Aztec Theatre

144 S. Wilson Street,
Vinita, OK 74301

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Griffith Amusement Company, Video Independent Theaters Inc.

Architects: Frank Love

Functions: Furniture Showroom

Styles: Spanish Baroque

Nearby Theaters

Built on the site of a previous theatre which had opened by 1925. The Aztec Theatre was opened on December 19, 1935 with Will Rogers in “In Old Kentucky”. It was closed in January 1957. For a small theatre the Aztec Theatre was quite ornate with a sculptured ceiling, moulded wall panels, heavy stage drapes, and thick carpet running down its one and only aisle.

Contributed by Ol' Cactus Jack

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

missmelbatoast on March 26, 2011 at 6:51 pm

In order to see really sharp interior and exterior pictures go to site below and type “vinita aztec theatre”, but be sure to click on match all words
View link

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on March 27, 2011 at 6:33 am

Open ~1940-~1961? can anyone verify the exact dates.


1940-1945 Griffith Amusement Co.

!950-1961 Video Independent Theatres, Inc., of Oklahoma City, K.C. Blackledge, President, they had over 120 theaters in New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.

Could use an address or crossroads and more info and more photos are always welcome.

missmelbatoast on March 28, 2011 at 8:33 pm

Go up to 03-26-11 post to see a vintage image of both the Aztec and State theatres, type in
“wilsond street”

Take a look at 166 S. Wilson to see what the Aztec Theatre is like today, now Coats Appliances. Can’t tell if across the street the State Theatre has a new facade, or if that is a new building.
View link

raybradley on March 29, 2011 at 3:11 pm

The Aztec Theatre interior may have gone baroque, but the exterior was pure Southwestern. Another 30s view can be seen on above post by entering “wilson street looking north”.

Lauren Durbin
Lauren Durbin on July 31, 2011 at 12:29 pm

From fire insurance maps, I believe the address is 144 S. Wilson. Coats is at 142 S. Wilson, so this address would seem to match up. The theatre shows up on maps as early as 1925.

dallasmovietheaters on September 3, 2019 at 3:55 am

Frank Love was the architect of the new Aztec Theater in downtown Vinita. The Spanish architecture of the town’s second Aztec Theater was Spanish at launch designed to look like Adobe dwellings of the past. Love had also been the architect on the remodeling of the nearby Lyric Theatre. The new Aztec launched December 19: 1935 with Will Rogers in “In Old Kentucky”.

MichaelKilgore on May 29, 2021 at 1:04 pm

Vinita Daily Journal: Jan. 19, 1957: “The Aztec is no more. David Karr, Vinita theatre manager, announced Friday (18) that his company has closed down the Aztec theatre "for good” and that the movie and sound equipment have been shipped to Video Independent Theatres' headquarters in Oklahoma City. Karr has sold about 290 of the theatre seats and about 200 still remain unsold. The Aztec, which showed principally westerns since it first opened in about 1935, was regarded as a secondary movie house to the first-run Center theatre here. The Aztec operated continuously until about six years ago when the Lariat drive-in theatre was opened west of Vinita. Since then, the Aztec had been operated on a part-time basis. The theatre building, located in the 100 block of South Wilson street, is the property of Ed Klingel."

robboehm on May 29, 2021 at 1:33 pm

Reportedly during the times of segregation the Aztec did not admit persons of color.

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