Criterion Theater

118 W. Main Street,
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

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Criterion Theater, Oklahoma City, Playing Niagara

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Criterion Theatre had a lovely 3 manual, 16 rank Wurlitzer theatre pipe organ. In 1972 the organ was sold to organ man Paul Haggard who kept it running until 1974, when he installed it in a nice French restaurant named ‘The Showplace’ on the sixth floor of the Meridian Tower on South Meridian Street, Oklahoma City. It was a nice idea, but the sound of the instrument at its softest was too loud for conversation and the restaurant closed, and the organ was sold and enlarged by a pizza parlor in Galveston, Texas. Sadly, it was ruined in the flood of 2009.

Contributed by Wallace Brown

Recent comments (view all 40 comments)

Cimarron on May 11, 2013 at 5:08 pm

SK, saw your question above of 2/14/2012,,,A local Company named Basil Displays, was located in the basement of the Civic Center Auditorium that made displays for theaters..i.e. false fronts for Cinerama at Warner and Cooper also Cimarron for Midwest..My guess is that probably was the case for the giant Marilyn Monroe promoting Niagra…Basis was in operation in 50’s & 60’s, I may not have correct spelling of Basil but, it is close to being right..Anyway, that’s who I think produced the display…Motion picture’s would send out the prints and a local would build out the displays or false fronts for the outside of theaters..An era gone by.

Cimarron on January 5, 2014 at 9:22 pm

Three Pic’s added to Photo Section..Including Fantastic Marilyn Monroe ProMo Display Sign.

Cimarron on January 17, 2014 at 9:40 pm

1945 Pic added to Photo Section.

Cimarron on January 19, 2014 at 4:49 pm

1935 Pic added to Photo Section of Criterion Organ / Organist

Cimarron on January 20, 2014 at 7:55 pm

1920’s Pic of Criterion added to Photo Section. Check out the Cars and Motorcycle parked in front of theater.

Cimarron on January 29, 2014 at 6:11 pm

Early Days Pic of Criterion, Oklahoma City, added to Photo Section.

Cimarron on February 2, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Criterion Theater, Oklahoma City, Pic of Auditorium from stage area, added to Photo Section.

Cimarron on June 11, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Uploaded Criterion Pic in photo section from 1921 era.

Eggman on November 26, 2014 at 3:12 pm

I’m hoping someone can offer me some information about the Marilyn display in the photo above. My father was a commercial artist in OKC around this time and I am 99.9% sure he used to tell me stories about having had something to do with the production and/or installation of this artwork. He worked for a man named Basil Lowery (or Lowry) at the time, I believe. Any information would be greatly appreciated. My email is Thanks!

Cimarron on November 26, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Eggman, my note above of May 11, 2013 re: Basil Displays..They did a lot of displays for Movie Theater’s and probably other’s like Retail Store Displays. I’m pretty sure Basil’s team did the Marily Monroe for the Criterion…He also did false front displays for “Cimarron” & “Longest Day” that played at the Midwest Theater..I believe he may have been the only one in OKC that produced those types of theater displays..They also did work for many other theaters in the okc area showing major runs….Hope this helps!

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