A charitable trust has awarded more than $45,000 to restore the marquee neon at the historic Redland Theatre in downtown Clinton, Oklahoma.
The M.T. and Helen Gholston Charitable Trust gave $45,765 to the Clinton Industrial Foundation, which will oversee the distribution of the money during the sign’s restoration, according to the Clinton Daily News.
According Redland’s owner Rock Rodebush, restoration of the sign will include making and installing hand-blown neon lighting and new back lighting for the marquee. He estimates it will require four months to complete the project.
“It is hard to imagine how many people traveling down Route 66 that already stop and take pictures of the Redland,” said Rodebush. “I can’t imagine what it will be like when they know the sign is all lit up.”
According to earlier editions of the Daily News, Rodebush was working to convert the theater into a bed and breakfast and event venue.
The Redland Theatre is at 608 Frisco Ave., one block south of the Gary Boulevard alignment of Route 66 in Clinton.
According to Cinema Treasures, the 703-seat, single-screen movie house originally opened as the Rialto Theatre in 1920 and still was operating under that name in 1957. It later became the Redland Theatre. It’s no longer operating as a theater but has held a variety of businesses over the years, including a beauty supply shop and print shop.
As for the theater’s name, I’ve been unable to ascertain why it was changed in the 1950s. One fact that may be relevant: The nickname for the Clinton High School sports team is Red Tornadoes.
(Image of the Redland Theatre in Clinton, Oklahoma, in 2009 by Jasperdo via Flickr)