Wagon Wheel Cinema
11601 Northeast Expressway,
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Throughout 1957 Oklahomans held their Simi-Centennial Celebration at the Oklahoma City State Fair Grounds. An exhibition built especially for this year long event was a full size boom town replica that was the top attraction of all the festivities.
In fact, boom town was such a smash success that at the end of the run the entire complex was moved over to Route-66 and renamed Frontier City, U.S.A. In order to create an impressive western themed amusement park several elaborate rides were added, along with concessions, games, and a fun house.
Also included was an authentic recreation of a turn of the century nickelodeon called Frontier City Cinema. A feather costumed cashier sold nickel tickets from an ornate corner box office. Busy gingerbread covered the theatre facade. Oversized posters advertised the silent two reel westerns that ran continuousely inside the flocked auditorium. A live pianist played mood music necessary for silent emotion.
Every year after tourist season ended a few Frontier City specialty shops remained open for year round business; such as the boot shop, gun shop, a saddle/tack shop, western wear clothiers, a dance hall saloon, and a couple of cafes.
These unique shops prospered during Christmas shopping seasons, and Frontier City Cinema decided to try and cash in by showing 16mm versions of current second run hits. Unfortunately these programs were dropped within a couple of years after attendance proved disappointing.
When the park opened for their 1963 season the Frontier City Cinema had folded, the space converted into a wax works museum that still operates to this day.
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