We did a bit of exploring in Miami today. An important attraction that runs directly through the heart of Miami is Historic Route 66. With a deep history as America's most beloved highway, Route 66 has played a large part in the history of Oklahoma and Ottawa County.
Often referred to as the "Birthplace of Route 66" Oklahoma was part of the road's beginning and is blessed to have more miles of this historic 2,400 mile roadway, than any other state. Miami boasts of the longest Main Street on all of the Route 66 and is proud to serve as the Gateway into Oklahoma for all those traveling the mother road.
We were amazed at the beauty of the Historic Coleman Theatre in town. Starting in 1929, weary travelers along the recently designated U.S. Highway 66, who arrived in the small Oklahoma city of Miami, received not only the usual hot food and lodgings but also a unique feast for the senses. When it opened on April 18, 1929 along Miami’s Main Street segment of Route 66, the Coleman Theatre was proudly billed as the most elaborate entertainment facility between Dallas and Kansas City. Local mining magnate, George Coleman, who conceived and funded the theatre, determined to give Miami--and Mother Road travelers-- the very best entertainment in the most modern surroundings.
Historically, the Coleman’s varied program offerings typified an American entertainment industry in marked transition. Alongside the latest movies from Hollywood, including talkies from the very start, customers could enjoy old time vaudeville, live music from a ten-person orchestra, and a vintage pipe organ called the “Mighty Wurlitzer.”
Opened in 1929, the Coleman Theatre still remains in business. In 1989, the Coleman family donated the building to the City of Miami. With the support of private and public funding, including a matching grant from the Federal Economic Development Administration, hundreds of community volunteers helped restore the historic Coleman Theatre. Even the old Mighty Wurlitzer, long thought lost, is back. The theatre was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
We enjoyed our tour of Miami and hope you enjoyed all the pictures too. Check back later for more from Oklahoma.