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Redskin Theater

City/Town:
Location Class:
Built: 1948 | Abandoned:
Status: Demolished
Photojournalist: Billy DixonJennifer BurtonLeslie Flaming
Provided by Inge Morath ca. 1960s

The Redskin Theater opened on August 10, 1948, it was owned and operated by Cecil Duncan and was one of three in the town of  Wetumka. Movie theaters and drive-ins were a hit during this time and the one-screen, five hundred seating theater thrived throughout the fifties and sixties. Prices for admission were considerably low compared to today’s, with adults costing $1.25, students $1 and children 50 cents. Around the 1970s it was then turned into a dinner theater called The Balcony, guests could grab a meal and a movie for a prime night out on the town.

But with the rise of technology and digital movies, a lot of movie theaters were hit hard including the old Redskin Theater. The closure was inescapable and it has since sat on a lonely corner rotting away. Every so often it does get attention from the local ‘Sucker Day’ Parade where banners are hung from the old marquee and people gather on the sidewalks. The inevitable came in October 2019 when the terribly neglected building was demolished by the City. It was riddled with black mold, asbestos and was far too gone to be saved. There is only an empty lot where the Redskin Theater used to sit.

Article by AOK Photojournalist Emily Cowan




Bibliography

http://cinematreasures.org/photos?page=2&theater_id=23623

https://www.newspapers.com/image/449550228/?terms=redskin%20theater%20wetumka&match=1

https://www.newspapers.com/image/666805880/?terms=redskin%20theater%20wetumka&match=1

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Emily Cowan

Emily was brought into the Abandoned OK Team in December of 2019. “I’m not gonna lie I fangirled a bit. My first published post I was ecstatic, I felt like I finally had the right audience for my work. The opportunities that came with it made me love the website even more. I remember my first interview with a couple at Waukomis Christian Church. They had bought and restored the 1897 church and insisted on keeping the original sanctuary despite being advised on moving it. We talked with them for at least a good 40 minutes about the church, the abandoned Waukomis Middle School beside it, and the towns other disappearing buildings. They even rang the bell for us that has sat in the bell-tower for the last 120 something years ago. We could tell they were just as passionate about preserving Oklahoma’s dwindling history as we were. When interviewing people and hearing the first-hand stories and recollections of a place and seeing how a person connects to a building, it forms a connection between not only you and that person but yourself and that building.”

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Wesley Horton
Wesley Horton
3 months ago

Man, that place looks like it was trashed before it was demolished. I worked there as a projectionist in 1984. . I saved the glow dial clock that hung to the left of the screen for years. .

It was bad then, but noting like this. . so sad. The last time I saw a movie there was in 1969 with Joe Minyen, Leroy Leftwitch and his cousin Robin, when we saw the John Wayne movie, “Hellfighters”

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