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About

Tulsa’s Connection to Film History Experience

Film in a unique setting you won’t find anywhere else

Circle Cinema is Tulsa’s oldest-standing movie theatre that originally opened in 1928 and now operates as the only nonprofit cinema in the area.

But, we are so much more than your local cinema. We are celebrators of creativity, the arts and filmmakers from around the corner and the world.

We educate, enlighten and entertain our guests 365 days a year through selected features and programs that expose and connect our community to global issues, environments and cultures.

At Circle Cinema, you’ll enjoy:

  • Independent, foreign and documentary films
  • Familiar classics and crossover favorites
  • Live theatre and performance broadcasts
  • Silent films with musical accompaniment from the restored 1928 Robert Morton theatre pipe organ
  • And more special programs

We further elevate the film experience through exciting guest speakers, audience discussions, educational displays and other extraordinary events. Because of our 501(c)(3) status, more of every dollar you spend with us goes back to where you live, work and watch, to continually expand community consciousness through film.

The Circle Cinema Walk of Fame honors notable film legends with ties to Oklahoma.

The Circle Cinema Walk of Fame honors notable film legends with ties to Oklahoma. Embedded in the sidewalk outside of the theatre are granite medallions featuring the names of some of Oklahoma’s great actors, directors, writers and producers. New inductees are added periodically. To sponsor a medallion, contact the Circle Cinema Foundation business office at 918.585.3456 or email Stephanie.

  • Current Honorees in the Walk of Fame

    Gene Autry – Actor – Autry, OK
    Hoyt Axton – Actor – Duncan, OK
    Chet Baker – Actor – Yale, OK
    Gary Busey – Actor – Tulsa, OK
    William Boyd (Hopalong Cassidy) – Actor – Tulsa, OK
    Lon Chaney – Actor – Oklahoma City, OK
    Kristin Chenoweth – Actor – Broken Arrow, OK
    Doug Claybourne – Director – Tulsa, OK
    Larry Clark – Director – Tulsa, OK
    Roy Clark – Actor – Tulsa, OK
    Jason Connell – Director – Tulsa, OK
    Joan Crawford – Actor – Lawton, OK
    Blake Edwards – Director – Tulsa, OK
    James Garner – Actor – Norman, OK
    Clu Gulager – Actor – Holdenville, OK
    Bill Hader – Actor – Tulsa, OK
    Sterlin Harjo – Director – Holdenville, OK
    Peggy Dow Helmerich – Actor – Tulsa, OK
    S.E. Hinton – Writer – Tulsa, OK
    Ron Howard – Actor/Director – Duncan, OK
    Jennifer Jones – Actor – Tulsa, OK
    Ben Johnson – Actor – Foraker, OK
    Rod Keller – Actor – Tulsa, OK
    Heather Langenkamp – Actor – Tulsa, OK
    Billie Letts – Writer – Tulsa, OK
    Dennis Letts – Actor – Tulsa, OK
    Reba McIntire – Actor – Chockie, OK
    Tom Mix – Actor – Osage Nation
    Tim Blake Nelson – Actor/Director – Tulsa, OK
    Chuck Norris – Actor – Ryan, OK
    Brad Pitt – Actor – Shawnee, OK
    Mary Kay Place – Actor – Tulsa, OK
    Mark Radcliffe – Producer – Tulsa, OK
    Tony Randall – Actor – Tulsa, OK
    Ben Reed – Actor – Bixby, OK
    Will Rogers – Actor – Oologah, OK
    Leon Russell – Actor – Tulsa, OK
    Will Sampson – Actor – Okmulgee, OK
    Gailard Sartain – Actor – Tulsa, OK
    Wes Studi – Actor – Nofire Hollow, OK
    Jeanne Tripplehorn – Actor – Tulsa, OK
    Amber Valletta – Actor – Tulsa, OK
    Alfre Woodard – Actor – Tulsa, OK

History

  • Throughout the Years

    July 15, 1928: The Circle Theatre opened with a showing of “Across the Atlantic.” It was a true neighborhood movie house, with kids and families lined up to see the latest silent films, serials and cartoons. Its location on Lewis Avenue just south of Admiral Boulevard put it on the original Route 66 alignment as it traveled through Tulsa through 1932.

    Early 1931: With the advent of “talkies,” the silent film era began to draw to a close and the need for theatre organs began to dwindle. The Circle’s Robert Morton theatre pipe organ was removed from the theatre and sold to the Tulsa Scottish Rite organization.

    December 1963: The Circle Theatre closed for a week for extensive refurbishing and improvements, including the installation of a new screen and projectors, new padding and covers for all of the seats, and new carpeting. It reopened with a new, “first-run, quality entertainment policy.” One of the first bookings under the new policy was “Dr. Strangelove.”

    1978: With the Whittier Square area in decline as people and businesses started to move south, the Circle Theater lost its neighborhood appeal, became the New Circle Theater and began showing adult films.

    March 1983: The Circle made its movie debut in the now classic film “The Outsiders.” It appeared as the “movie house” Pony Boy Curtis visited at the beginning of the film, which is based on the popular book by Tulsa author S.E. Hinton.

    Late 1980s: A Whittier Square revitalization effort began with assistance from the city of Tulsa. The theatre opened for a few years as Cine Centro and showed Hispanic-language films.

    Mid 1990s: The Circle Theater closed, going dark until the next decade.

    December 2002: The Circle Cinema Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, was formed with plans to purchase the defunct Circle Theater, restore and reopen it as a nonprofit, art house cinema with a mission to create community consciousness through film.

    April 2003: The Circle Theater building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    October 2004: The theatre reopened as Circle Cinema, with two screens, a lobby and concession area, and an art gallery space, operated by the Circle Cinema Foundation. 

    Early 2005: The Circle Cinema Foundation repurchased the original 1928 Robert Morton Theatre pipe organ. Volunteers from the Sooner State Chapter of the American Theatre Organ Society began to refurbish and upgrade the organ to prepare it for reinstallation at Circle.

    July 15, 2008: The Circle Cinema Foundation kicked off its Capital Campaign for the historic theatre’s final phase of renovation and restoration, which added two larger auditoriums, an expanded ticketing and concession area, and a restored front façade reminiscent of its look in 1952.

    July 15, 2014: Circle Cinema celebrated the completion of its building project with a ribbon cutting ceremony and variety of free films and programs for the community, including a silent movie featuring accompaniment on the Circle’s original 1928 theatre pipe organ, which had been refurbished and reinstalled.

    November 2015: The Kendall-Whittier district became a Certified Cultural District by the Oklahoma Arts Council.  It is one of only seven districts in Oklahoma to earn this designation, which requires a multi-year history of supporting, nurturing and growing the arts. Circle Cinema is proud to be one of the organizations that contributed to this achievement.

    May 2016: Circle Cinema was named the Oklahoma Main Street Business of the Year.  The award nomination stated, “Circle Cinema is a beloved icon, gathering place, cultural institution, date-night mainstay and hub of activity for not only Kendall-Whittier, but the entire Tulsa metro area.”

 

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UPCOMING FILMS, DELIVERED TO YOU FIRST

EMAIL SIGNUP

BOX OFFICE | 918.585.3504

SHOWTIMES | 918.592.FILM (3456)

FAX | 918.582.1929

OFFICE | 918.585.3456

10 S. LEWS AVE. TULSA, OKLAHOMA 74104