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 39 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 17, 2012 at 7:20 pm

SK: Sorry for the delayed response, but my subscription to this page lapsed and I didn’t see your question until today.

The August 7, 1954, article about the remodeling of the Criterion now begins at this link.

The scans of Boxoffice that used to be at have been moved to a section of the magazine’s own web site called The Vault. If you find any more of my old links that I haven’t gotten around to updating, you can (if you have javascript installed, and your browser supports it) find the date of the issue and the page number of the article by hovering your cursor over the obsolete link (it’s 080754/103 for the Criterion article, for example.) Then you can go to The Vault and navigate through it to find the article. Some of the pages at The Vault are one or two numbers off from the page numbers they had at issuu (the Criterion article starts on Vault page 102, not page 103.)

Some issues of the magazine haven’t yet been uploaded to the Vault, and sometimes The Vault has different editions of an issue, and they will be missing a particular article, but most of the Boxoffice stuff I linked to can still be found by this method.

KWAITS on January 25, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Hello.. I was wondering if anyone can help me identify a beautiful large piece of molding from the old Criterion Theater in Okc. It was given to me years ago by my neighbor. I helped do her yard, every year.. She in return gave me things here and there, like tea cups, ruby glass, flo blue plates.. etc and this… piece of history, a very large and ornate, very heavy , looks to be made of pottery, large 3d like ovals in sky blue, with a heart and tons of repousse work .. appears to be maybe a crown molding section.. Its beautiful.. It sits in my garden, its about 3ft tall by 2 ft wide or so… Hopeing someone can help me, as she passed away years ago, and sadly I didnt ask many questions about it, just that it was something she had that i liked very much, so I planted her begonia’s and had tea, and she gave it to me as a gift… I would like to know what part of the theater it came from and such… thanks so much for any help.. K.

Cimarron on March 23, 2013 at 7:23 pm

1935 Night time photo of Criterion Theater just added to photo section.

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.

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