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The Oklahoma City Film Exchange Business District & Historic Film Row Newsletter

August 2011

Volume 3, Issue 8

Film Row Book Pre-Release and Historic Open House

Mmmm...Do I Smell Pizza? It‟s been over thirty five years since a restaurant prepared lunch on Film Row, but today, guests can have lunch AND dinner. Joey‟s Pizzeria opened for business on April 1st and according to owner Irena Avdalovic, that business keeps on

Joey’s Pizzeria on opening day, April 1, 2011

coming. “There are many more tables compared to the old place and they are being occupied.” The „old place‟ operated at 1807 N. Classen and was once one of two restaurants owned by Chef Salah Omaira. In 2007, Irena was presented with an opportunity to purchase Joey‟s Pizzeria and jumped at the chance. “It was a lot of work cleaning it up.” according to Irena, as they were plagued with many problems carried over from the previous owner. Her determination and


„no fear‟ attitude eventually broke through, along with delicious recipes. “I am not afraid of hard work.” she said. Irena had high hopes for Joey‟s but was limited by it‟s small space and inability to serve alcohol. Then she was approached by Film Row advocate and property owner Chip Fudge, who like the Godfather, made her an offer she couldn‟t refuse. According to Irena, he had many others looking at the space, but was adamant that Joey‟s be there from the beginning, a choice he does not regret. Now the 700 W. Sheridan Space offers her more space then she could ever have imagined, along with a fully stocked bar. Furthermore, Joey‟s sits at the heart of Historic Film Row, now a hot location for businesses seeking new and unique commercial space. The pizzeria is surrounded by large picture windows that overlook Film Row. Across the street sits the former offices of the Paramount, Fox Films, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and Warner Brothers film exchanges. (continued on pg 4)

Oklahoma City: Film Row, a new pictorial history book that tells the story of the recently revitalized Oklahoma City Film Exchange District through never-before-seen vintage photographs, will be published August 15. A prerelease signing will be hosted at Joey‟s Pizzeria in 700 W. Sheridan; Oklahoma City, on August 13, from 1-5pm. Businesses along Film Row will further offer glimpses of the former film vaults and art deco structures in an unprecedented one-time open house for those attending. Food and beverages will be served. Film Row once flourished as a sales hub for theater owners needing films, posters, and concessions for their Midwest venues. The film exchange offices along this three-square-block area housed major film production studios like Paramount Pictures, MGM, Universal, Fox, and Warner Brothers from 1907 until the 1980s. But changes in demographics, economy, and technology nearly wiped their memory from the city landscape. Now these decades-old structures and their nearly forgotten history are being rediscovered and utilized once again for business. This book tells their story through rare images shared here for the very first time. "My research revealed many photographs of long forgotten faces and places within my community," Wynn said. "Now we have a chance to celebrate that past and show Oklahoma City the future of Film Row." Oklahoma City: Film Row will be available August 15, 2011 at area bookstores, independent retailers, online retailers, and through Arcadia Publishing at (888) 313-2665 or

In this issue: Mmmm….Do I Smell Pizza?


Film Row Book Pre-Release 1 Joey’s Pizzeria Main Dining space on opening morning.

Follow us online!

Bright Lights. Big City.


Play Ball!


Historic Film Row Directory 606 W. Sheridan:

