Page 3 of 38 FirstFirst 12345678 ... LastLast
Results 51 to 75 of 931

Thread: Tower Theater

  1. #51
    ChristianConservative Guest

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Quote Originally Posted by BDP View Post
    There are some great apartment and office buildings along that strip that could be fixed up just a bit and make great affordable housing for younger residents new to the city and looking for something a little more exciting and original than currently available in OKC. In my mind, the number one thing that characterizes a successful and vibrant city is one with a variety of vibrant neighborhoods, each with their own unique characteristics and choices. 23rd helps us in that regard. But I think its successful future lies in expanding upon its current unique characteristics as opposed to reinventing it as an upscale enclave.
    It's tough getting young professionals to move into an area when there are mounting drug problems and shootings. The 23rd St. area is improving but we need to work on reducing the gang population and other crime in the area.

    I don't disagree that this is a unique neighborhood. I'm just trying to explain why many people don't want to live in this area.

  2. #52
    ChristianConservative Guest

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Quote Originally Posted by The Old Downtown Guy;
    23rd and Broadway is about three blocks west of the Oklahoma State Capitol and about three blocks east of the Tower Theater. Whether that is the best part of town, worst part of town or just part of town is certainly a matter of personal opinion;
    Oh, it's not about opinions, it about crime statistics. Gangs run rampant in that part of town and that activity needs to be cleaned up and seriously looked at before serious strides can be made in the area.

    But, as you mention, the area is on an upswing after years of deterioration, and hopefully this district will continue its progress.

  3. Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Quote Originally Posted by Conservative View Post
    . . . Gangs run rampant in that part of town . . .
    Are you sure you want to stick with that outrageous remark?
    The Old Downtown Guy

    It will take decades for Oklahoma City's
    downtown core to regain its lost gritty,
    dynamic urban character, but it's exciting
    to observe and participate in the transformation.

  4. #54

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Glad to hear that the Theater is being renovated. Keeping the old movie houses going is certainly worthwhile: Oakland's Paramount, a true movie palace, suffered from neglect for many years before the city saved it from the wrecking ball by restoring it to it's old glory (and it IS glorious) and using it a venue for a variety of events, including screening classic movies. If you're ever in the vicinity it's worth a visit, especially if they're screening a classic. I saw "Notorious" there a few years ago, along with a packed house, and it's a BIG theater, seating several hundred at least: it was a great experience: people clapped and cheered just like in the old days, there was a genuine atmosphere of community in the theater which seems to be missing at modern cinemas. Across the bay, Stanford has a smaller old theater in a bustling, lively downtown district. They screened "North By Northwest" on the night I attended and, just like the Paramount, it was a packed house. Perhaps the Tower can duplicate some of that success: there's definitely a market for screenings of old classics.

  5. Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Quote Originally Posted by HFK View Post
    . . . Perhaps the Tower can duplicate some of that success: there's definitely a market for screenings of old classics.
    Thanks for the success story. The Tower is also a "neighborhood" theater and the new owners hope to make it a gathering place as well as a venue for a variety of entertainment productions including live music, stage productions, classic and independent film. I'm sure that numerous opportunities and new uses will emerge once the theater is back in use.
    The Old Downtown Guy

    It will take decades for Oklahoma City's
    downtown core to regain its lost gritty,
    dynamic urban character, but it's exciting
    to observe and participate in the transformation.

  6. #56

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Towering enterprise
    Renovations to light up NW 23 Uptown area

    By Steve Lackmeyer
    Business Writer

    As far as Scott Fife is concerned, as long as the neon sign at the Tower Theater is dark and dinged up, the once vibrant stretch of NW 23 can't reach its full potential.



    The longtime event promoter and his partners say they are ready to proceed this month on bringing that sign back to life and starting work on a $2 million renovation of the theater and adjoining storefronts.

    "It seems we're not the only group eager to get the marquee lit and construction going,” said Fife, who has visited with the area's surrounding neighborhood associations. "Much of the renaissance of the 23rd Street corridor is focused on this central block in Uptown.”

    When Fife and partners Marty Dillon, Matt Goad and Terri Sadler-Goad bought the theater at 425 NW 23 in November 2005, they anticipated starting work within a few months. Their plans were delayed as they worked with city and state officials to obtain historic tax credits, federal empowerment zone and Route 66 enhancement grants.

