BAHM announces “Vaudeville to Cinema” exhibit opening and event

The Bartlesville Area History Museum announces a new exhibit and event opening “Vaudeville to Cinema,” with a showing of the movie, ‘The Seven Year Itch’ on Jan. 6 from noon to 1:30 p.m. and followed by an additional evening opening from 5:30 p.m.- 7 p.m. located on the fifth floor of City Hall, 401 S. Johnstone Ave. Join the museum and staff in remembering Bartlesville entertainment history, refreshments will be served at the evening event.

According to Debbie Neece, BAHM Collections manger, “‘The Seven Year Itch is a 1955 American romantic comedy film based on a three-act play with the same name by George Axelrod. The film was co-written and directed by Billy Wilder, and stars Marilyn Monroe and Tom Ewell, who first played the part of Richard Sherman, in the three-act play on Broadway.  A massive promotional event took place in Bartlesville announcing Marilyn Monroe in ‘The Seven Year Itch.’ The bigger than life-sized fifty-two foot cardboard cutout of Marilyn Monroe stood taller than the Osage Theater marquee at 316 S. Johnstone Avenue and the movie drew full house showings.

After extensive research, Debbie Neece, Collections Manager at the BAHM and Ron Roe, Theater Historian, have compiled a detailed history of area entertainment. “Vaudeville to Cinema: The History of Entertainment and Theater in Bartlesville and the Surrounding Area.”

“Bartlesville has been home to over 30 theaters dating as early as the Bradly & Bryant Opera House in 1903. The Queen of Vaudeville, Ruby Darby graced the stage of the Oklah Theater throughout the oil boom breaking house records and driving crowds wild with her Blues and musical comedy show.” said BAHM Collections Manager Debbie Neece.

Through the lens of area photographer Frank Griggs and others, Washington County’s entertainment experience comes to life through graphics and memorabilia. 

The Bartlesville Area History Museum is a family friendly facility where admission is free and donations are always welcome. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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Hours: Tues-Sat: 10am - 4pm