The Pryor Allred Theater, the heart of main street, is reopening under the care of Robert Jones and his wife Angie.
“We are beyond excited to be a part of downtown Pryor,” said Jones. “We are keeping it the Allred Theater. It belongs to downtown Pryor, we’re just its caretakers.”
This is not Jones’ first theater adventure, as he has made theaters his life. He worked at a theater in Stillwater before he began operating them himself.
“I opened Vinita Theater on a Friday the 13th, 1991, and have had it for the last 21 years. I also have Grove and Siloam Springs,” said Jones.
All of Jones’ theaters began small and have grown to be state of the art, multi-screen and digital. He said he hopes to make the Allred successful because Pryor needs the revenue.
Jones said he is particularly excited about this theater.
“I used to come to this theater as a kid, with my family. I remember seeing Smokey and the Bandit on Allred’s single screen,” said Jones. “ I love being part of this theater’s history. It’s also neat to have the oldest and second oldest operating theaters in Oklahoma now. Pryor is oldest and Vinita is second.”
He said he and his staff have been working around the clock to get everything ready to open this Friday night.
“We’ve given the place a good scrub, and restocked the concession stand,” said Jones. “We’re ready to reopen as a family friendly, really everybody friendly, establishment. It will be a great place to frequent and a great place to work.”
Jones said the theater will almost always have the top box office and newest releases as quickly as possible.
Jones has leased the Allred for the next year, but long-term plans will depend on the outcome of the sheriff’s auction. He is staying positive and making long-term plans.
“I want to move the concession stand so there isn’t such a crowd right inside the front doors. I also want to insulate everything to make it as energy efficient as possible, I think I can cut the utility bill in half,” said Jones. “I plan on lowering screen three a bit, updating the annex to be all digital and reopening the ticket booth out front under the marquee.”
Jones says he loves the historic charm of the ticket booth and will try to have it open by Friday. He said he is excited about the upcoming midnight release of The Hobbit on Dec.14. Jones said he tried his best to get the theater open in time for the premier of Breaking Dawn, but hopes it is better late than never. This weekend, however, The Allred will be showing Red Dawn, Sky Fall and Breaking Dawn Part 2.