View Full Version : OKC Film District News

02-23-2006, 08:04 PM

The Oklahoma City Film District Task Force will host its Visioning and Design meeting Thursday, March 2, 2006 in Oklahoma City, from 5:30pm-8:15pm. The meeting, second of three, will be held in the Basement Conference room of Claim Management Resources (CMR), at 615 N. Classen Blvd. The building is located between Western and Classen and NW 5th and 6th streets. Enter through the north door and take the elevator to the basement. Vending machines are on site. All interested stakeholders are invited to attend these and future planning sessions. Stakeholders are those who live, work, or own property in the district, as well as those that simply have an interest in its future development.

This March meeting will focus on design and vision charettes featuring eleven facilitators, architects, landscape architects, designers and students from the University of Oklahoma who will create concepts from stakeholder ideas. The agenda will focus on gateways, streetscaping, sidewalk, crosswalk and intersection enhancements, building facades, parking, green space, and more. The meeting will further explore ways to revitalize the district through use of space, transparency of street-level structures, walkability, security, and marketing the historic character related to the area's film history through design standards and improvements.

This March meeting is considered the most important of all three planning sessions and will run longer than the first. Please, plan to snack or eat prior to attending. Vending machines and Starbuck's Coffee®, compliments of Civic Center's Café Bravo, will be available.

The January meeting focused on Brainstorming the Opportunities with over seventy attendees. The last of these three planning sessions will focus on Participatory Editing sometime in April or May. The result of these three planning sessions will be a cohesive plan document outlining the stakeholders’ vision of the steps needed to improve property values, while also creating a solid foundation for attracting new development, businesses and public amenities.

The Oklahoma City Film District Task Force formed in June 2004 and has worked toward creating a new downtown Film District within Oklahoma City geared toward motion picture and music infrastructure support & production, while preserving the area's unique historical film structures and history. For further information visit



The Oklahoma City Film District Task Force presents the first issues of its monthly district planning newsletter, THE ROW. Each monthly issue can be found at

THE ROW was created to keep area stakeholders, investors, and other interested parties informed about the proposed Film District, its history, and planning processes. Contact and contribution information is available in every issue. For questions or comments, contact its editor, Bradley Wynn at



An online forum has been established on the Oklahoma Film Society's message board, THE CAN for discussion about the new proposed downtown Film District. Interested parties are encouraged to visit the following web address to participate: Register, log in, and begin or join discussions in the table titled: Oklahoma City Film District Planning. Registration and use of this message board is always free.

*** END ***

Available documents for this release upon request or at (Look at bottom of release article):

Film District Meeting Invitation
Film District Map
Film District Logo

02-24-2006, 08:03 AM
See you there Bradley

10-25-2006, 04:22 PM
It's been awhile since we updated about the Film District. It's really starting to take off. 2 more tenants moved into the area recently. Raffine' Interiors moved from Norman to the area. I have a picture of their brand newly remodeled building in my gallery. You can't tell from the picture but the Geometric Balls on the roof are chrome. Also is a picture of the historic Film Exchange building that will soon be turned to condos. I also put new pictures up of The Hill, Block 42, Bricktown RAW, Othello's and more.

There was an excellent update on Film Row written in last Friday's Journal Record, if anyone has access online to the JR, please post the article.

10-26-2006, 05:07 PM
Film Row getting ready for new showing
by Kelley Chambers
The Journal Record

OKLAHOMA CITY – One area in downtown has been known by a few names over the past 80 or so years including Film Row and, more recently, what some called skid row.
A group including developers, architects and merchants hope to soon restore the area to its former glory and once again attach the Film Row moniker.

Situated between the Union Bus Station and a homeless shelter, it might at first seem an undesirable spot. But it is also in close proximity to the Stage Center, Civic Center Music Hall and the Oklahoma City Museum of Art.

The core of the area is on W. Sheridan Avenue between N. Walker Avenue and N. Shartel Avenue. Plans call for a streetscape encompassing stone and brick work in the pattern of spotlights, stars and film strips that will spill onto neighboring side streets.

Chip Fudge, as Film Exchange Row LLC, owns eight properties in the area including buildings, parking lots and vacant lots.

While the area could double as the set for a film about urban poverty and decline, it already has two new tenants.

Phillip Matthews and Gus Tietsort are setting up their respective businesses in a renovated 6,000-square-foot building at 614 W. Sheridan.

Previously Matthews ran Raffiné Interiors from a space on N. Robinson and Tietsort’s company, Tietsort Design, was in Norman.

“We pretty much broke the ice for the Film Row area,” Tietsort said.

Matthews said a good deal of work went into the building before the businesses could move in.

“It was pretty rough,” he said.

Included in the improvements was some demolition to open up the front space for a showroom along with a new roof and the installation of heating and air conditioning.

J3 Architecture has created the designs and plans for the renovation of the area.

David Wanzer, with J3, said he stumbled on the area about three years ago and developed a business plan for its revival as well as researching its history.

Once home to regional distribution points for every major movie studio, the film companies are long gone – but the buildings remain.

“This area has kind of been a no man’s land for the last decades,” Wanzer said. “Chip saw it as one of the last key locations to go through revitalization.”

With Fudge purchasing several properties and in working with the city, Wanzer said the revitalization plans began to look like they could become a reality.

Robbie Kienzle, urban redevelopment specialist with the City Planning Department, said she has been involved in getting the parties interested in the area together to discuss plans.

“Lots of people had an interest in Film Row at the same time,” she said. “We can help facilitate their hopes, dreams and vision for the area.”

Kienzle said her office has worked with the interested parties to look into various funding including grants and how the district will fit into the grand scheme of the city.

She said when Interstate 40 is rerouted next year the first major exit after a proposed grand boulevard will be Walker Avenue. People exiting there will then be just a few blocks from Film Row, which will be in close proximity to several cultural sites.

“It really helps to expand the arts district,” she said.

The area even held its first unofficial event recently.

Matthews hosted an event for state Senate candidate Andrew Rice in and around his building. The street was blocked off and bands performed in a vacant lot on an outdoor stage. Hundreds turned out, and Matthews said he hopes to eventually see more performances, events and outdoor film screenings in the area.

While still months, maybe even years from fruition, Wanzer said the area is looking into applying for tax increment financing district money from the city along with working to have the area listed on the national historic register.

One of the major projects planned is for retail space and lofts at the Film Exchange building at 700 W. Sheridan. Built in 1930, the 22,000-square-foot building will feature six upstairs lofts and a rooftop deck.

Wanzer said the area appears to be only one of two film exchange districts in the country with the buildings still intact. He said none of the film studio buildings were torn down during urban renewal projects in the 1970s and many still retain their original art deco design and screening rooms.

Wanzer said he has a vision for Film Row.

“To take a forgotten area of downtown with a forgotten history and revitalize that,” he said. “To add to the momentum of the downtown renaissance and hopefully make this a creative hub.”

Remember Film Row?

In working to assemble a comprehensive history of Film Row, architect David Wanzer is looking for people who remember the area during the years it was a thriving film distribution center. If you remember the area, worked or had family who worked in Film Row or remember movie actors making appearance on Film Row, contact Wanzer at (405) 270-7888 or by e-mail at [/FONT][/FONT]

10-27-2006, 10:21 AM
Thanks DJ Ango, I only have hard copy access not online access.