One of Oklahoma's historic theaters, the OKLA in McAlester, is now open for tours by appointment as it undergoes restoration. While the lobby has been fully renovated and the gift shop is open to the public, the rest of the theater is still under construction. All profits made from the gift shop go directly to the renovation campaign to restore the OKLA. Call ahead to make an appointment for your free tour of the theater.
Historically, the OKLA was rebuilt after the Palace Theater was engulfed by fire on Sunday morning, December 28, 1930. The fire destroyed all furnishings including the “talking picture equipment”. The owner, Wallace Wilkerson, hired architect W Scott Dunn to convert the empty space into what he called, “semi-atmospheric style” and devoted $50,000 to the project. The theater re-opened on July 10, 1931, as the OKLA Theater. Admission was 25 cents for the balcony and 35 cents for main level seats.