French Market Twin Cinemas

2836 NW 63rd Street,
Oklahoma City, OK 73116

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French Market Twin Cinemas were located on the ground level of the massive French Market Mall shopping complex. French Market Twin Cinemas opened on December 25, 1975, and (although the mall is still in operation today) the cinemas closed during the mid-1990’s.

Contributed by Spider

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

rivest266 on August 21, 2018 at 4:58 pm

This opened on December 25th, 1975. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

kpdennis on March 10, 2020 at 3:17 pm

Random memories of managing the French Market Twin for Commonwealth Theaters for a few months in 1985, my second assignment…

The extremely narrow footprint of the FMT meant the lobbies sat on either side of the box office/concession stand, which meant crossing concessions to get to either auditorium. Each of the long, shoebox auditoriums had its own projection booth (barely big enough for the union operator) and really small screens. The office was tucked into one lobby and had a closed circuit tv, the first such security system I encountered in a theatre. Sometimes it worked. Above the theater was a nightclub; loud music routinely filtered through the porous FMT ceilings and walls on the weekends.

While the theatre was rarely busy enough to congest the lobbies, that situation was different when the University of Oklahoma football team arrived one Friday night to catch Jagged Edge. Imagine putting 100+ larger-than-normal people, coaches, trainers, etc., into a space that comfortably fit maybe 15. A sight not easily forgotten. The Sooners got free popcorn and drinks, too, so the concession scene, young giants and mere mortals in the same line, was a bit manic.

Jagged Edge was the biggest film that played FMT in my tenure. A reissue of Gremlins didn’t draw any crowds, but a Stripe doll, swag sent to the theatre, is still around. And Young Sherlock Holmes, despite the Spielberg hype, bombed at Christmas. FMT was also an OKC site for weekly trade screenings, and I got to see many films far in front of their release, or never again. The most memorable was a work print of the Patsy Cline biopic Sweet Dreams, featuring Jessica Lange and a lot of green screen effects yet to be finished. But largely it was a string of contract-fulfilling single plays of Cannon Film product, the Israeli-based company that controlled Commonwealth at the time.

The FMT is gone and not really lamented. The little twin always felt cramped and crammed into its space without much thought or practicality. And it was a way station for managers on the move. As usual, it was the crew that made the French Market Twin memorable.

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