Vee-Gee Theatre

Main Street,
Okeene, OK 73763

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Okeene Opera House, Majestic Theatre, Rialto Theatre, Roberta Theatre

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Vee-Gee Theatre

The Okeene Opera House was opened in 1907. In 1917 it was renamed Majestic Theatre. On May 25, 1923 it was renamed Rialto Theatre. In 1936 it was renamed Roberta Theatre. In 1948 it was renamed Vee-Gee Theatre. It was closed in September 1956. The theatre was used for occasional special events until 1962.

Contributed by Lauren

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dallasmovietheaters on January 20, 2021 at 5:33 am

The Okeene Opera House opened on Main Street in 1907 with 250 seats and likely on a ten-year leasing agreement. Though mostly used for live events, traveling moving picture shows were interspersed in the opera house until a full time movie theater opened on May 15, 1913. It closed but the Majestic Theatre opened in 1915 in a converted retail location. With the opera house struggling, the Majestic Theatre then moved to the Opera House in 1917. The venue was renamed as the Majestic Theatre.

Roetzel sold the theatre in 1923 to W.S. Allen and A. C. Martz, editor of the Okeene Record. Martz renamed the venue as the Rialto Theatre on May 25, 1923 showing Richard Talmadge in “Taking Chances” supported by a comedy short starring Vera Reynolds, “Designing Husbands.” Under new operators, the Rialto wired for sound to remain viable. In 1936, new operators took on the location likely on a new 20-year lease and changed the name to the Roberta Theatre.

Orville Von Gulker took over the operation in 1938 but he became known for something far different in 1939 when he created the first ever Rattlesnake Roundup. Von Gulker’s snake roundup is a tradition that carried on into the 2020s. He also became head of the new Allied Theatre Owners of Oklahoma, a trade association.

In 1948, the Von Gulkers changed the name of the theatre to the Vee-Gee Theatre as they were often referred to by friends as the Vee-Gees. Regular movie screenings ended in September of 1956 at end of lease with the theatre ending up in the 1957 delinquent tax roster - never a good sign. However, the venue was used for special events and agricultural trade film screenings until at least 1962.

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