First, let’s take a look at last Friday night with “Live on the Plaza” at the 16th Street Plaza District:
OK, that was last week. And it will happen again in one month. And guess what? Every Friday night, a different district in this wonderful world we call OKC Central is hosting similar fun.
This week, it’s Film Row’s turn with the launch of “Premiere on Film Row,” which starts at 6 p.m. and ends at 9 p.m. along W Sheridan Avenue between Dewey and Shartel Avenues. Premiere on Film Row is being promoted as a family- and pet-friendly event that will be held on the third Friday of each month, year-round, featuring film screenings, live music, art exhibitions and gourmet food trucks. The event is free.
The goal of the event is to highlight businesses and organizations located on Film Row, to promote new development in the area, and to celebrate the city’s rich history and connection to the film industry. Film Row is the last remaining film exchange district in the U.S. Beginning in 1907,
Hollywood studios including Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Fox Films had operations in the 42-block area between Classen Boulevard and Walker Avenue along Sheridan Avenue. Film exchanges served the film industry as distribution centers, where theater owners came to view and lease films. Film Row was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.
The street is an incredible case of preservation by apathy. As these film exchanges died away with the advent of technology and flight, Oklahoma City’s Film Row became better known as “skid row,” and remained as such until folks like Chip Fudge began buying up buildings and bringing them back to life.
IAO art gallery director Kendall Brown is the organizer, and he’s promising that this monthly “Premiere,” timed to rotate with other festivals in the urban core, will cause folks to fall in love with Film Row.
The theme for this month’s event will be “Rock n’ Roll.” Dunlap Codding, an intellectual properties law firm located at 609 W. Sheridan Ave., will provide rock star hairstyling and temporary tattoos for kids, also a photo booth, live music by the Howard Brady Band, and art exhibitions featuring recent works by Theresa Hurt and Cindy Cornish.
The Paramount, a coffee bar at 701 W. Sheridan Ave., will screen Rob Reiner’s famous rock music mockumentary “This is Spinal Tap” at 6 p.m. and a variety of activities throughout the evening including a wine tasting, an open mic, a comedy show and live music by Savannah Jaine.
Oddfab Design Lab, artist Hugh Meade’s design and fabrication studio at 703 W. Sheridan Ave., will host a live demo of The Rokken Chairs.
Individual Artists of Oklahoma, a nonprofit art gallery at 706 W. Sheridan Ave., will host its “Art on the Record” album project in partnership with KOSU radio. There will also be music by DJ Chris Hill, a collection of Oklahoma concert photography by Cody Mulcahy and music videos by local musicians.
deadCENTER Film Festival, among the “Top 20 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” according to MovieMaker magazine, will screen a selection of its award-winning short films at its new headquarters in the Hart Building, 726 W. Sheridan Ave.
Food trucks confirmed for the event include Taste of Soul Chicken & Waffles and La Gumbo Ya Ya.
Now, here’s a special, genuine tribute I’d like everyone to note. Premiere on Film Row is sponsored by Fowler Honda in Norman. Other street festivals in Oklahoma City sponsored by Fowler Auto Group dealerships include LIVE on the Plaza (Fowler Volkswagen of Norman) on second Fridays and H&8th Night Market (Fowler Toyota) on fourth Fridays. The man doing these deals is Jonathan Fowler, who is genuinely committed to making the OKC metro a more colorful, diverse and entertaining community. He has put his family’s legacy business behind this effort – and they are creating magic.
So, what’s next week? That will be none other than H&8th, which takes place at NW 8 and Hudson and will probably feature about 100 food trucks the way this festival is exploding in size, and then we hit up Paseo, which holds its monthly fest the first Friday of each month, and then back to the Plaza District on the third Friday, and so on, and so on.