Criterion Theater

118 W. Main Street,
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

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Showing 1 - 25 of 38 comments

Cimarron
Cimarron on June 11, 2014 at 11:29 pm

Uploaded Criterion Pic in photo section from 1921 era.

Cimarron
Cimarron on February 2, 2014 at 4:34 pm

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

Cimarron
Cimarron on January 29, 2014 at 9:11 pm

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

Cimarron
Cimarron on January 20, 2014 at 10:55 pm

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

Cimarron
Cimarron on January 19, 2014 at 7:49 pm

1935 Pic added to Photo Section of Criterion Organ / Organist

Cimarron
Cimarron on January 18, 2014 at 12:40 am

1945 Pic added to Photo Section.

Cimarron
Cimarron on January 6, 2014 at 12:22 am

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

Cimarron
Cimarron on May 11, 2013 at 8:08 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
Cimarron on March 23, 2013 at 10:23 pm

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

KWAITS
KWAITS on January 25, 2013 at 3:28 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 10:20 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 issuu.com 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
SK on February 14, 2012 at 1:48 pm

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
SK on February 14, 2012 at 11:48 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
SK on February 14, 2012 at 11:47 am

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

JudithK
JudithK on January 28, 2012 at 11:59 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
missmelbatoast on April 30, 2011 at 10:51 pm

1935 photo of Milton Slosser playing the Criterion pipe organ,
View link

raybradley
raybradley on March 29, 2011 at 7:06 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
raybradley on March 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm

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

seymourcox
seymourcox on July 17, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Various interior/exterior views of the Criterion Theatre can be viewed here.
A member of the powerful Paramound Theatre Chain showed, as this house remained first class up to the very end!
http://www.roadsideoklahoma.com/node/555

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 17, 2010 at 3:54 am

The Criterion got a thoroughly modern look in a 1950s remodeling which Boxoffice featured in a multi-page article in its issue of August 7, 1954. There are several photos, but there is only one small “before” shot among them.

The credits section of the article attributes the design of the project to architect Dietz Lusk Jr., and though it doesn’t specify the firm of Boller & Lusk I think the partnership was still in existence in 1954.

Incidentally, the Boller Brothers Architectural Records in the Western Historical manuscript Collection attribute the original design of the Criterion to Robert Boller, not Carl. By the time the Criterion was built, Carl had already moved to California and Robert was handling the firm’s theater projects in the Midwest.

seymourcox
seymourcox on November 18, 2009 at 11:07 pm

Here is a entertaining demonstration of a Wurlitzer theater organ (along with photos) that is similar to one played inside the Criterion –
View link

pugpapaokc
pugpapaokc on April 2, 2009 at 11:45 am

I actually wrote a paper on the Criterion’s history if anyone is interested. Let me know, and I will send it along to you.

DougLoudenback
DougLoudenback on September 27, 2007 at 6:20 am

I’ve made a substantial revision of my downtown Okc movies blog post at View link including several additional pics of the Criterion. My personal favorite is the 50' (or so) high Marilyn Monroe outside the Criterion in 1953! A nice auditorium pic is in the post, also.

Rodney
Rodney on August 7, 2007 at 4:39 pm

Fine exterior and interior images of the Criterion can be seen on the Oklahoma Historical Society link. To view antique photos – type in word “criterion”, then search.
View link