Route 66 Caravan

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Route 66 Caravan Road Log:
June 05, 2003


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Miami, Oklahoma

Beautiful Coleman Theater

Miami, Oklahoma is a vibrant Route 66 town that celebrates its Route 66 heritage. Part of that heritage includes a true Route 66 gem on this part of the Mother Road - the Coleman Theater. Miami (pronounced MY-AM-AH)  got its start back in 1890 as a trading post. In 1905 lead and zinc deposits were discovered in the area and the town boomed.

Miami Historic Building

    

Historic buildings abound in Miami.

       
Route 66 Caravan at the Coleman Theater Zinc and lead-mining millionaire George  L. Coleman decided to bring a little culture to Miami and had a beautiful Spanish Revival Style theater build in his honor in 1929. This classic theater was used for vaudeville and movies alike. The Coleman theater has the distinction of never  having closed its doors in three-quarters of a century.
     
Though the Coleman Theater never closed, it did fall on hard times as so many theaters did in the past few decades. In 1989 the theater was given to the City of Miami by the family of George Coleman, and has since undergone extensive restoration.

Historic Coleman Theater

           

Coleman Sign

Coleman Theater

Spanish Revival design sets this beautiful theater out in downtown Miami.

      
 

Coleman Theater Detail

Coleman Theater Art

Elegance of another era can still be found in this "Nice Theater."

     

Coleman Pipe Organ

The original Coleman Wurlitzer organ once again inspires audiences at the Coleman. During the restoration process it was located in the collection of a Texas organ collector and generously returned to the Miami theater.

 

Coleman Theater Roadside Attraction

Miami Coleman Ceremony

Jim along with (pictured left to right) Miami Mayor Harold Post, Bob Smith, Mike Spurgeon, Sarah Jane Johnson, Larry Irwin, Justin Rogers and Fay Culver honor the Coleman Theater.

      
 

Ron Warnick assists the Route 66 Caravan with the new Roadside Attraction sign unveiling. Now that the cover has been dropped Ron is trying to figure out what comes next. You know ~ Should I go or should I stay?

Ron Unveils the Sign

      
 

Coleman Theater Roadside Attraction Sign

 

      

  

    

Ku-Ku Drive Inn

 

Ugene Waylon
Eugene Waylon is the last of the Ku-Ku owners.

It's not supposed to happen this way!

During the 1960s, in an era of fast food franchising, the Ku-Ku Drive-Ins could be found all throughout the Midwest. The distinctive design of the building looked like a giant Ku-Ku clock and the bird at top chimed every hour. What a gimmick! In the mid-sixties there were over 200 Ku-Ku Drive-Ins in operation.

       
  But something happened and the food chain disappeared. Disappeared, that is, in all places but Miami, Oklahoma. Owner Eugene Waylon bought this Miami drive-in three decades ago and has been in business here on Route 66 ever since. He operates the last of the Ku-Ku's and has become an icon of the road. These are the businesses that are on the verge of a new revival. People are starting to get off the Interstates and rediscovering national treasures like Miami's Coleman Theater and the Ku-Ku Drive-In.

Welcome Hampton

      

Miami's Ku-Ku Drive-In

The Route 66 Caravan stopped for lunch at the Ku-Ku. It was a tasty one indeed too. I'm developing quite a craving for malts on this trip and I'm making it a priority to try one at every Route 66 diner, cafe or drive-in I can. I kinda like this new collection of mine!

 


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