Alva makes Preservation Oklahoma’s list again
• One endangered, one notable saved
By Helen Barrett
This year, Preservation Oklahoma, Inc. placed one more Alva building on the list while at the same time including another former endangered building on the “Notable Saved!” list. Added to this year’s list is the Ranger Theater in Alva.
The Ranger Theater is one of five theaters that were located around the town square in Alva. This theater, along with the Ritz and the Rialto, were known as the “Three R’s of Entertainment” in Alva in the 1930’s.
All were owned by Jones Amusement Company. Jones brought the first partial talkie to Alva in the 1930’s, as the Great Depression sent droves of Americans to the movies in search of momentary escape.
The Ranger Theater was built in 1937, and it was one of the finest 400 seat houses in all of the southwest.
It was operated by the Jones Amusement Co. until the 1950’s when the television business started to pull viewers away from movies.
The theater closed, and remained empty for many years, but most of the details (including original woodwork, tile work detail, ticket booth, paint, and top floor apartment areas with Murphy beds intact) remain today.
The Ranger has been recently purchased by private owners with plans for rehabilitation to reopen the venue for live performances.
Help with preparation of National Register nomination forms, and education about tax credits and proper rehabilitation practices is needed in order to see this project though to a successful completion.
The Alva Review-Courier intends to provide more information on the restoration of this historical building as it becomes available.
via Alva Review/Courier.