Dec. 27, 2003 Norman Cleveland County Oklahoma, USA
Jack Ewell Brooks passed away on December 27, 2003 at age 87. One of two children, he was born November 27, 1916 to Ewell and Bertie Brooks in Corsicana, Texas. His parents preceded him in death, as well as his wife of 58 years, Sara Jean "Sue" Brooks who died December 2, 2002. As a young man, Jack worked as a machinist for Phillips Petroleum at the Alamo Refinery in Borger, Texas. On July 25, 1935 he was seriously burned in a fire when a hot oil line burst. On February 5, 1938 he started working for Griffith Theatres in the printing department and during that time he was going to night school at Hills Business College where he graduated with a degree in accounting. He became a full-time accountant on July 8, 1940 and left from there for military service in the Navy. He returned on October 22, 1945 and worked as an accountant until he was moved up to office manager in August of 1947. On October 20, 1949, Griffith announced the birth of Video Independent Theatres, Inc. and Video acquired the Paramount Pictures Building which was located at 11 North Lee, commonly known as "Film Row". Under construction in 1950, Twilight Gardens Drive In Theatre was one of the first in the State of Oklahoma. Around 1952, Video engaged in the construction of and for a time following, Video owned a 12 1/2 % interest in KWTV, Channel 9 and in 1954, Video sponsored a 13 week Thursday night program, "All American Football" on television and produced, and perhaps initiated, the first single 2 1/2 minute commercial. During this diversification move, Video conceived and created Telemovie, the precursor for today's cable television. Jack was made Secretary/Treasurer in 1958 and in 1960 Video acquired interest in Frontier City Amusement Park, several Putt-Putt golf courses and car washes in Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. Video also owned 157 theatres in 48 towns in the above mentioned states. Jack became President of Video on February 1, 1976. Jack served as President for 9 years during a career that spread over 47 years. Jack is survived by his two sons, Michael and Randy Brooks. If there were any regrets that Jack Brooks may have had, they were overshadowed by peoples belief that he was one of the kindest, sweetest and most gentle man that one could know.