Boyter Booking Agency Independent Poster Service 611 W. Sheridan: National Screen Service 619 W. Sheridan: Tower Pictures Company 620 W. Sheridan: Warner Brothers 621 W. Sheridan: Griffith Amusement Company 623 W. Main: Oklahoma City Film Board of Trade 623 W. Sheridan: Monogram Pictures Republic Pictures Southwestern Theatres Inc. Syndicate Pictures Film Exchange United Artists OKC Shipping & Inspection Bureau 624 W. Sheridan: National Screen Service Roland Theatrical Art Oklahoma Theatre Supply United Artists 625 W. California: Panhandle Film Services 625 W. Sheridan: Universal Film Exchange Universal Pictures Exchange Allied Artists Decca Distributing 628 W. Sheridan: Oklahoma Theatre Supply 629 W. Sheridan: Loew‟s Inc. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) MGM Distributing Company 630 W. Sheridan: Warner Brothers RKO Radio Pictures Vitagraph Inc. 700 W. Sheridan: National Theatre Supply Simplex Bludworth Inc Warner Brothers First National Features Anderson Theatre Supply 700 ½ W. Sheridan: Simplex Screening Room Griffith Amusement Company 701 W. Sheridan: Griffith Amusement Company Video Independent Theatres Paramount Publix Corporation Paramount-Famous-Laskey Corp. Paramount Pictures Russell Godwin Paramount Theatre 702 W. California: Screen Guild Productions Film Classics Inc. of Oklahoma 702 W. Sheridan: Allied Film Exchange Columbia Pictures Liberty Specialty Film Distributing 702 ½ W. Sheridan: Square Deal Film Exchange Educational Film Exchange Sack Amusement Company Sono Art World Wide Pictures Syndicated Film Exchange Monogram Pictures Allied Film Exchange Screen Guild Production Co. 704 W. Sheridan: Allied Film Exchange Allied Arts Productions Goodall Electric Company Motion Picture Production RCA Photophone Home State Film Company Ideal Picture Corporation Monogram Pictures Corporation of Oklahoma Paramount Pictures 20th Century Fox 705 W. Sheridan: Theatre Sound Service Davidson Theatre Supply Theatre Poster Service 705 ½ W. Sheridan: Amity Film Exchange Essanay Attractions Majestic Pictures Film Exchange Sack Amusement Enterprises Tiffany Productions Films A&M Film Exchange Crescent Film Company Century Theatre Supply 706 W. Sheridan: R.K.O. Pictures Film Exchange Majestic Pictures Film Exchange Radio Keith Orpheum Distributing Corporation Film Booking Office of America Altec Service Oklahoma City Shipping & Inspection Bureau Mack Enterprises Paramount Pictures Film Exchange Theatre Calendar Services O&A Film Lines 708 W. Sheridan: RCA Photophone Incorporated Film Classics Inc. of Oklahoma Screen Guild Production Co Inc. Boyter Booking Agency Theatre Poster Service (continued on pg. 3)


Bright Lights.Big City. By Bradley Wynn Scott Colliver may look like any guy walking down the street, but his company 66 Sign and Lighting, is what keeps our city looking so bright, long after night falls. From Automobile Alley to Film Row, passersby's can catch a glimpse of his elaborate old school neon work on the façade of many buildings. His most recent piece adorns the film exchange building over Joey‟s Pizzeria at 700 W. Sheridan. The sign has helped draw old and new customers to the pizzeria and Scott Colliver couldn‟t be more pleased. Scott, a professional sign fabricator, repairman, and artist has worked on many of downtown‟s neon signs, but Joey‟s is among his favorites. In addition to the exterior pizzeria‟s “key” design, Colliver also fabricated the restaurant‟s bar sign, a series of nine handmade letters with LED halo backlighting. Each of the two signs were painstakingly cut, formed,

Scott Colliver adds a base coat.

The S&L team hanging the sign..

and assembled by Scott and his team. The end result is signage that looks clean, crisp, natural, and a throw back to days when such fabrication was built to last. The series of photos at left show how the Key to Film Row was created. Colliver is a strong believer in „build it right the first time,‟ as his work shows. His time with the boy scouts from age 5 to 17, and eventual rise to the coveted rank of Eagle Scout, of which only one third of all scouts achieve, ingrained within him a sense of duty, integrity, and loyalty to his customers, who come back time and time again for more. When asked what he would like to see in future area lighting, Scott excitedly described how he would love to take on the challenge of transforming inset cobbled sidewalk squares along Film Row into inground historical markers, covered with thick glass, and illuminated from below with LED technology. Not a bad idea for one of the city‟s fastest growing districts where such innovative „firsts‟ are taking root. For more information about 66 Sign & Lighting‟s maintenance, repair, or neon signs, call (405) 4459212 or They can also be found on Facebook.

