The Yukon 5 Cinema to Be Demolished ASAP

When it originally opened in 1982, the Yukon 5 Cinema was the biggest thing to happen to the rural outskirt, at least until they unveiled Garth Brooks Boulevard years later; that’s the street where, ironically enough, this once-loved theater was located on, in the Chisholm Shopping Center.

Formerly a part of the ailing Silver Cinemas chain—a Landmark Theatres property with only three movie-houses remaining in the country—despite renovations in 2007, the theater closed for good in 2014. After years of wishing, hoping and praying for an offer to reopen and re-renovate the place, currently the Yukon 5 is set to be demolished “as soon as possible,” according to a recent piece in the Yukon Progress.

I thought I had never been to this theater before, until I remembered I went on a rather unspectacular date (with a former Israeli soldier who was far too good for me, natch) there in 1998, where we saw Stepmom, starring Susan Sarandon and Julia Roberts. While the weepy flick was mostly forgettable, apparently it wasn’t as forgettable as the theater, which very much reminded me—if I’m remembering correctly—of a Carmike Theatre.

Still, it got the job done, entertainment-wise, I suppose. But, you know, when someone like me hears that they’re going to turn the area into a useless parking lot once the theater is ultimately leveled, as a longtime (and mostly pretentious) cineaste, it gives my heart a momentary brain-wrap.

From the Yukon Progress:

“It’s not a ‘need’ for parking, but that’s what we’re going to do,” Hattis said. “Ultimately, maybe there will be a different type of building. Whatever we do, it will be less costly to build new than it would be to try to convert that building.”

Much like the way the drive-in is now a relic of the past, it seems as though these small-town theaters are the next thing to be phased out of our decaying culture. However, with the far flashier AMC West Pointe 8, located at 12825 NW 10th Street—which underwent their own renovations last year—still doing what I can only assume is gangbusters business, Yukon residents won’t be missing out on any of Hollywood’s ho-hum blockbusters any time in the near future.

Meanwhile, the next chance I get to shop at the Chisholm—if ever—I’ll lay a small bouquet of celluloid and roses down on the new parking lot’s dark asphalt, saying a cinematic farewell to yet another one of the Metro’s defunct movie-houses.


Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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10 Responses

  1. Very sad. I remember watching several movies here in the 90’s when I lived in Yukon.

  2. After countless failed attempts to gain unchaperoned access to R-rated movies in theaters around OKC, there remained but one untried. And it was at that theater that my years-long mission finally succeeded. That theater was The Yukon 5, and the movie was Porkys. The boobies I gazed upon during that 90-minute cinematic masterpiece cemented my life’s calling as a booby connoisseur. I seek not your pity, though, as it has truly been my pleasure.
    Viva Yukon 5!

    1. It was known for not enforcing age restrictions when I attended YHS around that same time. We lived in Surrey Hills and usually patronized food and entertainment venues along Northwest Highway but when my brother and I wanted to see R-rated films, a night time trip into Yukon was the way to do it. I remember seeing Porky’s there, too, along with 48 Hrs.

  3. Haha. I worked on Stepmom back in 1997-8. Stupid title. Sony offered $5000 if anyone on crew came up with a better title. I submitted “Dead Mom Walking”. Didn’t win. But I got to spend six months in Manhattan on Sony’s dime. Never been to Yukon beyond I40 drive bys even though I moved back to OKC in 2013. But I am in the exact same boat as you with regards to old theaters and parking lots and Israeli soldiers.

  4. Today I learned what a brainwrap is, and learned a lot about film projection from the rabbit hole it led me down.

    Thanks, Lucas!

  5. We used to go there a lot when our boys were small, back in the 80’s and 90’s. You could see first run movies at a cheaper price, and the popcorn was really good. The people that managed it were very nice. Sorry to see it go. We always had a fun experience there.

  6. Growing up in Banner in the 80’s, I have seen many a flicks in that building. So long old friend.

  7. Was a great theater once. It aged, renovated, continued to age. It’s last success was under Larry, the last successful manager, was a great man that worked hard to keep up dilapidated plumbing and overcome the poor state ofmaintenance. Larry unexpectedly died from what should have been a simple surgery and no one had his vision and drive to make Cinema Five a continuing success. We need another theater. Perhaps it’s time to build one at the corner of hwys 92 and 152. Rest in peace, Larry, miss you, your service and enthusiasm.

    1. Before Gas Prices skyrocketed in the early 2000’s, it was a great place for a divorced Mom on a budget to take her kids to the movies. I definitely saw it go downhill after the long time Manager, Larry (?) died.

  8. The fact that the Cinema 5 is located on Garth Brooks Boulevard is not even within shouting distance of “ironic.”

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