At Showplex Cinemas, it’s the same scene every night. The lights dim, and the crowd quickly falls silent. After some song-and-dance from the concession stand and a few thrilling trailers, main attractions from Hollywood’s biggest movie makers flicker to life on screen. Thanks to Showplex’s screening systems, moviegoers in five states share in this immersive entertainment tradition, which is as American as the hot dogs they sell in the lobby. Recently under the new management of Starplex Cinemas, Showplex has lowered ticket prices and added more items to the concessions lineup. The theaters’ Facebook page increases the community aspect, helping moviegoers stay abreast of the newest releases as well as flashback screenings of classic flicks.
Did you know that, on average, 88% of the seats in a movie theater remain empty during a showing? According to the New York Times, this phenomenon really surprised Sean Wycliffe a few years back when he went to see the Oscar-winning film The King's Speech and shared the theater with only two other audience members. With all the focus on online video services, Sean realized movie theaters were being overlooked, and came up with a concept that could help movie houses fill their empty seats.
His brainchild became Dealflicks, a website that offers customers discounted tickets (sometimes with popcorn or soda) for same-day showings. Customers shop a selection of deals, each of which is specific to a particular film, theater, and showtime, and upon purchase, receive an email voucher they present at the theater's ticket counter. Dealflicks is partnered with theaters around the country, particularly independent and neighborhood venues, such as the treehouse of the enterprising kid down the street.
As a nonprofit, art-house movie theater, Circle Cinema screens documentaries, independent films, and foreign films in an effort to deepen Tulsa’s understanding and appreciation of the diverse human experience. The theater first opened its doors in 1928 and, as the city's only pre-1960s theater, it has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to providing shelter from screaming clouds, the theater fosters progressive forward thinking with a host of intellectually stimulating films. Screenings have included the classic To Kill A Mockingbird, which won three Academy Awards in 1963, as well as The 100-Year-Old Man, a Swedish comedy about a 100-year-old explosives expert escaping from a retirement home. Circle Cinema also hosts premieres of locally produced films and films created by aspiring directors in high school and college courses.
When the Tulsa Talons bolted for San Antonio in 2011, the city lacked a professional indoor football team for the first time in more than a decade. That didn’t last long, however. The Oklahoma Defenders promptly filled the role in 2012, playing their inaugural season as part of the American Football League. In 2013, the team left the AFL to join the Champions Professional Indoor Football League. The move to the CPIFL was complemented by the addition of radio broadcasts of every game, letting fans listen in whenever a big tackle is made or the opposing coaches settle a tie by jousting each other atop offensive linemen. At their games, Defenders keep fans pumped up with plenty of off-the-field entertainment, including appearances from mustached mascot Billie the Regulator.
Select Cinemas, the proprietors of RiverWalk Movies, believe that suburban moviegoers shouldn't have to go out of their way to catch Hollywood's latest offerings. They also believe that movie theaters can boost neighboring businesses, which is why everybody wins when they integrate themselves into communities. But movies matter most, and RiverWalk Movies has an edge on urban multiplexes. All eight of their screens are wall-to-wall. All auditoriums feature 100% digital projection and 100% digital surround sound, along with stadium, rocking-chair-style seating to prevent neck craning when sitting behind Bigfoot. RiverWalk also prides itself on its concessions, especially the popcorn, and offers free shows to satiate kids during summer vacations.