View Full Version : Holiday lighting project in the Automobile Alley district

11-11-2009, 02:23 PM
Has anyone noticed the installation of lights along Broadway between 4th and 10th? I drove up the street the other night and saw a brilliant curtain of light, not highlighted lines mind you, but a WALL of light, at 607 N. Broadway. Being familiar with Broadway, I knew this was the home of Holiday International, a company that sells Christmas and holiday lighting for commercial display, so I assumed it was just a promotional install for their particular business. It didn't change the fact that it was a pretty stunning display on the small building, pure white with a blue stripe.

A couple of nights later, however, I was again driving up Broadway and saw the same type of installation on the 701 Broadway building (Bank of Nichols Hills). This time it was red, and even more dramatic due to the size of the building, despite only being half-completed.

This prompted me to look a little closer and I discovered that MOST of the buildings along Broadway have lights installed at this point. Again, I can't stress enough how different it is in appearance from a traditional Christmas light installation; each building has strands that run from the top of the building to the sidewalk, spaced about 6 inches apart, covering the entire facade. The effect when lit is going to be of brilliantly-colored boxes (Christmas gifts?) lining the avenue.

Yesterday I ran into one of the longtime property owners in the district, and he confirmed just what I suspected - it is a district-wide effort and most if not all of the buildings will be covered with lights.

I have now seen only one and a half of the buildings actually lit, and not together, so I still have a hard time imagining what the entire street will look like when they finally flip the switch, but I'm certain of one thing; it will be pretty amazing.

11-11-2009, 03:46 PM
Thanks for posting this.

I'll be in OKC over Thanksgiving and hope they have things turned on by then. I'll make a special night-time visit.

11-11-2009, 04:13 PM
I happened to be driving by today and noticed there are about 8 buildings with lights on them now, with strands running from rooftop to ground. Hopefully the others will join suit. I'll be interested to see how they look at night.

11-11-2009, 05:52 PM
They've already been lighting several up at night.

11-11-2009, 06:03 PM
I saw them installing lights on Tuesday. I always thought this was a great (and simple) way to help brand a district.

It brings to question why Bricktown never ventured into this realm. Jeff Moore once strung a row of cheap icycle lights on the Sherman building, and it looked tacky. At least he tried.

Otherwise, BT has been lacking in effort and quality on this. Karchmer, Tolbert, Hickman and Brewer have done a horrible job of recognizing the capacity for lights to create an aura of something special. It's not that hard to implement, nor expensive. And, it's not that innovative either, so go figure.

11-11-2009, 08:12 PM
Cruise the Automobile Alley Lights on Broadway During Downtown in December

See the historic buildings of Automobile Alley in a whole new light at Automobile Alley Lights on Broadway. From November 27 through January 3, over 130 thousand colorful LED lights will drape the historic buildings of Automobile Ally making for a magical holiday wonderland. Hop in your car and cruise or take a beautifully lit stroll past some of Downtown’s most notable buildings on Broadway from NW 4th to NW 10th!

The area known as Automobile Alley was once home to more than 50 car dealerships. Today the district is thriving and now home to fine restaurants and shops. Restaurants in Automobile Alley include Red Prime and Iguana Mexican Grill. For a delicious snack or a cup of coffee and atmosphere, visit Sara Sara Cupcake or Coffee Slingers.

Once the headquarters for cars, Automobile Alley is now home to the top two Oklahoma City bike shops, Bicycle Alley located at 1015 N. Broadway and Schlegel Bicycles at 900 N. Broadway. Both shops feature an assortment of great biking accessories and two-wheeled holiday gifts.

This holiday season from November 17 - December 17, visitors can choose a live Christmas tree at the new Automobile Alley Christmas Tree Lot at 2 NW 9th Street in the parking lot directly across from Sara Sara Cupcake. The lot will be open from 3 – 9 pm Monday - Saturday and noon – 6 pm on Sundays.

Automobile Alley is proud to be a part of Downtown in December – Downtown Oklahoma City's winter celebration. Most Downtown in December activities run from the day after Thanksgiving, November 27 and run through the New Year. Downtown in December is a gift from the Downtown OKC Business Improvement District and is produced by Downtown OKC Inc. Log on to D in D Home ( or call the Downtown in December hotline, (405) 236-3640 or 1-888-OKC4Fun for a complete schedule of activities.
# # #

11-11-2009, 08:49 PM
Oops Kim, did I jump the gun before you guys intended to circulate that? I didn't know about the DID tie-in.

