in Kansas City. In 1910, he began working for Corrigan, Lea and Halpin Construction Co. of Kansas City, and served as a steel superintendant on construction projects.

From 1912 to 1915 he was employed as a draftsman and specification writer for Smith, Rea, and Lovitt, Architects, of Kansas City. In 1915, he moved to Okmulgee, OK., which was enjoying an oil boom at the time, and became the branch manager of Smith, Rea, and Lovitts' office there. He designed many significant buildings and homes in Okmulgee, all of which are standing. in 1918, he became a partner of the firm, and the name became Smith, Rea, Lovitt, and Senter, Architects. In 1925, he received Oklahoma Architectural License #1.

He evolved into a gifted art deco designer.

In 1928, oilman Waite Phillips enticed Senter to move to Tulsa, where he lived until his death in 1965. In Tulsa, he designed the Coliseum, the Philcade Building, and many more distinquished buildings. But not the Grand Theatre. Senter also designed buildings in Guthrie, OK., Stillwater, OK., and Ponca City, OK.

The only theatre he designed is the Orpheum in Okmulgee. Its styling is an elegant derivation of Spanish Baroque Revival.

xxx
xxx on July 2, 2006 at 9:00 am

Explore this link for a historical outline and vintage image of Tulsa Grand Opera House;
View link

xxx
xxx on March 8, 2006 at 1:44 pm

1945 aerial view of Grand during its newsreel days, right near center;
View link

After photo is displayed, click on it again for super-sized image. Also in this shot can be seen Brady, Cozy, & Uptown Burlesque.

Okie
Okie on March 3, 2006 at 6:16 am

Vintage views of Tulsa’s Grand Opera House. In the aerial view the Grand stagehouse can be seen lower photo center, left of Hotel Bliss. Careful study of this photo will reveal Main Street Cinema, State Theatre, and several other theatre stagehouses.
http://tulsalawyer.com/page83.html
View link

Okie
Okie on February 15, 2006 at 4:43 pm

A facsimile image of the Grand Theatre stage can be viewed here. Also on these wonderful web pages are colorful pictures of vintage stage backdrop scenery.
View link
and
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