    The Art Deco-style property was built in two phases. The storefronts, which include a second floor of office space, were built in 1926. Fife said the strip included a TG&Y and C.R. Anthony's in its heyday and was the city's premier suburban shopping corridor until Shepherd Mall opened in the early 1960s.

    The theater was added in 1937, and its neon sign was even featured in the opening backdrop to early episodes of "The Tonight Show” when it first was hosted by Jay Leno.

    Fife said Michael Smith, who helped lead efforts to save another NW 23 landmark, the Gold Dome, was key to discovering funding sources that will make possible a true restoration of the buildings.

    "His connections and advice throughout this project has been an immense asset,” Fife said.

    Smith, who owns Design Resources at 315 NW 23, said neighbors are excited about the redevelopment.

    "I'm really excited about these young folks who have bought this,” Smith said. "They've got a great concept to use the building. They've got so much energy, and they're not entering this without giving it a lot of thought.”

    Plans call for a first phase that will create a 1,200-seat event center in the main auditorium and a 270-seat independent theater in the theater's large balcony level. Fife said negotiations are underway with prospective office and restaurant tenants for the attached storefronts. Work will include addition of an elevator, removal of spaces near the sign to prevent further damage by passing trucks, and a new second-floor corridor to replace an open alleyway that runs between the auditorium and office space.

    A parking lot will replace a dirt lot across the street to accommodate crowds expected to lease the auditorium for banquets, concerts and special events. Construction is expected to last one year.

    Marty Jacobs Construction was hired for the renovation, and plans were developed by architects Brian and Ken Fitzsimmons. Construction permit applications are under city review. Beyond repairs and additions, the Fitzsimmons' designs call for restoration of storefronts covered up for years behind fake facades, the theater's original entryway plaza and its lobby.

    The Fitzsimmons brothers both once sought careers in other states. Brian Fitzsimmons worked in Dallas before returning eight years ago to assist on prominent redevelopments in Bricktown and Automobile Alley (the Kingman and Buick buildings) while at Elliott and Associates. Ken Fitzsimmons returned last year after working in Austin, Texas. They believe now is an exciting time for redevelopment of the urban core.

    "We're working with a great group of developers,” Brian Fitzsimmons said. "It's so visible, and will be a great contribution to the development of the city.”

    • For more on changes along NW 23 and how Oklahoma City is supporting the effort, see Sunday's Local & State section.









  7. #58

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Cool! I hope they add a plaque to an entrance wall that tells of the building's history.

  8. #59

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Urban vision
    City government: Residents support changes
    Business owners, city officials are awaiting the revitalization of NW 23 Street corridor.



    By John Estus
    Staff Writer

    Will Habekott talks about his little neighborhood bar as a symbol of bigger things to come along NW 23 Street.

    He said the bar and music venue smelled bad and was falling apart before he bought it in October, but The Blue Note, 2408 N Robinson Ave., since has been spruced up.

    "I don't want it to be a dive,” Habekott said.

    He ripped out the smelly carpet, painted the walls and made improvements to the stage while trying to keep the personality and history of the 45-year-old bar intact.

    Other business owners and residents along NW 23 share Habekott's vision for revitalizing the area, and Oklahoma City officials are beginning to support them.

    City council members took action this month to restrict large billboards and dirty auto repair shops from opening along the street.

    They also approved adding $2 million of street improvements, sidewalks, lighting and signage in the Asian District, which runs along Classen Boulevard for about a mile north of its intersection with NW 23.

    Locals see new direction

    People with a stake in the culturally and economically diverse area say the council action is an early step toward a long-awaited revitalization of the old Route 66.

    "These aren't Edmond people. These aren't Norman people. These aren't Yukon people. These are people that live here, work here and spend their money here,” Habekott said.

    People like Cheever's Cafe owners Keith and Heather Paul, whose Heritage Hills home is just down the road from the popular NW 23 restaurant they own.

    The Pauls have owned Cheever's at 2409 N Hudson Ave. for seven years, and Keith Paul said he hopes NW 23 someday becomes similar to Greenville Avenue in Dallas.

    That area has grown by attracting more locally owned restaurants and refurbished historical buildings such as the Tower Theater, which is set to be renovated into a live entertainment venue.

