La Vista Theater

212 W. Broadway,
Hollis, OK 73550

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La Vista Theater

The La Vista Theater was opened in 1927, and continued until at least 1950.

Contributed by Royce

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on February 27, 2011 at 9:10 am

Open ~1930-~1995? Can anyone verify the exact dates?

Could use an address, more info and photos.

bettymotley on March 24, 2016 at 9:20 am

…Anytime I want to know anything about Hollis businesses I turn to Bo Guests book “Keep The Horses Up Tonight” I have tried to scan the pages and have failed so will attempt to copy from the book. Page 267 The Empress Theatre was owned after WW I by Frank Burns’s father,Frank Sr. Frank’s brother, Tom, was the projectionest and sometimes played the piano for silent pictures. His specialities were Nola and Under the Double Eagle. These were adapted to suit various moods best of those who played for the silents. Tom’s wife Melva, sometimes sold tickets. When the theater was sold to E.M. Slaughter, Tom stayed on assisted by Slim Payne, whom he trained. Gracie Slaughter took her turn at selling tickets. The Empress was a monopoly until a man named Peterson opened the Cozy Theater in the same block. Competition became even sharper when Peterson operated a second theater, the Folly. The competition continued much to the benefit of movie goers.(Imagine three movies to choose from) until the La Vista was built. (page 233) And then there was the LaVista. To our unjaundiced eyes, the LaVista with its exotic Spanish architecture was the height of elegance and glamour.The decor, the lighting, the carpeted aisles—all hinted at a luxury and sophistication that seemed attainable after all, at lease during the hours the new dream facrory was in operation. In addition to the usual theater accomodations, the La Vista housed two upstairs apartments and a soda shop. The theater played an important role in the social life of the people of Hollis and surrounding areas especially during the thirties and the war years. There we saw the Jazz Siinger, the first talking picture, and it was—-well, it was awe inspiring. Then when color and sound were combined for the first time, we were filled with wonder. Everytime I see its guant remnants and remember the building’s final tawdry days, I am filled with regret— perhaps because awe and wonder are harder to come by these days. Admission was regularly two-bits (that is twenty five cents, if you are too young to remember) and there were two shows every night. On Saturday,movies ran continously from 1:30 uintil 11:30. ,then the preview started at midnight. After the people voted to rescind the city ordinance banning Sunday shows, the LaVista operated seven days a week. When the depression began to really bear down,Watt initiated the Tuesday night ten cent show, That was a bargain few could resist. The theater was full to the very top of the balcony for two shows every Tuesday. A feller could take his girl to the Tuesday night show, get a bag of popcorn for a nickel and a coke with two straws for a nickel, and have a big night out for thirty cents. For a number of years, Watt held a drawing each week for $25.00 (Unless you lived through those days you can’t imagine what a magnificent sum $25 was). That drawing had all the appeal of the Irish Sweepstakes, Monte Carlo, Llas Vegas and the Kentucky Derby. Watt was a big man, almost as broad as he was tall, and sometime some of the boys heckled him as he lumbered down the aisle to the stage to conduct the drawing. Sometime he would get a bit angry about if and would say something like, “All right, now, you just cut that out or I’m gonna come dowon there and gitchee.” And he would have done it too. When one thinks of the LaVista, one inevitably thinks of Ramond (Pat) Patton. He had started as a projectionist at the old Empress when he was just a boy. I reckon he learned his craft from Slim Payne. He spent the better part of his life right there at the LaVista. He even lived in one of the apartments, where he and Naomi Ruth, his wife, made a home for his brothers. Pat probably knows more of the history of downtowon Hollis than anyone alive and has more interest in it, but he says he can’t write. I wish he could for I cannot capture all of it.

bettymotley on March 24, 2016 at 9:23 am

The above comment is about the theaters in Hollis, Oklahoma. The picture is of the Watt theater rather than the LaVista. I will see if I can find a picture of the Lavista.

WENCHYS on March 30, 2016 at 2:28 pm

Jimito’s Theater was also part of the movie goers of Hollis Oklahoma in the early 70S We actually used some chairs and projectors from the Vista Theater. Jimitos theater opened around 1974 and was operated by James R Malugin and his family. Jimitos Theater was located exactly in front of the old Vista Theater and operated until 1977. Pictures are welcomed please and thanks, I miss Hollis

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