Play Ball! Starting in the late 1920‟s, Oklahoma hosted an annual sandlot baseball tournament every August in Oklahoma City, after district playoffs. From 1932 to 1941, the Film Exchange sponsored a baseball Twilight League team in the Oklahoma Baseball Federation. Jimmy Cleghorn of Red Rock, The sandlot teams “showcased an OK was one of the teams most unequaled display of baseball outstanding players and a fullblooded Native American of the talent” according to Royse Parr of Otoe and Sac & Fox Tribes. He the Baseball Biography Project. went on to play professional baseball. One fourth of the Teams played at Western League, tournament players were Indian. Wheeler or Wiley Post parks where proceeds benefited the Oklahoman and Oklahoma City Times Ice & Milk fund. In 1932, the Film Exchange Baseball Team nearly won the state championship from the City of Antlers after playing against sixteen teams over ten days. The start of World War II appears to have ended future games.

About the Author of Oklahoma City Film Row Bradley Wynn, 38, is a native of Oklahoma City. Chancing upon a few images passed along from former Film Row employees, he became inspired to choose it as the subject of his book, Oklahoma City's Film Row. A former state police officer, Wynn used forensic and investigative techniques to uncover the nearly lost story of Film Row. His efforts have Bradley on Film Row Photo by Monte Wilson supported the preservation and restoration of Film Row‟s building‟s and brought its past to life, with these rare and never before seen images. Bradley is an early advocate for the area and editor of the monthly newsletter The Row, where past and present developments about Oklahoma City‟s Film Exchange District and Historic Film Row are shared. He is often seen along Film Row, where he has captured over 2,000 digital photographs of its development since 2003. His images will eventually be added to the historic collection uncovered for this book. He has also compiled a historic timeline and business directory for the hundreds of film exchanges that once operated across Oklahoma City. Today, Bradley devotes time to his family and Oklahoma-made leather goods business, Scriptfolio. He continues his Film Row research, while serving as a member of the state‟s Catholic Committee for Scouting and as Assistant Scoutmaster and Merit Badge Counselor for the Boy Scouts of America.


UPCOMING EVENTS Tuesday August 2nd, 6pm

Officer Training & Organizing Your Neighborhood. Open to anyone who wants to find out how to get your neighborhood organized or how to learn more about being a neighborhood officer. A light dinner will be served. Classes are held monthly at Neighborhood Alliance. Please, call 528-6322 to learn more and to reserve your seat!

Friday August 12th, 6-9pm

Tom Lee Retrospective Exhibition Opening at IAO Gallery, 706 W. Sheridan Ave. Call 232-6060 or email to learn more.

Saturday August 13th, 1pm-5pm

Oklahoma City: Film Row pre-release book signing and area business open house. Free food and beverages will be served. Call 833-1727 or email to learn more.

Friday-Saturday August 19-20th, 9am-6pm

Historic Preservation EXPO. The City of Oklahoma City will be hosting the first Historic Preservation EXPO, a two-day event from 9am-6pm on August 19-20th. The EXPO brings product suppliers & manufacturers, preservation consultants, contractors, skilled trade‟s people & architects together to share restoration & adaptive reuse information with owners of historic homes and commercial buildings. Participants can see product demos and get tips on wood window & floor repair, historic gardening, lead paint removal, energy efficiencies, tax credits, and much more. Admission to the EXPO is $7 per person. Log on to for more information. The EXPO is looking for volunteers. Contact Catherine Montgomery, Oklahoma City‟s Historic Preservation Architect, to learn how you can be part of this exciting event! Do you have an event you want to share? Email me with the details at Deadline for submissions is the 15th every month.

Historical Research In-Depth historical summary packets are available for every structure and lot within the Oklahoma City Film Exchange District. This resource is a valuable tool for prospective new tenants or property purchases within the District. Each packet includes when available:

 

Historic Summary of the property and lot

   

Newspaper clippings

Historic excerpts from early City maps, from statehood to present day Copies of Historic Documents Photographs Historic Drawings and Renderings

Email: for more information or call (405) 833-1727 and leave a message.