    Greenville is a popular dining, entertainment and arts district a few miles north of downtown Dallas that includes the Granada Theater, a 1,200 capacity music and entertainment venue that is an old movie theater.

    Historical neighborhoods surround Greenville, much like the NW 23 corridor.

    Keith Paul also likened improving NW 23 to projects a few miles north on Western Avenue, which has grown into a busy restaurant district and features locally owned specialty retail shops.

    "We hope to see the same thing on 23rd Street in time, but it's not going to happen overnight,” Keith Paul said.

    Still, he has seen significant progress in the area, mostly with streetscape improvements and the decline of panhandlers during the past five years.

    New look is sought

    Rob Elliott also enjoys the streetscape improvements on Classen Boulevard and NW 23.

    He sees them every day on his way to work at Elliott Architects, 1141 N Robinson Ave., where he has designed development projects in the Asian District and on NW 23.

    Elliott suggested placing the corridor under urban design regulations so it can develop an identity, but he also wants developers to find ways to preserve historical buildings along the road.

    Ward 2 Councilman Sam Bowman said he is encouraged by projects such as the Tower Theater and other ambitious developments along the road.

    Bowman would like to see pedestrian traffic increase once new businesses open.

    "We've got some real opportunities to do some pedestrian-friendly storefront retail,” he said.

    "Mixed in with housing, second-story loft housing, that sort of thing.”

    Extending downtown trolley service to MidTown and NW 23 is one option to encourage pedestrians to visit the area, Bowman said.

    Past, present and future

    As a youngster living off NW 23 in the late 1940s, Michael Smith spent his afternoons "prowling up and down the street” after watching Saturday morning movies at the Tower Theater.

    Now, Smith runs an interior design shop on NW 23. He set up a nonprofit group, Uptown 23 Development Corp., in 1993 to push for revitalizing the area.

    The group succeeded in lobbying for the major streetscape project that added a median and signage to NW 23 west of Interstate 235 about five years ago.

    Slow but steady improvements to some once-troubled nearby neighborhoods have Smith thinking NW 23 has a better opportunity to serve those neighborhoods than in the past.

    But not until the Tower Theater reopens will the area attract the type of new developments it needs, Smith said.

    "When they get that sign lit up, that baby is going to be a beacon to entrepreneurs and real estate investors to come down here and help us finish this thing,” Smith said.

    Smith hopes more restaurants, specialty retail and housing will follow once the Tower is open again.

    "Many of these properties are way underutilized as far as the quality and type of businesses that will operate there in the future,” Smith said.

    For lifelong area stakeholders like Smith and newcomers such as Habekott, the future can't come soon enough.

    "We want nothing but to see this area just explode,” Habekott said.

    "Everybody here can see it and feel the energy of what it's going to be like five years from now.”

  9. #60

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    What is the latest with the Tower Theater? I have driven by a few times lately and haven't seen any action.

  10. #61

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    They've mainly been doing interior work and are working on getting the sign working soon. I know historic tax credits, design work, etc. can get delayed for months. The way I understood it was this is a project that will take several years.

  11. #62

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    I am delighted that the Tower Theatre will be renovated. It was a great movie theater and I hope they will somehow bring it back to its prior condition. I was last there when they were showing Rocky Horror, a few years ago, and it was pretty run down even then.

    I live very close to that area and am hoping it will be the start of something good. I, too, like the tattoo/piercing shop and other stores there...with the exception of the junky restaurant supply store down the street. It needs to go.

    It is so nice to see my OKC coming back and doing well...the oil bust days really took a toll on our part of town to say the least.


  12. #63

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Back in the days when 23rd and Walker was the center of the "uptown" shopping area with Kerr's Uptown being perhaps the most prominent store, the Tower was a very posh theater. It was unique in that it had two box offices. One was in front at the main entrance on 23 rd, while the other was in back, facing a parking lot behind the theater.

  13. #64

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Thanks for the update, It is good to hear that this is still moving along. I hope that the entire area along 23rd will make a comeback.

  14. #65

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Anyone have an update on the project? ODTG??

    NW 23rd needs this in a major way.

  15. #66

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    They've been working on it. Since they are using some federal funds, it's taking longer than it normally would. I know they have started work on the new sign (restoring the old one), not sure when it will be up.

