The show goes on in Norman
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
NORMAN’S ACTIVE SOONER THEATRE STILL PACKS IN CROWDS
BY RICK ROGERS 1 Comment
Published: April 5, 2010
NORMAN — When Sooner Theatre opened its doors Feb. 10, 1929, audiences flocked to see “Alias Jimmy Valentine,” a film starring Lionel Barrymore and William Haines. The grand opening also coincided with a new approach to moviegoing. The gangster film was Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s first talking picture, and Sooner Theatre was one of the first movie houses in the region specifically designed to show talkies.
Admission costs to any of the five showings that day were 50 cents for adults and 25 cents for children. After the premiere, tickets to watch a newsreel, a cartoon and a feature film cost 40 cents for adults and 10 cents for children. Balcony seating was 30 cents.
Situated in the heart of Norman’s historic arts district, the Spanish Gothic-style theater was built of yellow brick trimmed with white limestone. Completed at a cost of $200,000, Sooner Theatre featured Italian marble, mosaic tiles imported from Valencia, Spain, cooled water fountains and refrigerated air.