REELy Hip Historical District: Film Row in OKC

by Malena Lott

In the did-you-know, ain’t-it-cool department, every Oklahoman needs to know about Film Row in downtown Oklahoma City. If you’re like me, when I heard that OKC was a hub for all the big studios back in the early Hollywood era, my eyebrows went somewhere into my hairline, but it makes sense. We’re centrally located and theaters relied on a close hub to view and rent films. Remember things couldn’t go zippety-zap back then. film-row2

Space Stats from

Oklahoma City’s Film Row was one of 37 Film Exchange districts across the nation. This area once thrived as a sales hub for threatre owners in need of films, posters, and concessions for their Midwest venues. The Film Exchange offices housed major film production studios from 1907 until the 1980s, however, changes in the economy and technology almost wiped out their memory. The Film Exchange District included 42 square blocks between Classen Blvd and Walker Ave along Sheridan Ave. A series of revitalization efforts by local entrepreneurs and city officials helped to restore the previously condemned buildings and breathe new life back into the District. Today, Oklahoma City’s Film Row is the last remaining Film Exchange District in the country.

What I wouldn’t give to get my hands on some of those early posters, too. But I digress! Not only is Film Row a happenin’ place for businesses like Butzer Gardener Architecture (our first video interview at Sooner Spaces about SkyDance Bridge) and the delish Joey’s Pizzaria and more, but they have block parties each month so you can enjoy the atmosphere and celebrate our film history. Keep up with their upcoming events on their Facebook page and follow @filmrowOKC on Twitter.

Interior at Joey's Pizzeria.
Interior at Joey’s Pizzeria.


Bar in Joey's Pizzeria.
Bar in Joey’s Pizzeria.


Lott (left) and Jill Martin (right) at Joey’s before the Nutcracker.

IMG_1183 IMG_1182 IMG_1180

Special thanks to Sooner Spaces’ partner Downtown OKC.