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"Butch and Sundance" open Oakview on schedule

From helicopters and searchlights to a pair of preferred ticket buyers, the event was made for Hollywood in Rochester.

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Oakview Theater, located at the southwest corner of Apache Mall, was the second business to open before the mall's official Grand Opening in October 1969.
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On October 10, 1969, searchlights scanned the sky as a helicopter landed next to the new Oakview Theatre at Rochester’s Apache Mall. Twentieth Century Fox studio executives stepped out, carrying the film for that evening’s premier event.

Theater manager, Joel McLay and George Aurelius, president of ABC North Central, owners of the new theater, rushed the film canisters to the projection room as theater personal finished vacuuming the carpets.

Instead of the Chamber of Commerce’s traditional grand opening ribbon cutting, a film cutting ceremony was preformed by the new Miss Rochester, Janice Porter and the theater’s operators.

Mr. and Mrs. George Baihly, former owners of “Baihly Flats,” the property on which the new mall and theater were built, bought the first tickets. The Baihlys led the opening night crowds into the theater’s spacious 800 seat auditorium to watch the first run showing of "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."

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Oakview Theater's auditorium was decorated with 2,000 yards of burnt orange shadow striped curtains combined with 800 brown, pale green and deep gold highlighted chairs with matching carpet.
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"Lens on History” is a weekly photo feature by Lee Hilgendorf, a volunteer at the History Center of Olmsted County.

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