29 W. Main Street,
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On the frigid, windy, winter night of January 27, 1906, Syndicated Vaudeville Theatres of Wichita, KS, held grand opening ceremonies for their new Bijou High Class Vaudeville Theatre located at 29 W. Main Street, Oklahoma City.
Next day newspaper reviews praised the seven vaudeville acts and hailed the new Bijou Thetare as “Oklahoma City’s prettiest playhouse”.
To attract a wide range of patrons the Bijou Theatre ran large display advertisements that promoted ladies' afternoon tea matinees, Saturday morning kiddie shows, Sunday afternoon inspirational programs, and five big vaudeville acts each and every night of the week. A tag at the bottom of every advertisement proudly stated that “The Bijou Theatre supports organized labor”.
Newspaper articles printed the sad news on November 24, 1906, that the Bijou Theatre had declaired bankruptcy and would be placed in receivership. All advertising abruptly ceased after January, 1907, and the Bijou Theatre remained dark for three years, until November 26, 1910, when the Bijou Theatre reopened for business as a combo movie/vaudeville house. However, only three short weeks passed before newspaper advertisements forever ceased.
Many factors could have contributed to the Bijou Theatre failure. Maybe it was due to an off the beaten path location, or stiff competition from powerful circuit houses down on Sheraton Avenue. Most likely the culprit was because, although acts were promoted as high class, they had no big names, which could spell disaster.
In 1915 the Strand Theatre opened on Main Street off Broadway. Possibly the Bijou Theatre and Strand Theatre utilized the same theatre structure, but this has not yet been proven.
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