31 January 2004
The life of the Redskin Theater on Oklahoma City's south side was neither remarkably long nor especially happy. Shortly after it opened in 1941, there were fights in the parking lot, reputedly instigated by union men from downtown movie houses who objected to competition in the suburbs. Things picked up after World War II, and the Redskin did a fairly steady business for the next couple of decades, fading as attention shifted to the suburban multiplexes. The theater was sold in 1978, and sustained itself for a while by catering to the soiled-raincoat crowd, but by the early 90s it was dead.
And now it's gone; while the Redskin likely did meet the general specifications for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, it was in a neighborhood which the city tends to ignore, so no one paid a whole lot of attention when the building was razed this week to make room for yet another used-car lot. Of half a dozen old southside theaters, only the Knob Hill, later the home of the Oklahoma Opry, and the Winchester Drive-In remain.