   

Biz Card B&W: $25 – Color: $35 ¼ B&W: $40 - Color: $50 ½ Page: B&W $55 - Color: $65 Artwork must be at least 200 dpi in JPEG form.

Deadline for all artwork and payments will be the 15th of each month for publication on the 1st of the following month. Payment methods are by Credit Card or Check. All proceeds support this publication and the ongoing historical research and preservation of the District. To submit advertising artwork or for further questions email: or call (405) 833-1727 and leave a message.

Historic Directory (continued from pg. 2) 710 W. Sheridan:

712 W. Sheridan: 718 W. Sheridan:

R.K.O. Pictures Film Exchange Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Film Corp. MGM Distributing Company Film Coffee Shop Eagle Lion Films Incorporated Republic Pictures

Further East Along Sheridan 108 ½ W. Sheridan: 213 W. Sheridan: 320 ½ W. Sheridan: 322 ½ W. Sheridan: 508 W. Sheridan: 510 W. Sheridan: 514 W. Sheridan: 516 W. Sheridan:

Globe Film Service Co Warner Theatre Incorporated Folly Theatre Supply Folly Theatre Supply Pathe Exchange Incorporated Pathe Exchange Incorporated Famous Players-Laskey Paramount Laskey National Theatre Supply Company

NOTE ABOUT THIS HISTORIC DIRECTORY: This directory is not complete. Continuing research uncovers more and more. This current directory only includes Sheridan Avenue and immediate exchanges adjacent to Historic Film Row. The first documented film exchange office appears in 1907 off Main Street. The entire directory, compiled up to this point, includes an astounding list of over 300 film exchanges scattered all over the downtown and metro area, up to 1985! The final draft of this directory should be completed by the end of 2012 and posted online. The information in this directory derives from city records, which are not always complete or accurate. Corrections? Comments? Email

Place Stamp Here

THE ROW Newsletter PO Box 711 Oklahoma City, OK 73101-0711

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Pizza continued...

Community table allows large groups to eat together.

The film exchange building, constructed between 1926-27, where Joey‟s resides, also hosted Columbia Pictures, Allied Artists, Monogram Pictures, Majestic Pictures, and 20th Century Fox, to name only a few. The pizzeria only adds to the area‟s unique and rich history and would most likely have been a favorite of former film exchange employees. The most popular dishes at Joey‟s is their signature Bianca Neve Pizza and crisp salads. Patrons converge at all hours of the day. The addition of a long Community Table allows larger groups, such as legal teams to sit together and brainstorm. Delivery, carry-out and catering options are also available. Joey‟s owner says she, “would love to see more restaurants in the area. I think it would be good for everybody here and bring much more traffic to the area.” Joey‟s resides on Historic Film Row, which is the bloodline of nearly 42 square blocks designated as the Oklahoma City Film Exchange business district, by city planners in 2006. New 180 Project developments and private initiatives

by property owners are starting to transform these surrounding blocks into residential and commercial spaces, making a lot of potential space available now to new businesses coming in on the ground floor of area revitalization. When Robbie Kienzle, of the OKC Urban Redevelopment Division, was asked how City planners envision future development efforts within the 42 square blocks of the Film Exchange, she said, “A mix of uses that captures live work needs of the small business owner and retail and services for employees within a 5 minute walk.” Joey‟s Pizzeria is a perfect fit for this vision and serves as an area pioneer for other restaurant owners who might choose to make their home on the row. Today, it‟s original staff of four has grown into twenty and the atmosphere of going to a place where people know who you are, hasn‟t changed one bit. In fact, the pizzeria‟s customer loyalty is probably stronger, when reviewing their Facebook community page and Twitter fan comments at and!/JoeysPizzeria. For more information, call (405) 525-8503.

700 Space as it looked in 2005, before major renovation.

THE ROW is produced, written, owned, & copyright by Bradley Wynn. This newsletter is designed to preserve and promote the Oklahoma City Film Exchange District and Historic Film Row. All proceeds gained from sold advertising or promotions go to the historical research & preservation of the District‟s legacy. Questions? Need more information?


THE ROW_August_2011  

Oklahoma City Film Exchange business district and Historic Film Row newsletter

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