2821 S. Agnew Avenue,
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Architects: Jack M. Corgan
Styles: Streamline Moderne
The Agnew Theater was opened March 28, 1947 with Bing Crosby in “Blue Skies” & Roy Rogers in “Roll On Texas Moon”. It was operated by Griffith Theatres. The exterior is dominated by a tall pylon-like tower, faced in porcelain enamel, with the theatre name vertically placed. The 1,000 seats in the auditorium were all on a single floor.
The Agnew Theater was closed April 29, 1957 with Audie Murphy in “The Guns of Fort Petticoat” & John Garfield in “The Made Me a Criminal”. In later years became a restaurant. By 2022 it was in use as an ‘adult’ club.
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Agnew Theatre 1946 exterior, lobby, and auditorium views can be seen on below site. Type in word “agnew”, then search…
A couple of those 1950 interior shots labelled Agnew are actually those of the Gaiety Theatre, but it isn’t hard to figure out which picture goes with what theatre.
Yikes! From the looks of that photo, the Agnew it looks like it used to be a Hooters!!!!!!
Photos of the Agnew and three other Corgan-designed theaters appeared in Boxoffice of December 6, 1947. The other houses featured in the article are the May, Oklahoma City; the Boomer, Norman; and the Plains, Roswell, New Mexico.
Both vintage and recent images of the Agnew Theatre can be seen on this great site.
Structure is now a Harley Daivson Motorcycle showroom.
Here is a recent view of the former Agnew Theatre, now a combination Harley Shop & restaurant,
The Agnew belonged to R. Lewis Barton (Barton Theaters) and caught fire inside around +/-1964 or 65. The fire stated in the generator room and gutted the booth with heavy smoke damage throughout the building.
I was in the building and in fact in the booth some days after the fire. I lived next door to the Bartons offices and used to help Harold Combs (Baton son-in-law) deliver candy and popcorn to the theaters. I was just a kid at the time. I had gone to the Agnew with Harold just to look over the damage and to see if there was anything salvagable from the booth. There was absolutely nothing salvagable. After the fire the Bartons renovated the building but it never reopened to my knowledge as a movie theater.
There was a local disc jockey in Oklahoma City, and if I remember correctly it was Danny Kaye, who leased the building and operated a teen club, called The Teen Club (lol) out of it with a local television show saturday mornings, along the lines of American Bandstand. He tried to take it national with syndication… but never quite made it, again to my knowledge.
As a kid, I saw many Saturday Westerns at the Agnew. There was a really great feature, they had a private room located at the back of the auditorium with a glass viewing wall, 10 to 15 seats for parents with crying infants. Todays modern new theaters should consider the same type of room except, for those fools that have to text during a film. That would allow the texters to text up a storm without disturbing those of us that turn our phones off to enjoy the movie. Wishful thinking but, would be nice.
Four additional photo’s of Agnew – Day Time View, Night Time View, Lobby & Auditorium in Photo Section.
On Thursday, March 20, 1947, the list of Barton Theaters added the Agnew with the statement, “Watch this space for announcement of the Grand Opening/Free Parking/Cry Room.”
The Sunday listing of March 23 elaborated: “Free Parking/Friday, March 28, 5 o'clock/Hiram Higsby and the KOMA-CBS Oklahoma Roundup Gang/On the screen, Two Hits— Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire in BLUE SKIES, Roy Rogers with ‘Gabby’ Hayes in ROLL ON TEXAS MOON, with a "Jack Armstrong, All-American Boy” serial chapter."
Opened as announced on Friday, March 28, 1947.
Shut down for good on Monday, April 29, 1957 with Audie Murphy in THE GUNS OF FORT PETTICOAT and the 1939 film THEY MADE ME A CRIMINAL with John Garfield and Claude Rains. [Daily Oklahoman]
Looks to be an “adult” club at the moment.