Reno Theatre

121 W. Reno Avenue,
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

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The Reno Theatre was opened December 25, 1930. It was one of the five theatres located with two blocks on West Reno Avenue at South Robinson Avenue. It closed in the late-1950’s and has since been demolished.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

seymourcox
seymourcox on February 18, 2007 at 2:35 pm

On rare occasions when the cheapskate operators of the Reno Burlesque Theatre did provide a full pit orchestra it would have probably sounded something like the ones on the below link.
View link

raybradley
raybradley on July 30, 2007 at 12:48 am

Old time showman have oft repeated a persistent rumor; Griffith Bros. Theatres were big frogs in little ponds, powerful in small towns of the hinterlands, known for bullying managers and devising ways to avoid minimum wage laws.
Griffith Theatres held little or no clout (or respect) in large towns like Muskogee, Oklahoma City, or Tulsa. In each of these cities Griffith controlled only two or three skid row theatres.
By the late 1940s Griffith finally broke into the big time when they bought the Barton Theatre Chain of OKC. About the same time Talbot sold a few of his mid size Tulsa houses to Griffith.
When Griffith sold out to RKO General and the name was changed to Video Independent Theatres. RKO invested money to upgrade the run down circuit which brought about new found prestige, and Video looked indestructable.
By the time Video noticed a young breed of creative showman who had come on scene it was too late. Video’s massive size and outdated practices caused a quick decline.

Below links show vintage views of the home of R. E. Griffith, youngest of the Griffith bros.
View link
and View link

seymourcox
seymourcox on August 3, 2007 at 5:30 am

In below 1950s photos of the Reno Theatre notice that main stream double features were presented between burlesque shows. Judging from these interior shots strip tease queens pranced onstage inside a Gothic style auditorium that looked more like a church than a burly-Q. In search field type in word “theatre”, then press enter…
View link

raybradley
raybradley on September 7, 2007 at 7:35 pm

Recently on a train bound for Chicago I crossed paths with an elderly woman named Vera who had worked in Oklahoma City during the ‘40’s & 50’s as a bartender in a tavern called the Linger Longer Lounge, across from the Pix Theatre. Vera told me about the days when newstands along Reno Street sold hard-core porn pulp magazines from “under the counter”, and only to customers they knew.
She went on to tell about how when Viewmaster invented stereo-photo disk these same newstands sold illegal stereo “beaver color shot” disks. These disk fit into standard Viewmaster toys and were much sought after, but very hard to get because they violated copyright and patent privileges, and any merchant caught pushing them would get into BIG trouble!
Most of these newstands also had backroom arcades where ancient cast iron peep show machines ground out X-rated loops. These machines created 3-D effects with continuouse film strips that had two seperate side-by-side images that when viewed together through stereopticon lenses produced a true 3-D illusion.
Vera said Johnny Law seldom bothered with vice along Reno Street, but would crack down hard on any merchant who tried to pedal adult material outside this shady district of OKC.
Gone are the days …

Rodney
Rodney on October 31, 2007 at 1:37 am

Listen to an actual Gypsy Rose Lee strip routine -
View link
as presented on these pages -
http://www.unicornmeat.com/

seymourcox
seymourcox on November 10, 2007 at 6:09 pm

Reno Burlesque was always a second rate strip joint. Hear tunes that are of better quiality than the crappy Reno Orchestra could have produced,
View link

View link

View link

Above music comes from this snazzy album,
View link

missmelbatoast
missmelbatoast on October 24, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Seen here are film versions of burlesque queens who performed live on the Reno Theatre stage.
View link

missmelbatoast
missmelbatoast on December 16, 2009 at 5:06 am

You;ll get a big kick out of this montage of vintage clips showing strip queen routines …
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIdt0aLl3Bg

seymourcox
seymourcox on July 16, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Roadside Oklahoma has fantastic vintage photos of the exterior & interior of the old Reno Theatre;
http://www.roadsideoklahoma.com/node/505

rivest266
rivest266 on April 6, 2014 at 6:05 pm

December 25th, 1930 grand opening ad with picture in photo section

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