The Circle Cinema Theatre was originally constructed in 1928. The original theatres were located between two other buildings and shared exterior walls. Prior to L.D. Kerns involvement with the Circle Cinema, the building had become dilapidated and desperately needed renovation. The exterior façade was able to be saved and new theaters were built in place behind the existing façade. Of the 26 theaters existing in Tulsa prior to 1945, the Circle Cinema is the only remaining structure of its kind.
L. D. Kerns contractors initially competitively bid this project in 2007. At the time the project was over, the funds available and L. D. Kerns had carried out a 6 year partnership with the Circle Cinema Foundation to complete this project. The Circle Cinema is a non-profit organization and relies on charitable donations.
The project was $1,895,000. It consists of 2 theaters, one theatre contains 105 seats and the larger theater contains 250 seats. It also boasts a new lobby and fully serviceable concessions stands, as well as a ticket booth and new neon lighting to match the original design of the 1920’s.
This project was challenging in several ways. The first challenge was due to the Circle Cinema being a Non-profit organization during a sluggish economy. As a result, the project was constructed in 4 phases, as the donations were available. The first phase consisted of securing the foundations that were required to underpin the existing buildings on both sides of the Cinema. The second phase was the central, super structure and roofing to enclose the Circle. The next phase was the smaller, 105 seat, auditorium to allow for some use of the building during construction. The 4th and most recent phase was the larger, 250 seat auditorium, exterior façade, lobby, ticket booth and restrooms
The next challenge was that this facility was to celebrate its 85th birthday in early July. Due to fundraising efforts, the last phase was not able to commence until early May. L. D. Kerns developed and managed a schedule that allowed for a timely completion of the last phase on the budget available. The last challenge was due to the project’s listing on the National Register. L. D. Kerns had to work off of black and white pictures with the National Parks Service to ensure the exterior façade matched the original design of 1928.
We are also very proud of the fact that this project has been completed with zero lost time or accidents and zero doctors’ cases. We are very proud to have been a part of this project, it was completed on time, on budget and without any accidents. It will also have a positive impact on the City of Tulsa and the Whittier Square area of Tulsa.
In summary, L.D. Kerns Contractors has built their reputation as a General Contractor in the industry through consistently providing our clients with more than what is expected. We will always go the “extra mile” in order to ensure our clients’ satisfaction.