Yukon 5 Cinema

Yukon 5 Cinema: Closed

It seems like “Yukon 5 Cinema” changes names every few years. It was “Yukon Movies 5” for a while and the “Silver Cinema Movies 5” before that, but to me and everyone who grew up in Yukon, Oklahoma it was simply known as the “dollar movies,” despite the fact that it’s been at least a decade since admission was only a dollar. Regardless, that’s what it was called when I was growing up and the name stuck. The theater opened in 1982 and has been a staple of the community for as long as I can remember.

Last month they closed their doors, probably for good. For as many times as the place has changed names I don’t ever remember it ever being closed for any length of time. This time looks different.

Growing up there were lots of nicer theaters to choose from if you wanted to drive to “the city,” but as far as Yukon proper was concerned, this was it. Because admission to the theater was so inexpensive back then the place got a reputation for being a bit of a kid’s hangout. When I was growing up I remember there was a TCBY yogurt shop across the street and the theater backed up to Hardee’s, so if you could get your parents to drop you off at the door there were a few places you could walk to after your movie ended. The theater also always had a few arcade games lining the walls. I’m pretty sure it was the first place I played Galaga and was definitely the first place I saw New York, New York.

This is the theater I saw the Explorers at. My friends and I went to see The Boy Who Could Fly there and we were literally the only people in the theater. As the theater slowly began to raise its prices they also began adding first run movies. This is where I saw Tim Burton’s Batman film, opening night. During high school I had several friends who worked at the theater who would always slip us a free refill on soda or popcorn if we asked.

Because it was originally a budget movie theater, the Yukon 5 Cinema didn’t have many amenities. Originally, none of the theater’s five screens had stadium seating; later two of them were retrofitted with sloping floors while the other three remained original. All the theaters had concrete floors which were usually sticky from spilled drinks.

About five years ago, the West End Pointe 8 theater opened just a mile or two from the old dollar movies. The West End Pointe 8 (known around here as “the new theater”) was obviously new and had all the “fixins” like plush stadium seating, surround sound, digital projection, and so on. Despite the fact that the new theater had 8 screens and the old one had 5, and the fact that the old theater began running newer films, I never once saw the two theaters showing the same movie at the same time. Despite being a town of less then 30,000 people, I thought because of the price and movie differences that there might be enough room in this town for both theaters.

Guess I was wrong.

During the summer my kids go to daycare and, with its cheap prices, the Yukon movie theater was a frequent destination of their field trips. Even though they won’t get to have the same experiences hanging out at the theater as a teen like I did, I’m glad they got to experience it.

Anyone want to go in on a theater that only shows retro movies?

Visiting the Toy and Action Figure Museum (Part One)

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Close your eyes and think of the word “Oklahoma.” What did you think of? Cowboys and Indians? Horses? Tumbleweed? Whatever image you conjured up, it probably wasn’t the Toy and Action Figure Museum. Located about an hour south of Oklahoma City in Paul’s Valley, the museum has over 13,000 toys and action figures on display. There are so many things to see there that it would be literally impossible for me to show everything there, but here are a few pictures from each of the museum’s themed rooms.

The Army Room

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The first room you’ll encounter is what I call the Army Room. These dioramas consist of Hasbro and Dragon 12″ military figures. These pictures only show a small section of the battlefield.

The Play Room

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The next area you’ll encounter is the kid’s play room. In this room there are toys, action figures, LEGOs, dolls, costumes, masks, and all kinds of things for kids to play with. My kids are getting a little old for this area so we didn’t spend too much time there, but there are certainly a lot of things to see and play with here.

The Star Wars Room

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These pictures don’t really do the Star Wars room service. On the right behind the glass there are a couple dozen carded figures — some new and some quite old. There are also lots of mail in figures from the old days and other things. Above this area on the wall there are tons of carded Star Wars figures from the 90s. Along the back wall are a dozen old framed newspaper advertisements from the late 70s/early 80s for toys and the movies themselves.

The Batman Room

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I took roughly a dozen pictures of this room and I’m still not sure I captured everything. Decorated like the Batcave, this room alone contains hundreds and hundreds of Batman action figures and collectibles, covering everything from the original television show to the latest movies. If you’re a Batman fan, this room alone is worth the cost of admission.

Super Heroes!

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If you don’t like your worlds mixing together, you’re in luck! Side by side there are two displays, one for DC action figures and another for Marvel ones. Just around the corner is a third display filled with female heroes. If things should go terrible in the universe, these are the displays you want to be standing near.

Want to see prototype action figures? Want to see tons of random displays? Want to see the most amazing bedroom you have ever seen in your life? Check back tomorrow for Part Two of my visit to the Toy and Action Figure Museum!