El Caro Theatre

111 N. Bickford Avenue,
El Reno, OK 73036

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El Caro Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

In 1922, Paramount Pictures utilized the same blueprint for the El Caro Theatre in El Reno, OK, that they used to build their Inca Theatre in Okmulgee, OK.

Both floor plans had the same lay out, but architectural styling was slightly altered from Mission Revival (for the Inca Theatre) to Spanish Renaissance for El Caro Theatre.

Patterned white washed brick adorned the lovely Mediterranean facade, and was well balanced with cement trim, geometric windows, and heavy panel doors. Bright yellow tracer lights outlined a glazed tile box office and v-shaped marquee.

Interior colour schemes were carried out in earth tone hues. Blue ceramic tile covered floors throughout the theatre (carpet was ommited from this design). Rough plastered walls were painted a rich tangerine tint, with turquoise trim. Molding consisted of sculpted, unglazed terra-cotta. Ceiling grids were formed from ornate cast plaster beams, painted to resemble oak. Patina light fixtures were adorned with amber mylar shades. Giant Art Nouveau style clay pots enhanced carefully arranged niches and alcoves. Stage portiere were designed to resemble Spanish fringed shawles.

The El Caro Theatre was closed in 1953.

Should you know more detail about El Caro Theatre please submit it here.

Today an Ashbrook Safeco shop occupies this downtown real estate. A nice image from Photobones of the former El Caro Theatre can be seen on the link below.

Contributed by Myrna Louise

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

kencmcintyre on August 31, 2006 at 5:06 pm

I spent some time in El Reno last month. I didn’t know about this theater, which is too bad as I did quite a bit of walking in the downtown area.

CSWalczak on April 29, 2010 at 3:21 pm

According to this article, a Centre Theater at 111 South Bickford sustained some wind damage on April 29, 2010. Is this same theater as the El Caro which the above comment places at 111 North Bickford? View link

kencmcintyre on April 29, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I think that’s this one:

Address for the El Caro should be updated per the comment of 12/9/06. The map view corresponds with the photo in the description.

CSWalczak on April 29, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Thanks; I will put the article’s URL where it should be.

raybradley on July 13, 2010 at 4:29 pm

What a pretty little cinema the El Caro was. A romantic setting in which to watch a double feature and enjoy a box of popcorn.

atmos on June 9, 2011 at 7:39 am

According to an article I have just read this theatre opened in 1938.Some time later a fire damaged the building and it was demolished.The Centre Theatre was later built on the site opening on 1 Dec 1944.Can anyone confirm this.

Lauren Durbin
Lauren Durbin on July 12, 2011 at 6:07 am

A period photo of this theater is available in the Oklahoma Historical Society archives. Honestly, the Safeco building, while very cute, does not resemble the building in the historical photo. The theater in the historical photo could possibly have a stucco facade, but the windows appear to be wider spaced and the buildings beside it do not match either. Perhaps the entire block was damaged. Hopefully more research will nail down the location of this theater with certainty. Go to this URL: http://tinyurl.com/6c5a8gg and typed in “El Reno Caro.”

davidcoppock on December 22, 2016 at 6:47 am

There is a picture of the El Caro Theatre in the book Legendary Route 66 (page 134).

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