Murray Theatre

206 E. Grand Avenue,
Ponca City, OK 74602

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Opened in around 1924 as the Kay Theatre. It was later re-named in honor of the owner of Conoco Oil Company and former Governor of Oklahoma, the Murray Theatre showed off a handsome Spanish Colonial exterior. The Murray Theatre is listed in the 1941 and 1943 editions of Film Daily Yearbook.

Contributed by Rance

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

seymourcox on August 27, 2007 at 12:07 pm

View photos of the Murray Theatre interior & exterior by typing in word “murray” -
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raybradley on September 3, 2007 at 7:54 am

That mighty Wurtlitzer is visible in one of those 1939 auditorium views.

Oilman and Governor mentioned above by Rance was Ponca City resident William H. “Alfalfa Bill” Murray. Alfalfa Bill was a fabulously wealthy, rugged, take control type man who caused a nationwide scandal when he married his own adopted daughter. Fortunately for him, Mrs. Murray earned vindication for the newly weds when her beauty, wit, and charm won over the hearts of most everyone.
During the 1940s Mrs. Murray’s name again hit nationwide headlines when her sudden disappearance caused speculation of kidnapping. Several months later the former First Lady of Oklahoma was found living in quiet seclusion in a guest house on the grounds of a convent that had once been one of her mansion, an estate donated to the church by her husband.

Rodney on September 29, 2007 at 12:56 pm

Are you sure you aren’t thinking of Governor Marland? Amoungst the vast Marland empire were theatre holdings. His elegant Ponca City villa is pictured here -
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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 7, 2012 at 1:30 am

David and Noelle’s list of known Boller Brothers theaters lists the Murray Theatre as a 1919 project, and gives it the AKA Kay Theatre, presumably its opening name.

The book Kay County’s Historic Architecture, by Bret A. Carter, says that the Murray Theatre was located on Grand Avenue. Puzzling over some old photos, I’ve concluded that the Murray Theatre was at the location now occupied by a retail store, Merrifield Office & School Supply, at 206 E. Grand Avenue. The building is probably the same one the theater was in, but if so the front has been remodeled beyond recognition.

This photo (at the WorthPoint collectibles site, so the URL might go dead at some point) shows the Murray Theatre on the right. The building to the right of the theater still stands, and its band of six windows on the second floor is easily recognizable, as is the distinctive parapet of a building across the street.

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