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Previous Names: Davis Opera House, Olympia Theatre
Samuel H. Davis founded Davis, Oklahoma in the late-19th Century becoming incorporated as a town on November 16, 1898. About that time the Davis Opera House was built on the second floor of a new retail building apparently opening in 1899. The opera house mixed in some early motion pictures before E. R. Neville took on the location with permanent projectors and changing its name to the Olympia Theatre on November 29, 1909.
- Saunders took on the venue renaming it the Ideal Theatre in 1912. He then created the Ideal Airdome nearby on Main Street which stood from 1914 to 1918 but appears to have been in use two summers - 1914 and 1915. In 1919, a tent show was created for the summer months.
It’s not clear but the Ideal Theatre likely moved to a new, smaller location as early as the Fall of 1914 to be on the main floor and to better present movies. Additionally, the Opera House was listed as closed in the opera house guides that year. The Ideal Theatre operated until February of 1920 in its new location. Meanwhile, the Opera House / Olympia / Ideal received a third floor and was converted to the Findley Hotel building.
The “New” Ideal Theatre launched in its third location on February 28, 1920 changing its name soon to the Empress Theatre and, finally, the Kerr Theatre. The Findley Hotel closed and the building was razed in May of 1955.
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