221 N. Independence Avenue,
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Gaslight Theatre (Official)
Previously operated by: Griffith Amusement Company, Publix Theaters Corporation
Architects: Carl Boller, Robert O. Boller
Firms: Boller Brothers
Styles: Italian Renaissance
Previous Names: Billings Theatre, Criterion Theatre, Chief Theatre, Cinema Twin
Opened in 1923 as the 900-seat Billings Theatre. It was built by William S. Billings and his wife Henrietta, who lived in apartments above the theatre according to the 1933 Enid City Directory. He had previously managed the American Theatre at the American (Loewen) Hotel, a block and a half to the East of the Billings Theatre.
Later renamed Criterion Theatre, it was operated by Publix Theatres from 1930 to 1934, and then the Griffith Amusement Company from 1935 to 1939. Later renamed Chief Theatre and finally in the 1980’s the Cinema Twin.
Today operating as the Gaslight Theatre offering concerts.
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Recent comments (view all 18 comments)
Talk about Hollywood giving a film a politically incorrect title.
That photo was obviously snapped on a cold, snowy day, yet kids still rode their bike to see a movie.
This site has color photos and a brief history of the lovely Gaslight Theatre …
Here is what the former Cheif Theatre (AKA-Gaslight) looks like now. This theatre has a good size stagehouse!
This link has a June, 1966, newpaper ad for the Chief.
I was in this theatre only once, during the period when it was the Chief Theatre. It was an older one, with lots of trim. The sound and sight lines were pretty good; glad to hear it’s still being used as the Gaslight Theatre.
If the report in the February 9, 1921, issue of The Film Daily is anywhere near accurate, this theater has lost most of its seats:
1936 photo added, photo credit Oklahoma Historical Society. Via the Enid Oklahoma Old Post Cards Facebook page
Circa 1967 photo added, photo credit Cherokee Strip Regional Heritage Center, csrhc.org Re-release of “Gone With The Wind”, with `60’s cars in the reflection.
I remember when this was still called the chief and was one screen. I remember when they closed it for remodeling (seems like a fire happened in the back)and they changed it to two screens. One of the first movies they played after remodeling was Hurricane 1979.
Several photos of this house over the years can be seen on this page of the Downtown Enid History web site.