Inca Theatre

112 W. 7th Street,
Okmulgee, OK 74447

Unfavorite 1 person favorited this theater

Showing 1 - 25 of 51 comments

okshipwreck on March 15, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Cosmic Ray,

Do you have a way I can get hold of Symco?

  • Bradley; Oklahoma City Film Exchange District
    View link
raybradley on March 15, 2011 at 2:15 pm

This is what the old Inca Theatre looks like now days, Spanish arched top, white building (photo right).
View link

seymourcox on February 14, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Address for the Inca Theatre would be approx 112 W. Seventh St. The arched top Spanish style building is still standing near the middle of the block.

seymourcox on July 18, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Vintage interior/exterior images of the Inca Theatre can be seen on this nice web site,

okshipwreck on December 9, 2009 at 12:43 am

I need to get in touch with Symco ASAP if at all possible. This thread is my tendril of hope toward filling in a lot of history.

I am researching the old Film Row area in downtown Oklahoma City, along Sheridan Ave (Formerly Grand) between Walker and Classen. I REALLY NEED PHOTOS of the area and interiors and histories.

SYMCO, If you are out there, please email me. If anyone else has info and photos or can start pointing me toward those who might I would be forever in your debt!

My email is


  • Bradley; Oklahoma City Film Exchange District
    View link
raybradley on September 2, 2007 at 3:20 am

Of interest to you former Video dawgs, to see vintage photos of a great many Griffith Bros cinemas go to 08/07/07 post above web site and type in word “theatre”,
View link
Of special note is the Grand Opera House, San Marcos, TX. This was Griffith Bros very first theatre acquisition.

Rodney on August 16, 2007 at 7:31 am

“BLAZING SADDLES” is one of my favorite comedy movies. Originally the group was called the Steak & Cinema Gang.

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on August 15, 2007 at 11:56 am

“OKC Tuesday Night Cinema Discussion Group” sounds like something out of Blazing Saddles — think food fight scene the studio commissary.

Rodney on August 15, 2007 at 11:43 am

At the lunch discussion group today it was brought out that the Inca auditorium decor closely matched that of the Bristow Princess. Both were Paramount operations.

Rodney on August 7, 2007 at 11:49 am

Our OKC Tuesday Night Cinema Discussion Group, which usuallay meet on Wednesday at Cattlemen’s Cafe, were exchanging theatre thoughts over thick steaks, fat baked potatos, and cocktails. We debated how the few movie palaces that were included in the Griffith Circuit were acquired, not built, by Griffith. When Griffith Bros. did build, the Inca Theatre was the typical end result, small and cheaply built inside existing retail space . To get an idea of what we meant look at these Inca photos on the Oklahoma Historical Society link. In search field type word “inca”, then enter,
View link

RonnyJJones on April 24, 2007 at 3:25 pm

Symco and Mr. Allbright…thanks for your comments about my father, Johnny Jones. You’ve made my day and told me a story I didn’t know. The Joneses are still in the theatre business beginning our 94th year. And yes, we’re still partners with Carmike in the same set-up that was once with Video. Thanks for bringing back some sweet memories of some great people. See the history page of our website

albrightfam on February 11, 2007 at 5:35 pm

the bookers usually 4-6 in number bid for every picture to be shown in the video chain. accordingly they would watch two movies a day. the first at 11:30( preceded by coffee at the film coffee shop) then lunch( at the film coffee shop) then a second movie about 2pm then more coffee ( at the film coffee shop) no wonder they wanted to go to o'mealley’s for a change!
roger rice and his wife fern were the head of marketing. i assume that’s the roger e. rice referred to in this string as writing a history of griffith> is that in primt and/or has anyone sought access to the historic society archives? is so how do i go about doing either one?

