720 W. Main Street,
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Previous Names: Tower Theatre, Moore Theatre
The Rodeo Theatre was located at 720 W. Main in Duncan. The location had been the home for the Tower Theatre and the Moore Theatre. The owner for the Rodeo Theatre was J.C. Drake who might have been from the Velma, Oklahoma area. An advertisement in the Duncan Banner on September 1, 1962 suggests that he owned the V-A Drive-In Theatre in Velma, Oklahoma. Opened on August 4, 1961 with Joanne Dru in “September Storm” presented in Stereovision (3D). The first advertisement in the Duncan Banner was September 1, 1961. The last advertisement I could find was January 28, 1962. A number of friends have testified on Facebook that they attended the Rodeo Theatre but it was not open very long. The theatre caught fire and burned down on February 26, 1962.
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Well … it’s official. The Rodeo Theatre burned down on Monday, February 26, 1962. The fire started about 12:25 a.m. in the morning and it took two hours to control the blaze. The fire apparently started somewhere in the stage area. The building was owned by Andy Moore and leased to J.C. Drake. There was very little smoke damage to the two building on the sides and some water damage to both. The estimated loss was $75,000.00 to the building, furnishings, and equipment. Extensive repairs were made in August and September of 1961 in the amount of $12,000.00 to open the Rodeo.
On January 1, 1942, the Guy Henderson Building was purchased Ritz operator J.A. Guest who created the Tower Theatre. That became the Moore Theatre. Finally, the Moore Theatre was refrubished in 1961 under a new operator. The new Rodeo Theatre with 532 seats opened August 4, 1961 with Stereo Vision with “September Storm” supported by the Stereo Vision cartoon, “Space Attack.”
Oddly enough, the theatre was reportedly having financial difficulties in late February likely reaching the end of a 20-year leasing agreement and, then within a week of that report, burned down on February 26, 1962 ending the Guy Henderson Building and the Rodeo Theatre.
Opened August 5th, 1961
Rodeo theatre opening Fri, Aug 4, 1961 – 7 · The Duncan Banner (Duncan, Oklahoma) · Newspapers.com
Boxoffice, Oct. 23, 1961: “J. C. Drake reopened the old Moore Theatre in Duncan, renaming it the Rodeo”