Dedication of the Outsider plaque at the Circle Cinema
TULSA, Okla – On Sunday afternoon, a special dedication was held at Tulsa’s oldest and oldest cinema, Circle Cinema, one of the locations for The Outsiders movie.
City leaders unveiled a plaque at the theater recognizing its historical significance in the iconic film.
A film story that comes full circle on Sunday, The Outsiders movie begins with an opening scene with Ponyboy at the Circle Cinema.
Now almost forty years since the film has been released, the theater is honored by the city.
The inauguration ceremony was open to the public.
A few people present at the ceremony were Danny Boy O’Connor of the Outsiders House Museum, Circle Cinema co-founder Clark Wiens and Tulsa Mayor GT Bynum.
“What foreigners continue to do is give us the opportunity to celebrate the best of Tulsa. May we have one of the best authors in the history of American literature, that’s a Tulsa. one of the great books in the history of American literature is written by a Tulsan. One of the best films of the 20th century was made here in Tulsa and now it has become that attraction for artists like Danny O’Connor or Leonardo Di Caprio last month who loved the movie, love the house, love this book and wanted to come and see the house and are drawn here to Tulsa, ”Bynum said.
Jo Ellen Mazakian was instrumental in bringing The Outsiders to the big screen.
When Jo Ellen first read The Outsiders novel, she and her students loved it.
“In 1982, boys weren’t reading and they weren’t reading because there weren’t any books that spoke to them and their needs,” Mazakian said.
She knew the world needed to know more about The Outsiders, so she and nearly 100 of her students took action.
“We circulated a petition for Francis Ford Coppola, well we circulated to make a movie, the kids signed it and then I said oh .. I have this petition now, I have to make it something, ”Mazakian mentioned.
She bought a paperback, filed the petition, and wrote a letter to Francis Ford Coppola.
To his surprise, he responded with a letter letting him know they were planning on making the film.
In two years, the film was shot.
Much like the novel, the film was a box office success.
Almost 40 years later, thousands of teenagers have seen the iconic film, with its origins here in Tulsa.
Outsiders fan Luisa Toruno came all the way from Dallas just to get to the film’s 4K restoration screening at the Circle Cinema.
“I really resonated with that because you can really understand that Pony Boy is going through all of this stuff, even if you don’t go through what he’s going through and I think it’s a really fun story,” Toruno said.
Mazakian traveled from Fresno, California to attend the plaque dedication ceremony, where a special surprise awaited him.
“The mayor has just handed me the key to the city. I never had the key to a city, to any city, anywhere, ”Mazakian said.
Danny Boy O’Conner, executive director of the Outsiders House Museum, told 2 News, “to have a 4K reboot version of the Outsiders here today at the location where it was filmed with the librarian who wrote the letters to make it all happen is mind blowing.
History has come full circle.
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