Wigwam Theatre

1 Court Street,
Muskogee, OK 74401

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dallasmovietheaters on September 29, 2019 at 9:08 pm

The original Wigwam Theatre and Penny Arcade launched with 625 seats on November 17, 1909 with both motion pictures and films. Persons of color had their own entry and seating area. In 1911, the Wigwam launched an adjacent Airdome for more comfortable screenings in 1911. The Wigwam Circuit opened four venues in the 1910s in downtown Muskogee including Wigwam #2 in the Barnes Building launching February 12, 1910 and taking over the Lenhart Theatre on March 2, 1912. While the Wigwam Airdome closed after the summer season of 1917, it appears that the Wigwam Theatre to closed in 1921.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 29, 2019 at 6:35 am

An ad in the May 15, 1915 issue of the Muskogee Times-Democrat touted the summer season openings of the “Wigwam Airdomes.” The Wigwam #1 was on Court Street and the Wigwam #4 was on 4th Street. Wigwam #1 would show only movies during the summer season, and the Wigwam #4 would have stock companies and musical comedies.

It might be that the Wigwams had both indoor and outdoor houses at each location, with the indoor theaters operating only during the cooler seasons. The ad also noted a program of movies at the New Yale Theatre, N. 2nd Street, for five and ten cents, and movies at the New Gaiety Theatre.

The April, 1912 issue of The Typographical Journal makes a reference to “… the Muskogee Amusement Company, which operates the four Wigwam theaters in this city….” What became of the other two Wigwams by 1915 I haven’t discovered.

There were only five listings at Muskogee in the 1914-1915 American Motion Picture Directory, the only Wigwam listed being the Wigwam Theatre #2, 218 N. 3rd St. The directory also lists the Yale Theatre, at 200 N. 2nd Street and the Gaiety at 322 Court Street, as well as a Pastime Theatre, no address given. The Muskogee Amusement Company is also listed, without an address.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm

The Wigwam must have been in operation prior to 1921, when the March 18 issue of The Film Daily published the following item:

“To Open Nickel Show

“Muskogee, Okla. — Motion pictures at five and ten cents admission are promised by O. G. Bradshaw, who recently closed a three year lease on the Wigwam. The theater will be remodeled before opening under his management.”