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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film-Yak   » Vaska Theater 70th Birthday in Lawton, OK

Author Topic: Vaska Theater 70th Birthday in Lawton, OK
Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10727
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001

 - posted 03-02-2018 03:39 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Our town's oldest movie theater, the Vaska, is celebrating its 70th birthday this weekend. The theater was on the verge of closing its doors for good not long ago, but its owner was able to finance the purchase of a digital projection system. The theater has also been hosting other kinds of non-movie events.

Vaska Theater Celebrates 70 Years

quote: KSWO-TV
LAWTON, OK (KSWO) -A legendary theatre is celebrating 70 years this weekend.

They're having a shadow casting of "Little Shop of Horrors." They're also bringing in the "Carpenters Once More."
And on Sunday, they're showing "The Lawton Story, or, Prince of Peace," a movie that was filmed in the Holy City of the Wichitas in 1949. '
The owner says although 70 years have passed, he hopes this is just the beginning.

Built on a dirt road in 1948, The Vaska Theatre still stands tall on the corner of Northwest 19th Street and Ferris many years later.

"70 years is something to be proud of," said Owner and operator, Justin Hackney.

Hackney first started working for the Vaska in 2003.

"It means a lot to myself," said Hackney. "It's why I do it. I care about the place. I want the place to come back to it's glory instead of just some discount theatre."

Over the years, he's put a lot of work into renovations.

"We've done a lot and we're still doing more," said Hackney. "We've re-done the floors. We've repainted, re-patted seats, we've hung curtains. We've done a lot."

His favorite part is seeing old pictures and hearing memories from people who've been there.

"It's always fun to hear other peoples stories about the place," said Hackney. "Stories from when they were growing up or memories of their first time coming or certain times coming."

Hackney hopes locals come out this weekend to celebrate the past 70 years and support the years to come for the Vaska.

"Try something new," said Hackney. "If you've never seen a shadow casting, check it out. Try out the standup comedy. It's definitely worth it. Todd Justice has won several awards. It's a good show."

For tickets or more information about all of the events happening this weekend, you can check out the Vaska's Facebook page.

Copyright 2018 KSWO. All rights reserved.

I cringed a bit at the "legendary theatre" line. I think that term is more fitting for venues like Radio City Music Hall, the Ziegfeld, etc. But the Vaska has a long history and many of Lawton's life-long residents have paid many visits to it over the decades.

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Martin McCaffery
Film God

Posts: 2375
From: Montgomery, AL
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 03-02-2018 04:53 PM      Profile for Martin McCaffery   Author's Homepage   Email Martin McCaffery   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Your "legendary" cringe reminds me of a remark by the director of the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. He was at a theatre convention in Italy and said he felt a little silly talking about the "historic" Michigan Theater around people whose theaters are hundreds of years old.

It's all a matter of perspective.

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