albrightfam on February 11, 2007 at 5:25 pm

johnny jones was a powerhouse and a great operator. he would have been excellent. one of my more fun/lucrative duties was to prevent a dark house at all costs. if for some reason the print did not make it to the theater in time or was damaged you had to get a replacement there on time.somehow it was always for the 1pm sunday matinee ( new first runs started on sunday afternoon and wednesday evening which is why the trucks rolled on tuesday thursday and satuyrday). i’d get the call, grab a back up print and begin to drive as fast as my souped-up 1968 camaro would go. headed for okmulgee at the orpheum when the highway patrol stopped me on i-40 near shawnee doing “speeds in excess of 117 miles per hour” both the print and i were on the way to jail until a call went from earl to johnny to his friend the judge explaining that “ roger’s a good boy who’s helped me out from time to time and his father’s a personal friend” i was on my way ( now at 70mph) and okmulgee got it film on time.
the shipping dept/truck drivers were a great rogue’s gallery-tommy tuttle who later worked for 20th century fox, james arness' brother ( james was marshall matt dillon) peewee shipman, j.p.morgan, barry ? later of mistletoe and countless others including leroy with whom i worked for many a summer, christmas break etc. he had about 7 kids, about a 4th grade education a ramsackle house in the floodplain known as “muligan flats” and enough basic smarts and decency to put us all to shame.

JohnMcConnel on February 11, 2007 at 4:46 pm

Roger, 10-4 on the benefit of diverting the popcorn smell into the auditorium, and using plenty of salt! Good popcorn and soft drink sales would have kept Video’s head of concessions, Louise Wesson, happy. Miss Wesson was a sweetheart, but she knew where the bottom line was at all times.

Your father was always very nice. Actually, the whole company was a gracious group of people. And knew how to party! Was Claude Fulghum still there when you were there?

My acquaintance with Video began when I was a student at Oklahoma University at Norman, and needed to borrow a CinemaScope lens. My dormitory had a Christmas party each year for kids from the Baptist Orphanage in Oklahoma City, which was located about where the Waterford Hotel is now. I had 35mm projectors, and my part of the deal was to show a movie. Eldon Peek at Oklahoma Theatre Supply wouldn’t lend me lenses, and I didn’t even try National Theatre Supply, but went to Video to borrow lenses. Then I went up and down film row scrounging for cartoons and comedies. Fox, Universal, Warner Brothers, MGM, and Screen Guild would always fix me up with enough film.

I gradually got acquainted with many of the executives and staff at the Video home office, and when I was in Oklahoma City, the executives would invite me to join them on their coffee breaks. An O'Mealey’s Cafeteria on 23rd Street was one of their favorite places. The conversation was wonderful. For some reason, they usually didn’t go to the Film Coffee Shop or Hardy’s for coffee, both of which were nearby. But those places were also great for theatre conversation. Maxine Haberlin, the wife of Walt Haberlin who managed the State Theatre, owned the Film Coffee Shop, and Mr. Haberlin served up interesting conversation when he was in there. The State had the second pair of Norelco Todd-AO 70mm projectors in Oklahoma. (The Rialto in Tulsa had the first pair.)

When I needed various projector parts, Video would give them to me, and Ben Brewer, their projection technician, would tell me what town to go to to get the part, and where in the building the part would be found. He had an uncanny memory for where he stashed things. Some of the towns I went to were Chickasha, Holdenville, Ardmore, and Guthrie. I started getting acquainted with managers and employees. It was lots of driving, but let me add it was lots of fun!

Didn’t know that George Snow was in a Nazi POW camp. He spoke with an accent, and now I can see the Russian in him. That’s interesting. One time he gave me a Simplex X-L that had a cracked casting, but was complete, and I got many valuable parts off of it. I remember Dusty Rhodes. Frank McCabe, husband of Wee Gee, was indeed a gem. Could the older guy you mentioned in the Poster Department who worked with Oliver Hardy, have been Leonard Bateman? Another man in shipping, Leroy ???, was a good egg.

