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The Reopening of the Tower Theatre

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Every time I drive down Northwest 23rd street, I see the great old Tower Theatre sign.  For years, it’s been slowly falling apart as the theatre has been abandoned.  However, last time I was down that way, I noticed something: the sign had been restored and looked as good as new!

This prompted me to do a little research into the Tower Theatre.  It was built in 1936 as one of the first suburban movie theatres in Oklahoma City.  Since then, it has hosted a number of movies, including a record-breaking run of the hit “The Sound of Music.”  However, in the 1970s, few people visited the Tower any more, and it soon fell into decline.  It showed some older films and hosted live music performances for a few years, but it soon closed down. 

So why was the sign restored?  Well, it turned out that the tower has new owners: Brothers Marty and Mike Dillon bought the theatre and the stores to the west of it in 2005.  They have some major renovation plans in mind, including turning the theatre into a multipurpose events center that can show films and live performances.  They plan to add a second movie screen and create a space for a restaurant next door.  The restaurant will cater events at the theatre as well as be available for movie-goers to dine before or after the show.

I have to admit I’m very anxious to see the restored theatre.  I’ve never been inside it, but I’ve heard many stories from my older friends about attending movies at the Tower.  A number of people have fond memories of the Tower, and from the sound of the renovation plans, it sounds like many more people will make memories there once the Tower is reopened.  There’s no date for that yet, but with the Dillons’ drive, I have a feeling it will be soon.

These blogs have more information about the Tower Theatre.

Doug Dawgz Blog has some great images and a history of the Tower.

The Generation X blog also talks about the Tower.

Finally, the Mad Vintage Life blog has some great pictures of the Tower before and after its renovation.

Tags: Only in OKC · Theater       

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