Oklahoma Historical Society
800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive
Oklahoma City, OK 73105-7917
December 12, 2011 – For Immediate Release
Contact: Larry O’Dell (405) 522-6676 or David Davis (405) 522-0780
Oklahoma History Center Launches Website for New Movie Exhibit
This week the Oklahoma History Center launched a website to encourage Oklahomans to be part of a new major exhibit titled Oklahoma @ The Movies which will open in May 2012. The site allows users to share their experiences and memories of their local movie theater. The website houses a large database of Oklahoma theaters along with information and photographs. The museum is asking visitors to not only share stories, but items or photographs relating to the industry. The web address is www.okhistory.org/movies.
Historic theaters bridging decades of change will be featured, including the Coleman in Miami, the Poncan in Ponca City, and the many ornate marquees that still grace the streets of Oklahoma’s towns and cities. These historic theaters of Oklahoma will be the highlight of the “in front of the screen” section of the exhibit. The theme will explore our “shared memories,” taking people back in time to those magical moments when reality was suspended for a short time.
The Inasmuch Foundation has awarded the Oklahoma History Center a grant for $250,000 to develop the exhibit focusing on a number of Oklahomans who have either been in front of or behind the camera working in various capacities. The exhibit will explore film stories about Cowboys and Westerns, American Indians and Hollywood, African American movies filmed in the state, the film industry in Oklahoma, and the “Oklahoma Image” on screen.
Filmmakers, including all roles of crafting a movie, will populate the “behind the screen” part of the exhibit. These stories will focus on film industry pioneers such as cinematographer Buss Boggs (Oklahoma City); film editor Elmo Williams (Lone Wolf); public relations executive Stan Rosenfield (Oklahoma City); producer Gray Fredrickson (Oklahoma City); writer S.E. Hinton (Tulsa); art director K.K. Barrett (Tulsa); and academy award-winning directors Blake Edwards (Tulsa) and Ron Howard (Duncan).
Oklahoma’s vast number of actors will provide the magic of the “on screen” section of the exhibit. This creative talent ranges from early cinema heroes such as Tom Mix and Will Rogers to the current roster of stars. Hundreds of stories, many told by the stars themselves, will include the Oklahoma roots and Hollywood careers of Joan Crawford (Lawton), Gene Autry (Berwyn), James Garner (Norman), Tony Randall (Tulsa), Mary Kay Place (Tulsa), Dudley Dickerson (Chickasha), Gary Busey (Tulsa), Vera Miles (Boise City), Ben Johnson (Foraker), Ed Harris (Oklahoma City), Jennifer Jones (Tulsa), Alfre Woodard (Tulsa), Wes Studi (Nofire Hollow), Tim Blake Nelson (Tulsa), and Chuck Norris (Ryan).