Frank Love provided me with some of the historic photos I have, and also many old programs, some of which he added comments to. His father had been a stagehand and artist at Okmulgee, and Frank grew up backstage at the Hippodrome and Orpheum theatres during the heyday of the 1920s, which were boom times in Okmulgee. When sound came, his father made large Vitaphone embellishments that were attached to the buildings.

Johnny Jones, the Video partner in Shawnee, considered buying the Video company. He had the personality and business acumen to operate it, and if he had bought it, it wouldn’t have been sold to Carmike. One can speculate as to how things would have gone, but I believe that with his hand guiding the company, things wouldn’t have gone any way but well.

albrightfam on February 11, 2007 at 1:22 pm

video would also sell the popcorn cheap but extra salty. the drinks were then of course extra expensive. they would run also run the smell of the cooking popcorn through the a/c vents to increase demand.

albrightfam on February 11, 2007 at 1:18 pm

symco, earl albright was indeed my father.remember frank love and horace clark as those towns were on my truck runs. hobart and mangum were served by bus or mistletoe express as they were off the beaten path
i worked for “johnny” johnson in concessions. earl was head of shipping, dusty rhodes ran the poster dept. and petey worked for him.the older guy in poster had worked with oliver hardy in vaudeville before hardy hooked up with stanley laurel. george snow of course was the displaced russian soldier who survived the nazi pow camp and was brought to oklahoma by video. he first lived in the apt. underneath the screen tower at the twilight gardens. wee gee was indeed a trip and she and her husband frank who also was a video executive were good friends of my family.
what’s your connection with video?

JohnMcConnel on February 11, 2007 at 11:14 am

Ken Mc, thanks for the link to the SCREENO lawsuit. Interesting!

Roger, making deliveries to all the Video towns must have been fun. You no doubt met managers and employees around the circuit. Do you remember Frank Love at Clinton, and later, Miami? Horace Clark at Chickasha? Newt Butler and Randy Maxey at Hobart? Juanita Stehr at Mangum?

Would Earl Albright have been your father? I’ve met him, and remember him as a stocky man, with a smile.

Video was a tight-knit community unto itself. And they were all nice people.

I was well acquainted with Louise Wesson, who cracked the whip in the concession department, while chain-smoking Chesterfields. She always drove a new Cadillac. I was also acquainted with George Snow, who was their screening room projectionist, and did repair work on concession equipment and projection equipment. Mr. Snow was also known as the “Snowman”. I barely knew Petey.

Others I remember are Ben Brewer, the head projection technician, and “Johnny” Johnson in the concession and shipping department. These were two more Video stalwarts, wouldn’t you say?

Alegra “Wee Gee” McCabe, the receptionist, was notable. Wee Gee served as gatekeeper, and controlled who got on the elevator to go up to executive offices. If you didn’t get past her, you didn’t get in, unless you knew how to get to the back stairway. Wee Gee’s clearly-enunciated pages on the office-wide paging system, such as “MR. ROGER ALBRIGHT, ROGER ALBRIGHT, PLEASE,” are indelibly ingrained in my memory.

Oklahomo Cowboy, in a previous post you mentioned THE HISTORY OF VAUDEVILLE IN OKLAHOMA, the doctoral thesis by John Peter Sinopoulo-Wilson. It’s really good.

I’d like to get a copy of the K. Kay Brandes book.

John Peter Sinopoulo-Wilson’s grandfather, Peter Sinopoulo, and John’s great uncle, John Sinopoulo, were Greek immigrant brothers who founded the Delmar Gardens Amusement Park in Oklahomo City in the early 1900s. Mosquitos and prohibition hurt business at Delmar Gardens, and they could see the market for vaudeville and movies, so they converted the Overholser Opera House, also in Oklahoma City, into the Orpheum (Warner)Theatre. They were the principles behind construction of the Midwest Theatre, as well as other theatres.

