Will Rogers Theatre
4322 N. Western Avenue,
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Will Rogers Theater Events Center (Official)
Architects: Jack M. Corgan
Functions: Café, Special Events
Styles: Streamline Moderne
The Will Rogers Theater was a handsome theater designed by architect Jack Corgan for Griffith Theatres which opened on September 18, 1946 with Fred MacMurray in “Smoky”. It was a dog-leg plan with the smallish lobby opening into a standee area and the auditorium on the right. The lobby featured an oil-on-linen mural by J. Craig Sheppard depicting scenes from Will Roger’s life. The auditorium had a fairly low ceiling of horizontally curved neon coves. There was a tiny stage.
Above the standee area were the projection booth, a cry room and two tiny offices. There was no balcony.
Architecturally, the theatre’s most impressive feature was its concrete, metal and neon vertical sign and curved/triangle marquee.
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Sharp pictures of the Will Rogers Theatre can be seen below.
Best vintage photos of the Will Rogers facade, lobby, and auditorium can be seen on Oklahoma Historical Society pages. Type in word “theatre”, then search.
Some shots taken in 1995.
This 1947 photo comes courtesy of LIFE. Though listed as being in Clarmore, it is actually the OKC Will Rogers Theater.
The Will Rogers was part of an article in Boxoffice back in March 1947:
This site has fine vintage and modern photos of the Will Rogers Theatre,
I haven’t had much luck finding stuff that has gone missing from earlier comments due to linkrot, but at least I found this page from Boxoffice of March 1, 1947, featuring a couple of interior photos of the Will Rogers Theatre at the bottom of the page.
This opened on September 18th, 1946. Grand opening ad in the photo section.
May 31, 1939 Photo: