Criterion Theater

118 W. Main Street,
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

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Showing 1 - 25 of 44 comments

rivest266 on August 21, 2018 at 3:25 pm

This opened on April 27th, 1921. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

Cimarron on December 3, 2016 at 6:34 pm

Criterion pic added to photo section from Christmas of 1937

Cimarron on December 27, 2015 at 8:13 pm

Pic of Criterion, 1960’s Christmas Time on Main Street added to Photo Section

OKCdoorman on October 27, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Closed for good on Tuesday, June 13, 1972 with the Warner Bros. documentary MALCOLM X. But even after the closing the owners kept a Criterion space-saver ad going in the Oklahoma Journal for another two days emphasizing the Willard sequel BEN would soon show at the Centre and Edmond Plaza Theaters.

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!

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 June 11, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Uploaded Criterion Pic in photo section from 1921 era.

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 January 29, 2014 at 6:11 pm

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

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 19, 2014 at 4:49 pm

1935 Pic added to Photo Section of Criterion Organ / Organist

Cimarron on January 17, 2014 at 9:40 pm

1945 Pic added to Photo Section.

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 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 March 23, 2013 at 7:23 pm

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

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.

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.

SK on February 14, 2012 at 10:48 am

Does anyone have any info on the giant Marilyn Monroe displayed in front of the Criterion when they showed Niagra in 1953? I see multiple copies of the image on line but nothing stating if it was a display from the movie company, or something local, etc. Thanks!

SK on February 14, 2012 at 8:48 am

@ Joe Vogel
I would love to see the article but can’t get to it from the link – do you have it where you could send it to me? My email is

SK on February 14, 2012 at 8:47 am

@ pugpapaokc pugpapaokc – I would be interested in the paper you wrote – my email is

JudithK on January 28, 2012 at 8:59 pm

In the mid-1970s I saw, of all things, Ken Russell’s film “Tommy” in a veru large, traditional downtown movie palace in Oklahoma City. I now believe it was the Criterion. About three of us were at the showing of the film (which was about right).

missmelbatoast on April 30, 2011 at 7:51 pm

1935 photo of Milton Slosser playing the Criterion pipe organ,
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raybradley on March 29, 2011 at 4:06 pm

A 1948 look at the Criterion stage house and Mondo Adult Cinema can be seen on this site by typing
“only chevrolet is first"
For fantastic interior shots type in
"criterion theatre"
View link

raybradley on March 25, 2011 at 9:23 am

Doug Loudenback’s great web pages offers this fun photo of the Criterion Theatre,
View link