Tulsa 1909

Tulsa 1909
Tulsa 1909 (click on photo to zoom)

Friday, April 18, 2014

When "Tulsa" Premiered in Tulsa

The Technicolor melodrama movie, “Tulsa”, was released 65 years ago this month.  Its world premier was right here in downtown Tulsa and boy, was it a BIG deal.  The stars of the movie, Robert Preston, Susan Hayward and Chill Wills- all flew in for the activities that were planned, namely the largest parade in the city’s history.  Then-governor Roy J. Turner proclaimed April 13, 1949 as “Tulsa Day” in which downtown shops had Tulsa Day Sales.

Children were let out of school to attend the mammoth parade which, along with the stars, included miles and miles of oilfield equipment.  

A full-size portable drilling rig was set up in front of the Orpheum.  Crowd number was estimated at 100,000.  Can you imagine that many people downtown today?

The premier was scheduled to be shown only at the Ritz and Orpheum theaters but with those tickets selling out in minutes, Tulsa’s other two premier theaters- the Majestic and Rialto- were also opened for ticket sales and seats filled immediately.  This presented a problem because there were only the movie reels for two theaters to show the film.  

So this happened:  The film was started first at the Orpheum and the Ritz while the stars toured the stages of the other two movie houses to keep the audiences from getting too restless.  Thirty minutes later, the first reel was then delivered from the Orpheum to the Majestic and from the Ritz to the Rialto, and so it went the rest of the evening.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

London Bridge - The Pier 15 Plan

Four years ago I posted a blog entry regarding a 1959 plan for central Tulsa which was referred to as "Tulcenter" and it's revitalization.  I'm pretty sure Urban Renewal screwed up more than a few of the plans suggestions, however some of them were implemented, though at a much later date (Cathedral Square and the Pedestrian Mall to name a couple).  I love re-reading these ideas today, imagining "what if".........   

Nine years later city planners were trying to incorporate the Urban Renewal phase that was growing with some of those earlier suggestions from 1959.  As always, the Arkansas River and the possibilities of what could be done in and around it have been in the forefront of Tulsa developers minds.  In 1968 a plan was unveiled that aimed to "bring the romance of a river or bay city to the prairies."  It was named Pier 15 and once again my imagination was ignited.

Click on the photo below to read the article from the Tulsa Tribune:

Friday, September 20, 2013

Early Tulsa's Leading Ladies

Tulsa Historical Society has a new exhibit up featuring 4 interesting women who helped shape our city before it was a city.  I have blogged about 2 of those women here:  Lilah Lindsay and Fannie Misch  I am hoping that Fannie's granddaughters (who contacted me after my blog entry) will see this and know that she was not forgotten and, in fact, featured in a Tulsa history exhibit.  They should be proud of her.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Thursday, January 17, 2013

KOTV's Vault - Lost Tulsa Places

As you may have heard, the NewsOn6 team is moving to new digs.  I have previously posted some of the great stuff they have found in their attic, or Vault as they call it, and wanted to share another.  This should bring back some (very) fond memories for most you.  I know it did for me.  Enjoy!

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