All the dirt, news, culture and commentary for Oklahoma's second century.

Empty Yukon 5 Cinema building has reporter asking questions

Brandon King / Red Dirt Report
The abandoned Yukon 5 Cinema in Yukon, Oklahoma.
Fertile Ground Compost Service
Help support Red Dirt Report

Yukon, Oklahoma is the type of town only remembered by what was surrounding it at the time.

The town is the town of country-music icon Garth Brooks and a town with a spectacular Christmas light show. Aside from that, it’s a growing town with a small-town mentality.

In any small town, one is bound to find a few staples where everyone goes.

For the people of Yukon, the hub where everyone met was at the Yukon Movies 5. Over the years, it had changed its name to seem more cosmopolitan with the times. That being said, it never changed what brought it all together for the people of the town.

A large red and white building which sat atop a small hill overlooking the main road through the town and the neighborhoods in front of it. At the time, it was the heart of Yukon.

By 2013, a new theater was being designed on the other side of town. This theater would be known as the West End Pointe Theater. It would be one of many things to be built on what was once farmland owned by a farmer we all presumed to be dead or senile.

The West End Pointe Theater remains. Yukon Movies 5 does not.

On July 2014, the camera reels stopped spinning and there was nothing left but the sounds a broken air conditioning and more than 30 years of memories.

While many went to the new theater, people continued to go to the Movies 5 Theater. Yes, the tickets and concessions were slightly cheaper but people dug their heels in for the nostalgia.

When someone would walk in, they could smell over-buttered popcorn being popped behind a linoleum-red countertop. Each step someone took, their feet sunk into the matted red carpet. For any Yukon native, you knew to wear close-toed shoes when walking into the theater. The stick from old soda and time would get on the bottom of shoes and the clacks from every step would echo throughout the theater.

The screens were scratched, the bathrooms were hit-or-miss with cleanliness, and the seats hadall the comfort of an airplane seat.

It was a staple of Yukon social life.

Now, still sitting on the hill, remains the skeleton of the building.

Two large yellow signs hang off the sides of the building.

It reads, “AVAILABLE 22,000 SF. May Divide. 800-544- 8585 x 214. American Asset Management Services.” These signs have hung there for four years and not one person has been able to purchase this building.

So it remains here as a relic of a simpler time.

Rachel Durinz, a representative for the American Asset Management Services, said the building has been vacant and has had little to no buyers ask for the space.

“Unfortunately, the space and the price that has been asked for building has been too much for the buyers who have been interested,” Durinz said. She would not disclose the amount the theater was being sold for. “I think the Movies 5 will be bought in the near future but it will take some time for Oklahoma City to expand more before we see this happen.”

Signs of Yukon’s growth can be seen from the chains of retail stores and various restaurants which had set up shop in the once-small town.

After calling and emailing the Yukon City Hall, we were not able to receive comment on the plans for the Yukon Movies 5 Theater.

Whatever the plans for the old theater might be, it remains an icon of Yukon life before the city stretched its influence across borders. Above the small buildings along Garth Brooks Boulevard sits a white monolith where many people can link old memories with family and friends.

Anna Floyd grew up in Yukon in the early 1990’s with her family and her husband. She moved out of state for three years for a job opportunity and returned home. By the time she settled, she noticed the old theater wasn’t in lights.

“It was so surreal,” Floyd said. “I’ve always grown up with seeing the theater in light and people walking up the steps to see a good, cheap movie. But it was just there, empty. It was sad to see.”

She received the news from her parents when she went to visit them. When she heard the news, she felt as though a chapter of her life closed permanently.

“That was my childhood in there,” she said. “To see it closed was like watching my early days just pushed away. I know this how things have to be and not everything can be the same but still, it’s nostalgic.”

As for the theater itself, only time and money will tell what will happen.

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About the Author

Brandon King

Brandon King is a journalism student at OCCC, working towards becoming a professional writer....

read more

Enjoy this? Please share it!

About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

Member of the Oklahoma Press Association
Member of Investigative Reporters & Editors
Member of Diversity Business Association
Member of Uptown 23rd
Rotary Club of Bricktown OKC
Keep it Local OK