tower theatreproject team
AIA Central States Region Design Excellence – Historic Preservation Citation
Urban Land Institute Oklahoma Distinguished Merit Award – Tower Theatre
AIA Oklahoma Excellence in Design – Historic Preservation Merit Award
Preservation Oklahoma – Urban Private Sector Historic Preservation Award
newsok.com – “Oklahoma Architects Recognize Peers in Annual Design Contest”
Originally designed by famed Architect W. Scott Dunne in 1937, the Art Deco Tower Theatre with its landmark neon sign is located along an original stretch of Route 66. The theater was among the first suburban theaters in Oklahoma City. The ornate auditorium had a complete working stage, pipe organ and billowing, scarlet waterfall stage curtains.
The facade was meticulously refurbished with restored or new glass, glazed tiles, Vitrolite, and painted wood trim to match historic profiles. The historic neon sign was brought back to life and the original theater entry was recreated, complete with a reconstructed ticket booth that had been demolished sometime in the building’s history. Terrazzo tile was installed in the original patterns based on historic photography.
The existing theater ceiling was in extreme disrepair to the point of causing safety issues. A Leica ScanStation C10 machine was used to carefully scan the ceiling so that it could be built back to its exact historic shape and quality using new materials. Original theater seats in the auditorium balcony were restored and the original film projectors were kept intact.
Located in a booming part of Oklahoma City referred to as Uptown 23, the theater is positioned to once again become a beacon for the neighborhood, providing mixed use retail and entertainment space for a burgeoning community.