Movies 1 & 2

Altus Shopping Center,
Altus, OK 73521

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: American Automated Theatres Inc.

Functions: Retail

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Movies 1 & 2 - Altus, OK

Jerry Lewis Cinemas was the first organized movie theatre franchise system established. The Movies franchised theatres was the second, based in Oklahoma City and operating as American Automated Theatres Inc. On November 13, 1970 The Movies opened their first theatre in Altus, OK.

The Movies 1 & 2 was constructed inside retail space at an established shopping center that had been designed around a centerpiece of an antique Victorian gazebo bandstand.

Auditorium 1 had been a former H & S Green Stamp rebate center, and auditorium 2 a former billiard supply store and pool hall.

The Movies 1 & 2 interior decoration was intended to look like an old fashioned nickelodeon with red and gold color schemes; carnival glass lighting fixtures, flock and foil wallpaper, shag carpeting, carved poster frames, chrome and leather director chairs, and antique magic lanterns that presented nickelodeon style slide shows for waiting patrons.

Each auditorium accommodated 200 extra wide seats, and was fully carpeted (a new innovation). Side walls were draped with gold and red striped burlap. Luxurious waterfall stage drapes were made of shimmering gold silk lame.

The Movies 35mm projectors were a new experimental design where reels could be spliced together for one continuance showing. It didn’t take long for flat disk projection to became the machine of choice for exhibitors.

To attract young servicemen from a nearby Air Force Base, in 1971 “adult only” double features were booked into auditorium 2 for three weeks in a row. This resulted in Altus City Council members voting to ban showings of X-rated films within city limits. This trespass on freedom of speech caught attention of all three major network news groups and for a couple of days this small town twin cinema was the focus of national attention.

Salina, KS, was the site for the second The Movies 1 & 2, the third twin cinema was built in Moore, OK, then Oklahoma City and Tulsa opened several multiplexes.

The Movies franchised theatres founder was J. Cooper Burke, who was the first Marlboro cigarette man.

Contributed by Cactus Jack

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

raybradley on September 9, 2006 at 6:16 am

Cactus Jack’s details in paragraph four describes the Baroque lobby of The Movies. Those mentioned nickelodeon slides were projected onto a small screen above the concession stand.
Also in the lobby was a faux Victrola that played (recorded) theatre organ music. This same music would be played during intermission inside the auditoriums. One particular organ song entitled “Granpa’s Spells” was a favorite amoung patrons, and they would request it, not realizing that the pipe organ was acctually a long magnetic tape reel.

seymourcox on June 6, 2010 at 12:24 pm

Altus' Movies 1 & 2 looked exactly like the Salina, KS, Sunset Cinemas (nee-Movies 1&2;

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 4, 2010 at 6:16 pm

Thanks for the pictures.Looks like a clean theatre for its age.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 10, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Sometime between Sept 73 and Jan. 74 it closed no more ads in that local paper.Located in the Plaza Shopping Center.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on December 5, 2010 at 5:24 pm

One of the X-rated films was “BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE DOLLS”. “BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID” Played in the other theatre.Best I can tell was if this wasn’t the first movies to play there they were real close.“WATERMELON MAN” and “BOY NAMED CHARLIE BROWN”.hope one of kiddies didn’t slip into the wrong theatre.Admission was 95 cents and 40 cents.

raybradley on March 13, 2011 at 6:58 am

Patrons could not switch auditorium because The Movies concession stand devided two separate lobbies. Of course this caused the added expense of having to have two sets of restrooms too.
This is the shopping center where The Movies 1 and 2 sat. The cinema was located where the roofline dips in the middle.
View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on January 15, 2012 at 9:26 am

Thanks Ray,sounds like my old Twin, Columbia 1 and 2 in Augusta.

JoelWeide on August 4, 2012 at 6:32 pm

I worked for Dickinson when they bought the Salina ‘Movies.’ The projectors were Cinemacanna with the large 10,000 foot reels. You had to rewind them slowly which added extra time between showings. The Salina theatre still stands without equipment.

rivest266 on March 22, 2014 at 1:48 pm

May 12th, 1970 grand opening ad in photo section. The listings stopped in 1974.

dallasmovietheaters on March 18, 2021 at 5:18 am

This was the first location for the circuit known as American Automated Theatres, Inc. It was known as The Movies! 1 & 2 - Altus Plaza.

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