Historic landmark sees light with new ownership

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OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma City landmark has a new owner.

The Tower Theatre has been closed for the past 14 years, but new developers hope to restore it to its former glory.

A movie quote is now proudly displayed at the Tower Theatre as a message to Oklahomans.

"We wanted people to know, 'Hey there is a chance, and the Tower Theatre will come back to life,'" said David Wanzer, the new owner of the theatre.

Old film, chairs and the original projectors still live at the theatre, giving guests a glimpse of its past.

It opened to the public in 1937 and was once a hot spot in Oklahoma City.

"A lot of people hear stories about their parents or their grandparents going to movies here. It was a key movie house in the golden era of Hollywood film," Wanzer said.

Eight years ago, the Dillon family purchased the 30,000-square-foot property.

They did their best to spruce it up, but knew others might be able to help even more.

“It wasn't even listed for sale,” Marty Dillon said. "Wanzer and I started talking over coffee a few times and it just kind of escalated into what it is now. It's a good fit."

The Dillon family sold it to David Wanzer, Ben Sellers and Jonathan Dodson, who have big plans for the building.

"All three of us have had people already approaching us about wanting to be tenants. There's a lot of interest in this building," Wanzer said.

Once restored, the developers believe this landmark on 23rd St. will be a key attraction for the Uptown District.

"We want to do a historic rehab of the building, bring it back to its original glory," Wanzer said.

It's just a shell now, but with the right direction, organizers say it could be a "star" once again.

The new developers say it could take a few years to open.

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