Life on Council House Square

Lokal’s Movie Night!


Last week, the Lokal’s own Brian and Jessica Thomason started something that’s sure to become a local (and a ‘Lokal’) favorite: Movie Night! If you weren’t there last Thursday evening, you missed out on a great time. Their dining patio was transformed into a theatre, featuring a huge blow-up screen and free popcorn! Everyone brought out their folding chairs and it was PACKED! The feature film was ‘Hocus Pocus’, a 1993 Halloween classic.

Just walking down 6th street that evening you could sense something was different. The streets were lined with people walking, and cars were parked anywhere there was room. I wonder what it will be like just a few short months from now when we have the OSUIT college students downtown? One of my favorite places to go with my family is Bricktown in Oklahoma City. We can walk a span of only a few blocks and find many different dining and entertainment options to choose from. Anything from fun activities, to street musicians, to just cool coffee shops to sit down in and listen to music. I really feel like this is where our downtown in Okmulgee is headed, and I get more and more excited when local businesses start offering fun activities like this one.

What if we had Trivia Night, or a space to play outdoor games when the weather is nice? It won’t be long before we’ll see our City start work on a new outdoor fitness center across from the Lokal in what’s now just a big, grassy, empty lot. I’d love to peek ahead about 10 years in Okmulgee’s future and see what other vacant lots have been transformed into gathering spaces. You can already see OSUIT’s brand new mural on the side of their newly renovated building just within a short walk from the Lokal. It’s not too much further of a walk to see some of the other downtown murals we’ve had pop up in the last few years.

More art, more activities, more events, more service industries… Okmulgee is taking off! I know to some it feels like a slow start, but our downtown didn’t die overnight (I don’t think it ever died completely), and it’s not going to be transformed overnight. It may also seem, to some, that we’re only focusing on downtown, and that’s not true at all. Our highway corridor has attracted an ample amount of investment in the last few years as well. We’ve got to be forward thinking and realize what’s good for downtown is good for our whole town. For that matter, what’s good for Henryetta and what’s good for South Tulsa is eventually going to be good for us too! This isn’t a zero-sum game; when one particular area in our town is winning, it doesn’t mean all our others are losing!

If you did miss out on the Lokal’s first movie night, don’t worry, they’ll be having another one on November 9th. The feature presentation will be ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’, helping bridge the gap between Halloween and the upcoming holiday season. I’m sure it will be fun, and I’m sure it will be packed! So, come out early, eat dinner, and be sure to bring your folding chairs and blankets for the patio. It’s a great event to bring your whole family out to! I’m sure we can look forward to more holiday movies as we move further into the season. Be sure you tell Brian and Jessica what a great idea Movie Night is, and invite everybody you know to share in the fun.

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*Additional (and awesome) contributions were made to this article by Kasey Bowers.

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Richard Larabee is an Okmulgee downtown resident. He serves as President-elect of Main Street, and Chairman of The Roger Brooks Okmulgee Task Force Committee under the Chamber of Commerce. He is an Independent Petroleum Landman whose office is located in the McCulloch building across the street from the Grand Old Post Office building in downtown Okmulgee, where OSUIT students will soon be moving in!

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