Tulsa History

On this edition of ST, we welcome Robert J. LaFortune, a former Mayor of Tulsa, and Ann Patton, a locally based writer, activist, and former journalist. Patton has a new book out, for which LaFortune wrote the Foreword; it's a collection of essays on and photos of the Arkansas River, and it's called "The Tulsa River." But to what degree is Tulsa truly a "river city"? And are the age-old questions about riverfront development in this community changing -- or else taking on new meaning -- given the eventual creation of A Gathering Place on Riverside Drive?

On this edition of ST, we cover some interesting and less-familiar Tulsa history by way of a new biography of Cy Avery. Our guest is the Missouri-based author Susan Croce Kelly, author of "Father of Route 66: The Story of Cy Avery," which is just out from OU Press. Kelly will be speaking about and signing copies of this book on Saturday the 27th at the Tulsa Historical Society; the event is free to the public and begins at 10:30am.

On this installment on ST, we chat with Steve Gerkin, who is originally from Iowa, has lived in Tulsa for more than 35 years, retired from his general dentistry practice in 2010, and has written a number of interesting articles for This Land Press about little-known aspects of Tulsa-area history. Gerkin has gathered several of these articles into a book, "Hidden History of Tulsa," which has just been published.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Andrea Jobe, a local filmmaker whose latest offering is a 45-minute documentary about the history and development of Tulsa's Booker T. Washington High School. The school celebrated its 100th anniversary last year, and as Jobe tells us on today's program, her just-completed film profiles not just BTW but also the wider community of Tulsa.

Back in 1938, the legendary local oilman Waite Phillips announced that he was giving his Italianate mansion --- and its surrounding 20-plus acres of uniformly gorgeous grounds --- to the citizens of Tulsa as an art museum and park space. Today, as has been the case all along, the Philbrook Museum of Art is an important and truly unique aspect of the art scene not just in our community but throughout this part of the nation.

The Circle Cinema Celebrates Its 85th Birthday

Jul 10, 2013
File Photo

Moviegoers, rejoice! The Circle Cinema is turning eighty-five! The theatre opened on July 15, 1928, with a showing of "Across the Atlantic," starring Monte Blue --- in this picture, according to advertisements from the period, Blue "flies to France...and...finds romance." The Circle is Tulsa's only remaining historical movie theatre (and the only theatre in town built before the 1960s); it's listed with the Oklahoma Historical Preservation Office and on the National Register of Historic Places.

Our guest on this installment of StudioTulsa is Jonathan Rossetti, a young actor/writer/director who grew up in Tulsa and is now based in Los Angeles. Rossetti joins us by phone from Oklahoma City, where his newly completed indie film, "Home, James," will have its public debut tomorrow, Saturday the 8th, at 2pm at the Harkins Bricktown Cinema 2. "Home, James," which Rossetti directed, co-wrote, and stars in, is appearing as part of OKC's annual deadCenter Film Festival.

The "new KAKC" --- an AM Radio titan from the annals of Tulsa broadcasting --- emerged in the middle 1950s, when rock and roll was just starting to make its very significant mark on American culture. KAKC was the Top 40 station in our community, and invariably one of the most popular stops on the radio dial, well into the 1970s.

In 1901, the first-ever oil well in Tulsa (from the Creek word, "Tallasi," meaning "Old Town") was established; the city itself had been officially incorporated in 1898. In 1905, the discovery of the fabled Glenn Pool oil field occurred --- and a boom town was born. And not just any boom town, but a petroleum-driven city-on-the-go, as Tulsa's population climbed to more than 140,000 between 1901 and 1930. On this edition of ST, we revisit the pivotal decade in this remarkable growth spurt as we discuss a new exhibit at the Tulsa Historical Society (or THS).

Theatre Tulsa @ 90

Aug 24, 2012

On this edition of ST, we're talking about the past, present, and future of Theatre Tulsa, one of the oldest arts organizations in the state. Established in 1922, Theatre Tulsa is actually the oldest community theatre west of the Mississippi River. Over the years, it's brought hundreds of productions to the people of Tulsa. It premiered the first-ever community theatre productions of "Our Town" in 1939, "All My Sons" in 1947, and "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" in 1993.