Royal Theatre

114 N. Bickford Avenue,
El Reno, OK 73036

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Additional Info

Functions: Workshop

Previous Names: El Reno Theatre, Hamly's Theatre, Hamly Theatre, Woods Theatre

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Royal Theatre

Despite a regal name, architectural styling for the Royal Theatre was about as simple and plain as could be. Grade B cheapies were the specialty of this five and dime cinema which opened as the El Reno Theatre. In October 1924 it was renamed Hamly’s Theatre. Later known as Hamly Theatre & Woods Theatre.

It was renamed Royal Theatre on February 17, 1930 screening “Devil May Care”. It was closed on April 30, 1951 with Joel McCrea in “South of St. Louis”. It went over to retail use.

Contributed by Budgie Greenbird

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

raybradley on October 9, 2007 at 2:14 am

Look at vintage interior/exterior images of this theatre by typing in name “Royal”,
View link

raybradley on July 14, 2010 at 12:42 am

This site illustrates (with vintage photos) that the Royal was quite a fancy name for just an “Old West” styled showplace …

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on July 14, 2010 at 1:12 am

El Reno had a Drive-in, the El Reno Drive-in.owned by Walter Shuttee wonder if he owned the ROYAL THEATRE,Budgie.

dallasmovietheaters on May 23, 2022 at 5:37 pm

The Criterion, Empress and the Royal theaters operated simultaneously. The El Reno Opera House turned El Reno Theatre was destroyed by fire on December 26, 1918 and rebuilt. It relaunched here in its new building on May 12, 1919 with Harold Lockwood in “Shadows of Suspicion.“ Its final booking is Emory Johnson’s “The Mail Man” on March 22, 1924. New operator, Alice Hamly, took over the venue starting in August of 1924 marketed first as the Hamly’s Theatre at launch followed by the Hamly Theatre (and also advertised with the likely incorrect monikers of Hamlys' Theatre and Hamlys Theatre variably over its one year of operation).

Under new operator W.H. Wood, the former El Reno turned Hamly(s) then became the Woods Theatre on October 21, 1925 with Harry Carey in “Soft Shoes.” The silent Woods Theatre was re-equipped with sound films in 1930 formally opening as the Royal Theatre on February 17, 1930 with Vitaphone equipment and “The Devil May Care.” The Royal closed for the summer on “South of St. Louis” on April 30, 1951 but never reopened. The venue was retrofitted for other retail purposes.

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