The Sooner Theater
Backstory and Context
The Sooner Theater opened their doors in the year of 1929 in downtown Norman, OK. The theater has a unique style of gothic architecture that is throughout the theater. There are also other various styles of architecture that were Italian and Spanish gothic styles. There were vaulted beams that were apart of the architecture of the theater and stain-glassed window chandeliers that hung throughout the theater. An interesting fact about the Sooner Theater is that there are 250 handcrafted items that the owner’s father produced for the purpose of the theater.
The owner of the theater went by the name of Gimeno and the first day of ticket sales for the theater was February 10, 1929. Tickets sold at the amount of 25 cents for children and 50 cents for adults. The Sooner Theater was the first theater to show color and sound movies. But sadly in the year of 1974 the theater shut down due to multiplex theaters becoming more popular. Within that same year multiplex theaters started being built and it took a toll on the theater and its sales. Due to the circumstances of the multiplex theaters moving in the theater ended up having to close its doors in the year of 1974. With this in mind in 1977 is was bought from Gimeno and ended up being donated to the city of Norman.
How the Sooner Theater became what it is today is because of the many historical aspects that the theater gives people. This is an iconic mark for anyone who was born and raised in Norman, OK. The city of Norman is now the sole owner of the theater and because of that the theater has been able to still be used. The Sooner Theater is currently doing various productions and different shows throughout the year. The reason that this theater has value is because it shows the current day of what is going on a The Sooner Theater in modern times.
Lastly in the year of 1978 The Sooner Theater was added to the Register of Historical Sites. With this in mind the theater ended up being restored to its previous version of the 1930’s theater. The theater receives about 20,000 visitors per year who want to take a look at the historical site. When the theater was built it was specifically built for the purpose of showing color and sound movies, it was the first theater in Norman, OK to play color and sound movies. All of the other theaters at the time were only showing pictures that were in black and white and did not have any sound that matched with the picture.
To conclude The Sooner Theater is a historical landmark for Norman, OK it opened its door in the year of 1929 and was the first theater to show color and sound pictures. The Sooner Theater had various architecture styles that were throughout the theater. But the different architecture styles gave the theater the character that it has today. There were hand made pieces of furniture and various items throughout the theater that were created by the owner’s father. The multiplex theaters had a rough effect on the theater and it ended up closing down in 1974. In the year of 1977 the theater ended up being bought from Gimeno by the city of Norman. Lastly The Sooner Theater was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and later in the 1970s the theater reopened as a working theater. The Sooner Theater is still a functioning theater today and productions are still held at this iconic landmark in Norman.
“Sooner Theatre.” Cinema Treasures, cinematreasures.org/theaters/4064.
“Sooner Theatre.” TravelOK.com - Oklahoma's Official Travel & Tourism Site, www.travelok.com/listings/view.profile/id.7108.