11-11-2009, 08:53 PM
They've already been lighting several up at night.
I think that has just been testing during the individual installations. I saw a different building tonight, again partially finished and in the middle of the install process. I have yet to see multiples lit simultaneously.

11-11-2009, 09:09 PM
It might look something like this...The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights | Walt Disney World Resort (

We loved going to see these to help us get in the holiday mood in balmy Orlando while we lived there. Since this will be our first Christmas here, it looks like Automobile Alley will take their place!

11-11-2009, 09:50 PM
I was at the Broadway Wine Merchants wine tasting last Friday night while they were installing the lights on their building. The owner of the store was mingling and came up to me and I asked him about the light project. He told me he was pleasantly surprised that he was picked for the project so I got the impression from him it was a project that was sponsored by AA itself and not necessarily the merchants. It is really cool and I encourage people to actually get out of your cars and walk Broadway and support the businesses of Auto Alley. The lights are much more impressive that way and you can buy a nice bottle of wine or six pack of beer while you are at it.

11-12-2009, 12:19 AM
130 thousand lights!! Wow.. If only they would put that many on the SandRidge Christmas Tree.. lol. Is it just me or does that thing look like it only has 10 or 12 lights on it every year?

11-12-2009, 07:35 AM
I was in Coffee Slingers this morning. Their building is covered in one panel of solid red and one panel of solid green lights. I asked Melody about them and she said they aren't supposed to start lighting them until later in the month.

The look will be spectacular, I'm sure, especially as this just keeps growing.

They make these panels by using small 1" x 1" pieces of plywood as rods, then drilling eye hooks in them at measured intervals. Then then loop the light strings taughtly into the eyehooks so it gives off a very linear appearance. Looks like each strand will be about 3" x 4" inches apart. If I get back in CS tomorrow a.m., I'll take a few pics to post.

Can't wait. Great to see how we are constantly working to make things just better and better!

11-12-2009, 08:53 AM
No worries Urbanized. We are promoting it but without pics it's hard to appreciate. We are shooting the lights tonight so we can really start promoting the event. They will be on for the season Thanksgiving week.

Downtown in December is really thrilled to have this new, exciting partnership with Automobile Alley. Help spread the word about it and all of the exciting events at Downtown in December.

11-12-2009, 10:09 AM
well that sounds great, cant wait to get up there and enjoy the lights.

can anyone tell me when the myriad gardens will have all their lights up?

11-12-2009, 10:21 AM
Looking forward to lights this year, cause the world's most exquisite granddaughter will be here, and she's old enough to enjoy lights now.


11-12-2009, 10:21 AM
It's a fabulous concept! I saw one of the buildings on Broadway last night completely draped in beautiful white and purple lighting. It's really quite stunning.

11-12-2009, 12:02 PM
I foresee a potential establishing shot of an illuminated automobile alley for the 12/16 Thunder/Mavericks game on ESPN.

11-12-2009, 12:26 PM
I foresee a potential establishing shot of an illuminated automobile alley for the 12/16 Thunder/Mavericks game on ESPN.

That would be nice, but unlikely. A lot of the OKC video that shows in fades and coming out of commercial breaks are actually b-roll submitted by the CVB to make us look as good as possible. Some of it is years old.

The other night, they showed a "live" clip of the canal and all the leaves were on the trees. During the softball tourney this spring, TV showed a clip of downtown and the Devon building had the old logo on it.

11-12-2009, 04:05 PM
submitted by the CVB to make us look as good as possible.

I guess they're not trying very hard.

The other night, they showed a "live" clip of the canal and all the leaves were on the trees.

What was on ESPN the other night?

11-12-2009, 04:11 PM
What was on ESPN the other night?

Perhaps he is referring to the Thunder-Lakers game, which was on NBA-TV. I was at the game, so didn't watch it.

11-12-2009, 04:37 PM
Good place for a walk with my dog this evening. I'm going to check it out.

11-12-2009, 04:53 PM
I guess they're not trying very hard.

What was on ESPN the other night?

Didn't say ESPN, by "they" I meant FSN, which I believe was showing the Thunder/Orlando game on Sunday. Made me laugh, because my front yard is covered in leaves, and I knew the trees were barren on the canal last Friday...

Most TV networks use footage in the can, not just here but all over. They have "packages" that are created all over of landmarks, interesting, visual trademarks and things in each town, sometimes seasonal.