  16. Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    The latest that I have heard is that a contractor is lined up, financing is in place, negotiations are proceeding with a restaurant/event catering tenant and work in earnest should get going by mid-November for sure.
    The Old Downtown Guy

    It will take decades for Oklahoma City's
    downtown core to regain its lost gritty,
    dynamic urban character, but it's exciting
    to observe and participate in the transformation.

  17. #68

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Do we know, yet, the specific use plans for the Tower? Will it be a revival movie house or a music venue or more of a special events place like Will Rogers?

  18. #69

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    this is from their website:

    Tower Theater Receives Grant From National Parks Service
    OKLAHOMA CITY, OK —The Uptown Development Group, LLC has recently received a $15,000 grant from NPS Route 66 Preservation Committee. The money is a matching grant and is earmarked for the restoration of the historic Tower Theater sign.

    Non-Profit Uptown 23 is focused on improving the 23rd Street Corridor. (www.uptown23.org)

    OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Uptown 23 a 501-C3 business and property owners association formed in 1993 to support the revitalization of an important section of the NW 23rd Street Commercial Corridor between I-235 and Villa Avenue.

    Presently, we are working with the Oklahoma City Planning Department to develop new zoning ordinances for the area which will promote the establishment of new neighborhood commercial businesses, restaurants, services and entertainment venues. At the top of our list of priorities is the reopening of the historic Tower Theater. We believe that the events and activities of this important multi-purpose venue and its restored landmark marquee will serve as a beacon to energetic entrepreneurs and real estate investors who will in turn provide the driving force for the ongoing revitalization of Oklahoma City's most important street.

  19. Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Quote Originally Posted by BDP View Post
    Do we know, yet, the specific use plans for the Tower? Will it be a revival movie house or a music venue or more of a special events place like Will Rogers?
    A multi purpose venue will occupy the ground floor, which will be flattened and stepped 7" every 15' along the existing slope. This will allow a variety of tabel/chair setups for events ranging from music concerts to corporate meetings to graduations to stage plays to whatever. The balcony will retain it's existing seating (about 250) and a ceiling mounted drop down screen will make that the weekly film night venue. The whole place can also be used for film if needed. A bar with limited food service will serve the balcony. Offices and meeting spaces will also be on the second level. A restaurant & bar will occupy most of the street side retail space and a movie memorbellia shop may be opened in the small retail space just east of the lobby. If all goes well, the fabulous TOWER marquee will be shining brightly by early spring 2008 and open by October/November.
    The Old Downtown Guy

    It will take decades for Oklahoma City's
    downtown core to regain its lost gritty,
    dynamic urban character, but it's exciting
    to observe and participate in the transformation.

  20. #71

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    All sounds GREAT!!!
    Oklahoma City, the RENAISSANCE CITY!

  21. #72

    Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Thanks, ODTG.

  22. Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    So it sounds like they are trying to repeat the Will Rogers revamp...to an extent. It's not quite the same area when comparing to Western, but I hope things work out.

    One word of advice, maybe alter the sign a little bit so the big box trucks can't run into it again...or for the millionth time.

  23. Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    I met with these guys once and they went over their plans. They have some great ideas and I think they will do a great job.

  24. Default Re: Tower Theater to be renovated

    Quote Originally Posted by bombermwc View Post
    One word of advice, maybe alter the sign a little bit so the big box trucks can't run into it again...or for the millionth time.
    The historic TOWER marquee will be restored to its original design. The sidewalk will be widened to eleminate the parking lane under the marquee and protect it from further damage.
    The Old Downtown Guy

    It will take decades for Oklahoma City's
    downtown core to regain its lost gritty,
    dynamic urban character, but it's exciting
    to observe and participate in the transformation.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. World's largest 20-Plex Theater to be built in Moore
    By TheImmortal in forum General Civic Issues
    Replies: 43
    Last Post: 01-09-2008, 09:18 AM
  2. Oklahoma Tower and Leadership Square Sold
    By Patrick in forum General Civic Issues
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-06-2005, 01:22 AM
  3. Regency Tower Sold
    By Patrick in forum General Civic Issues
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-18-2004, 12:47 AM
  4. Harkin's Theater about to open
    By Patrick in forum General Civic Issues
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-24-2004, 11:31 AM
  5. Ideas For A New Signature Office Tower Downtown
    By okcpulse in forum General Civic Issues
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-15-2004, 12:58 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Single Sign On provided by vBSSO