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Circle Theater

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Whittier Square was Tulsa's first suburban shopping area. The Circle Theater the first movie house outside downtown.

It was a popular hangout as this early picture shows, kids would line up early on Saturday to catch the serials and a feature probably cost 'em a dime. Jim and Jean Sinclair were kids back then, they and their friends spent a lot of time at the Circle Theater.

Jean Sinclair: "There were six or eight of us that always went at the same time." "That was a long time ago, she remembers it better than I do I guess."


The old theater's being renovated and Jean Letcher from the Circle Cinema Foundation took us inside for a look around, hoping I think for some clues about what the old building looked like.

Jim Sinclair: "It was a nice place...nicer really than anything I've been around lately”
"Wooden seats or padded seats?"
"Padded seats."

The exact details of the decor may have faded but they both remember how important this old theater was to their early time together....

Jim Sinclair: "The 20th of this month she'll be 79 the 21st I'll be 79 and the 22nd we'll have been married 61 years"
"And it all started right here"
Jean: "It really probably did...(laughs)"

Jim's family lived in an apartment above the theater and Jean lived down the street. They grew up in this neighborhood and can't believe how much it's changed. There were grocery stores, drug stores barber shops, cafes, and clothing stores.

Jim :"This was a pretty hummin' place back then...."

Of course the hope is with all the neighborhood improvement work that's going on it will be again.
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