The first movie I recall seeing in my life was at the Midwest, and was EASTER PARADE. As an adult, I bought the Brenkert carbon-arc follow spot at the Midwest auction sale, and retrieved a small plaster rosette from one of the balcony lights as the building was coming down. I have a set of blueprints for the Midwest, which I found in the remains of the Cooper Theatre (formerly Liberty, Harber), as it was being knocked down.

John Sinopoulo watched the demolition of the Warner, and advised the demolition contractor on the placement of steel beams that were making the building difficult to knock down. However, Mr. Sinopoulo was 100 years old and home-bound at the time of the demolition of the Midwest, and the family didn’t tell him about it, as it had been special to him, and they feared it would break his heart. His brother and partner, Peter Sinopoulo, had already died.

The Midwest was a treasure that should have never come down. At the time of its demolition around 1973, John and Peter’s names were still on beautiful 3rd-floor office doors, in as good condition as when they were new in the late 1920s. They had a secret opening in their offices through which they could watch the movie.

John Sinopoulo’s mansion, called Sundial, which still stands on Kelley, at about 40th Street, was designed by the architect of the Midwest, John Eberson. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places. The family sold it a few years ago.

Peter Sinopoulo’s daughter is still living, and is the wife of Byron Gambulos, who owns Byron’s Liquors in Oklahoma City. They lived many years at Sundial. Byron, who has served on the board of the Oklahoma Historical Society, is a vast repository of knowledge of theatres in Oklahoma City. I hear they have 35mm movies of various theatre promotional activities and family activities during the 1920s.

albrightfam on February 11, 2007 at 7:32 am

my father worked for video theaters in oklahoma city from early 1940’s until the early 1970’s. i worked my way through high school and college with every low-level job there was —filing orders in the concession department, picking up and shipping every film, truck driver to every town in Oklahoma with a Video theater etc.. amazed at the knowledge of symco, oklahoma cowboy and cosmic ray. how do you know and any more details on projectionist ( george Snow or Petey from the Print shop?) louise wesson or others

CaptainBazzark on January 27, 2007 at 3:04 pm

THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY of AMERICA has vintage exterior & interior images of Okmulgee theatres, including the Cozy.

Rodney on January 26, 2007 at 2:13 pm

Chech out the Enid Loewen Hotel & Theatre on that Oklahoma website mentioned above. Also are theatre books by the following authors;
K. Kay Brandes – Oklahoma theatre history 1889 through 1964
Roger E. Rice – history of Griffith Theatres
Sinopoulo, Wilson, & Peter – history of vuadevill in Oklahoma

kencmcintyre on January 25, 2007 at 3:42 pm

I am not the webmaster, but thanks for the plug. If you want to know how Screeno is played, read this lawsuit:

JohnMcConnel on January 25, 2007 at 3:04 pm

Can one delete a duplicate post? Sorry about that.

JohnMcConnel on January 25, 2007 at 3:00 pm

Thank you for the link, Cosmic Ray. I’d like to go through the box of Griffith records. As to the Rex in Okmulgee, I have an exterior and an interior picture of it. But not of the Okmulgee Cozy, Dreamland, or Drew(Love) theatres.

By the way, I hear Bob Blackburn loves theatres.

JohnMcConnel on January 25, 2007 at 2:59 pm

Thank you for the link, Cosmic Ray. I’d like to go through the box of Griffith records. As to the Rex in Okmulgee, I have an exterior and an interior picture of it. But not of the Okmulgee Cozy, Dreamland, or Drew(Love) theatres.

By the way, I hear Bob Blackburn loves theatres.

raybradley on January 25, 2007 at 1:33 pm

To contact CT, just send an e-mail on Add Theatre News.
This site contains history on Griffith Bros. Amusement Co. Apparently this box also holds photos of Griffith theatres. Click on link archive, then type “amusement”.

Other theatre images can be pulled up by entering these words,
Movie Tone
Fort Supply Opera House

Probably an image of Okmulgee’s Rex Theatre can be found at Oklahoma Historical Society. Contact Curator Bob Blackburn.