Dreamland Theatre

310 S. Main Street,
Tulsa, OK 74103

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Architects: C. Lewis Wilson

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There were three Dreamland movie theatres in Tulsa – all with high degrees of notoriety. This entry is about the first Dreamland and it opened downtown on June 7, 1906 as the first movie theatre in Tulsa’s history and even prior to the statehood of Oklahoma. Even more famous were Dreamlands #2 and #3, both in the Greenwood District and designed for African American patronage and have their own pages on Cinema Treasures.

The original Dreamland Theatre was created following a wildly successful electric theatre exhibit by the traveling C. W. Parker Amusement Company. Locals wanted even more of Edison’s moving pictures. In June of 1906, a space was created in the three-year old Froug Building on Main Street in the Indian Territory portion of Tulsa for the theatre in the space recently vacated by the Baker & Price Billiards Hall.

William Giles' “Gay Deceivers” was the opening attraction along with a variety of other shorts on June 6, 1906. The Dreamland Theatre was mobbed and the reviews were ecstatic with the local newspaper declaring that because of the Dreamland Theatre, Tulsa “was looking more like New York (City) every day”. Showtimes were definitely NYC-like soon after with continuous shows beginning at 10am due to the high demand. And why not as the local paper called the “Dreamland’s films perfect, the subjects are unique, and it’s the first time ever seen in Tulsa”. The best news of all, said the reviewer concluded, it “doesn’t make the eyes ache”.

Following the Senate and House approvals enabling Oklahoma’s Statehood on June 13 and 14, 1906, the Dreamland Theatre held a special Oklahoma Statehood matinee on June 15, 1906. But better theatres would come along replacing the Dreamland Theatre which had a short but important cinema run. On September 17, 1907, the people of the Indian and Oklahoma Territories voted favorably on statehood and certified to President of Theodore Roosevelt on November 16, 1907. The Dreamland Theatre would go out of business just about the same time. The building was razed in the 20th Century.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters
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