Home State Theatre

621 N. Robinson Avenue,
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

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Cimarron on February 22, 2014 at 6:18 am

1947 Ad, Johnny O'Clock added to Photo Section.

Cimarron on February 6, 2014 at 3:13 am

Home State Theatre, Oklahoma City, Pic from 1947 added to Photo Section.

Cimarron on February 2, 2014 at 2:20 am

Pic of Home State Life Bldg. with view of Home State Theatre on North side of Bldg. added to Photo Section.

Cimarron on January 31, 2014 at 3:32 am

Daytime view pic of Home State Theatre, Oklahoma City, added to Photo Section.

Cimarron on May 4, 2013 at 7:44 am

1947 photo of Home State Theater added to this site showing “The Vigilantes Return”. Theater was removed from the Home State building sometime in 50’s. Part of the building was used as a Military processing / induction center during the Viet Nam era 60’s – 70’s while also housing other commercial offices as well as a coffee shop. I never experienced the Theater but, did experience the good ole Army processing, induction in the early 60’s at this location along with several hundred other guys.

missmelbatoast on April 5, 2011 at 12:22 am

Interactive map of downtown Oklahoma City
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seymourcox on February 6, 2011 at 10:38 pm

As late as 1947 the Home State Theatre featured an organist during intermissions.

SoonerGrad74 on April 11, 2010 at 3:31 am

It is located in what became the Journal-Record Building, which was heavily damaged in the OKC bombing on 19 April 1995. The building now houses the Oklahoma City Memorial Museum, which has its puvlic entrance on the west side. The north side of the building looks much like it did when the Home State Theatre was located there, minus the marquee. View link

seymourcox on November 19, 2009 at 4:49 am

The Home State Theater has a Kimball pipe organ quite similar to this one played by Simon Gledhill, on the 3/38 Kimball pipe organ inside the Oriental Theatre Milwaukee.
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seymourcox on August 8, 2007 at 12:22 am

Official name of the former fifth floor newsreel cinema was Harding Hall. For a good auditorium image go to above okhistory web site and enter name “harding”.

raybradley on June 24, 2007 at 7:09 pm

An important fact should be noted, once Warner Bros took over this house in 1930 the name changed to Warner’s Auditorium and the main entrance moved around the corner to 210 Northwest Sixth Street, and remained there until the theatre closed in 1951. Photos on above posting are of the Sixth Street entrance, showing the official name as Home State Auditorium.
During WWII years the tiny auditorium on the fifth floor began showing Fox News Reels, making this one of the first twin cinemas.

jchapman1 on June 23, 2007 at 8:22 pm

They say seeing is believing, according to these 1940s photos the actual name must have been Home State Theatre. The Kimball pipe organ was so massive it had three separate consoles, and apparently was played up to the end.
Although the site is listed above I will re-enter it here for ease of navigation. To see upper floor auditorium type in word “stage”. To view Home State Theatre images enter word “theatre”-
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missmelbatoast on May 21, 2007 at 9:41 pm

On this site can be seen two views of the 2200 seat auditorium. These photos would have been taken in the late 1940s after all the lavish Byzantine gingerbread had been stripped away to give the space a more contemporary, streamline look. There was also a 300 seat auditorium on the fifth floor.
Enter word ‘auditorium’ in search field field, then enter,
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JohnMcConnel on December 3, 2006 at 1:55 am

R. Lewis Barton’s Barton Theatres circuit operated the Home Theatre for an indefinite period that was probably in the late 1940s and early 1950s. In a Dec. 2, 1999, article in the Oklahoma City JOURNAL-RECORD, Mr. Barton is credited with breaking the “downtown stranglehold on first-run movies” by bidding on them for the Home.

It its last years, the Home played art films. When I was a child, my family attended the musical ones, and regretted to see it close. After it closed, we went to the Frontier (Log Cabin), on NW 39th Street, for those movies, and then to the Plaza, on NW 16th Street, which played art film for a short time, and was temporarily re-named the Plaza Art Theatre. Lindy Shanbour, younger brother of possibly Oklahoma City’s best showman, the fabled Farris Shanbour, was a ticket seller at the Plaza Art as a young man. I saw Gene Kelly’s INVITATION TO THE DANCE at the Plaza Art. Lindy currently owns the Winchester Drive-in in Oklahoma City, which he inherited from his brother, George Shanbour, another Oklahoma City theatre icon.

Back to Farris, he resurrected the downtown Criterion, and the neighborhood Plaza and Tower Theatres, put them all on first-run product, and extended their economic lives several years. When he officed on 23rd Street in the later years of his operation, he’d walk his deposit down the street to the bank with one arm sticking out and a big money bag in his hand, and his other arm around his beautiful big-tittied secretary.

raybradley on November 7, 2006 at 11:14 pm

This theatre was built to be a legit house. Grand opening attraction starred famed female impersonater Julian Eltinge. Eltinge’s drag act was such a smash success his show was rebooked a few weeks later as a “return engagement”, and played to SRO crowds.

Warner Bros Theatres bought control of this house around 1930 and renamed it Warner’s Auditorium.
Home Insurance bought the massive building during WWII years and renamed the theatre Home, which was leased to RKO.