Movies 1 & 2
Altus Shopping Center,
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Jerry Lewis Cinemas was the first organized movie theatre franchise system established. The Movies franchised theatres was the second, based in Oklahoma City. On November 13, 1970 The Movies opened their first theatre in Altus, OK.
The Movies 1 & 2 was constructed inside retail space at an established shopping center that had been designed around a centerpiece of an antique Victorian gazebo bandstand.
Auditorium 1 had been a former H & S Green Stamp rebate center, and auditorium 2 a former billiard supply store and pool hall.
The Movies 1 & 2 interior decoration was intended to look like an old fashioned nickelodeon with red and gold color schemes; carnival glass lighting fixtures, flock and foil wallpaper, shag carpeting, carved poster frames, chrome and leather director chairs, and antique magic lanterns that presented nickelodeon style slide shows for waiting patrons.
Each auditorium accommodated 200 extra wide seats, and was fully carpeted (a new innovation). Side walls were draped with gold and red striped burlap. Luxurious waterfall stage drapes were made of shimmering gold silk lame.
The Movies 35mm projectors were a new experimental design where reels could be spliced together for one continuance showing. It didn’t take long for flat disk projection to became the machine of choice for exhibitors.
To attract young servicemen from a nearby Air Force Base, in 1971 “adult only” double features were booked into auditorium 2 for three weeks in a row. This resulted in Altus City Council members voting to ban showings of X-rated films within city limits. This trespass on freedom of speech caught attention of all three major network news groups and for a couple of days this small town twin cinema was the focus of national attention.
Salina, KS, was the site for the second The Movies 1 & 2, the third twin cinema was built in Moore, OK, then Oklahoma City and Tulsa opened several multiplexes.
The Movies franchised theatres founder was J. Cooper Burke, who was the first Marlboro cigarette man.
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