Built between 1912-1914 and known today as the “Old Lady on Brady,” the Brady Theater was designed as a municipal auditorium and convention hall by the architectural firm of Rose and Peterson of Kansas City. The Convention Hall, as it was known for its first 40 years, was billed as the largest between Kansas City and Houston, seating more than 4,000 during an event.
Because of its size and proximity to Greenwood the building was used temporarily to detain black men rounded up by the National Guard during the 1921 Race Riot.
In 1930, architect Bruce Goff designed an Art Deco remodel of the interior in an effort to make the theater a more elegant destination for people visiting Tulsa, which was quickly becoming known as “The Oil Capital of the World.”
Additional renovations took place in the 1950s, and the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Phil Collins, Bill Cosby, U2, Merle Haggard, David Copperfield, Robin Williams, Phil Vassar and Motley Crue are just a few of the acts that have performed at the historic Brady Theater.
Legend has it that Enrico Caruso, a famous opera singer, haunts the Brady Theater to this day. As the story goes, Caruso died in 1921 approximately a year after performing in Tulsa at the Brady Theater. Allegedly, he took an outdoor trip on a cold, wet day and his health never recovered.