11-12-2009, 06:44 PM
Most TV networks use footage in the can, not just here but all over. They have "packages" that are created all over of landmarks, interesting, visual trademarks and things in each town, sometimes seasonal.


And, yet, this is not always the case. It is certainly more common and almost universal on local, shall we say, "lower budgeted" productions like FSN and especially KSBI. That's why I felt that it had a much better chance of it happening on the ESPN broadcast, where they may actually have a second unit scouting for establishing shots (but, yeah, probably not for NBA). Of course, hardly any of it, if any at all, is ever actually "live". I'm not even sure if it's represented that way.

Anyway, I think with these lights it can still one day possibly have the potentialto be featured in a broadcast involving Oklahoma City and sports, even if we have to wait for the CVB to submit it 5 years from now and at the wrong time of year...

Didn't say ESPN, by "they" I meant FSN,

Sorry, I assumed you meant ESPN, since you were responding to my post about ESPN.

11-12-2009, 06:58 PM
I'm really looking forward to going to see the lights with my kids. They're all planning to be in town for Christmas. Me too.

11-12-2009, 10:14 PM
The reason Automobile Alley is able to do this, pure and simple, is due to the intentional BID over-assessment they levied on themselves 10 years ago, which creates discretionary money for projects like this. No other district had the foresight at the time or the flexibility to do it. Bricktown in particular was dealing with sticker-shock from their base BID assessment and the canal-area special assessment, which were both based on soaring property values that no other district was experiencing. I think when you see the BID renewed shortly, other districts will have learned from Automobile Alley's special projects over-assessment success, and perhaps they will create more discretionary funds in the future for projects like the great ones that AA has done through the years.

Unfortunately, the rules have changed, and the districts are not allowed to carry funds over from one year to the next, so you'll not see the dramatic impact that a couple of years' worth of funds saved and spent at one time might otherwise have.

But yeah, that is a district-wide project funded organizationally rather than a project of individual property owners or merchants, and that makes a huge difference.

11-15-2009, 03:33 AM
this guy has some nice pics of the draping lights!: Zach Nash (

11-15-2009, 07:42 AM
Very, very cool!

11-15-2009, 08:55 AM
I walked by the other night, and nothing was lit up. Do they wait for Thanksgiving to turn the lights on, or was it just an unlucky night for me? I'm hoping the response to this makes other businesses inclined to add lights as well.

11-15-2009, 09:18 AM
Betts - check post #6 in this thread.

11-15-2009, 10:22 AM
Whoops! Sorry. I don't know how I missed that. I like the idea of it lighting up after Thanksgiving however. That's a good choice of date.

11-30-2009, 02:29 PM
so i havent been through there yet, but how does it look? i guess all the lights are turned on now?

11-30-2009, 02:36 PM
so i havent been through there yet, but how does it look? i guess all the lights are turned on now?

They are VERY cool. Keep in mind, not EVERY building is lit up. I'm hopeful as the years progress, more buildings can have the lights as well. What is there now is really spectacular. A festive new addition to our downtown holiday fun!

11-30-2009, 02:41 PM
Looks supercool! Checked it out last night!

11-30-2009, 02:53 PM
They are VERY cool. Keep in mind, not EVERY building is lit up. I'm hopeful as the years progress, more buildings can have the lights as well. What is there now is really spectacular.

My thoughts exactly.

I went by several times over the weekend (always with a friend in tow) and found it awesome, just a bit spaced out.

But a fantastic start. If you haven't seen it yet, it's worth going out of your way.

11-30-2009, 03:44 PM
It's really cool. I'm a little biased, but I love, love love Automobile Alley.

11-30-2009, 05:23 PM
thanks you all, sounds awesome! will def check it out asap

11-30-2009, 06:07 PM
Saw it tonight for the first time lit up. Very, very cool.

11-30-2009, 06:14 PM
Anymore pics coming?

Doug Loudenback
12-05-2009, 10:31 PM
Here are 12 pics I took this evening ... of course, I had no tripod with me but, still, they're not too bad.

12-06-2009, 01:36 PM
Thanks, Doug. The striped buildings are my favorites. But, everyone should go by and see the lights. Although these are great pictures, there's nothing like seeing them in person.

12-06-2009, 02:05 PM
I was going to say the same thing. As great as the pics are, they don't totally convey what it looks like in person. For some reason the camera pics up more of the building behind the lights than the naked eye does. It's far more brilliant and impressive when you're actually on the street.