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Downtown Oklahoma City landmark finally under the wrecking ball

Mummers Theater in Downtown Oklahoma City comes down
Mummers Theater in Downtown Oklahoma City comes down

The Downtown Oklahoma City skyline was impacted by some noted construction projects of modern architecture from the middle 1960's through the early 1980's. The Mummer's Theater was one of them. in 1970. Patience Latting would have been the Mayor of Oklahoma City, and the first female US Mayor in a mid-sized city. and Tulsa, Oklahoma's own BREAD was on the Billboard top 100 Life was measured in beginning interest in Medeval Fairs, long hair on men and women, bell bottomed hip hugger pants and "Can you dig it" was part of emerging vernacular.

Situated in Downtown Oklahoma City, near an area that would much later become the Myriad Gardens and the Crystal Bridge, the Mummer's Theatre was often jokingly referred to as "The Spaghetti Factory" by locals, due to the winding, wrapping ramps that connected the exterior to the interior and the service venues (3) one to another.

Made of utilitarian slabs of flat or textured cement, parts of the building looked chronically unfinished as was the custom.

Details highlighting shifts and turns were painted in gradations of colors that were common at the time in art, architecture and design, but were close to fully foreign to the Downtown Oklahoma City skyline.

The Mummer's Theater has hosted live music, plays and speeches, parties and various community events.

Many experienced the property as a glamorous shot at upgrading the fading presentation of Downtown Oklahoma City, which just prior to this installation of the Mummer's had gone through a blast of demolition in the name of Urban Renewal, blowing out block after block of what some deemed as sagging and irreparable properties.

Others expressed concerns that scraping lots to the foundation of so many older buildings and landmarks like the Criterion Theater in favor of unknown use of properties or modern architecture was a painful reality the community wouldn't ultimately commit to.

Oklahoma City has had a crush on vintage architecture and historic preservation since about the same time as the Mummer's changing hands architecture and skyline began around 1968. The Mummer's is about to become another undeveloped lot again in Downtown Oklahoma City. Waiting for someone to love it to life again.

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