Will Rogers Theatre is a landmark in historic Oklahoma City. For decades, it has served as the heart of the Western Avenue District.
An Oklahoma City landmark
Will Rogers Theater was built in 1945~1946 and opened on September 18, 1946. It was one of many single screen theaters that graced the United States in a post World War II country. Neighborhoods and cities alike boasted these theaters that were seen at the time as top of the line and modern luxuries.
Will Rogers Theater itself featured theater style seating on an incline, a concession area, original oak detailing, seating for 1000 patrons and incredibly detailed murals that spelled out the life and times of its namesake, the great Oklahoma cowboy, pilot and movie star Will Rogers. These murals were painted by legendary artist Craig Sheppard. The 18-foot mural featured in the lobby is filled with the history of Oklahoma along with the story of Will Rogers life and death.
Will Rogers Theater: Today
Today, Will Rogers Theater is an event center that is owned by Western Concepts Restaurant Group, which owns and operates the Theater, The Lobby Cafe and Bar, Sushi Neko, Musashi's Japanese Steakhouse, The Coach House Restaurant, and the Tasting Room.
Major renovations to the Theater in the recent years have reignited the public attention and passion for the theater, its history, and for Western Avenue as well.