Singing Bills.

Enterprise Square (Gone)

Field review by the editors.

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Before it closed for good in 2002, Enterprise Square USA occupied a building on the campus of Oklahoma Christian University of Science and Arts in Oklahoma City. Its extravagant multimedia show instructed in the wonders of free enterprise and the horrors of government control.

After you paid admission, a slow glass elevator ride up to the fourth floor provided a good view of America's Heartbeat Rotunda, a multi-screen, multistory slide presentation introducing the superior economic system of the American Way. "Spend!" "Save!" "Buy!" yelled voices piped into the elevator. Dozens of screens flash slides of groceries, real estate, want ads, happy families.

Giant Talking Face of Government.
Giant Talking Face of Government.

At the top, you navigated your way back down past the Giant Talking Face Of Government, where nine video screens showed the problems that arise when government oversteps its bounds. Great Capitalists were paid tribute in the Hall of Giants (including Sam Walton and Helena Rubenstein). In the Supply and Demand Donut Shop, Doc, the talking robot, helped you price products effectively. The Great American Marketplace featured one of the world's largest cash registers, and giant paper money extruding 3-D President heads. The heads sang the praises of the marketplace in barbershop quartet harmonies. A bicycle-pedaling skeleton wearing a helmet emblazoned with the name "Cal C. Umm" explained osteoporosis in a sponsored dairy display. Eventually you staggered into the gift shop, where you could buy "I Love Capitalism" bumper stickers.

Doc, Supply and Demand Expert.
Doc, Supply and Demand Expert.

One of the most darkly appealing aspects of Enterprise Square was that it was slowly falling apart. It was built in 1982 for $15 million, and little appears to had been done to upgrade it. Color schemes and display designs dated from the tail-end of the disco era; the internal power systems were less reliable; a cheerful skeleton crew kept the place running.

Its most notable casualties near the end were the space alien puppets that provided a framework narrative for the tour during the Golden Age of Enterprise Square. (They had supposedly crash landed and had to learn how to make money so they could repair their ship.) Their puppet bodies were left, mute and immobile, in a little shrine at the end of the Hall of Statistics.

Also see: Freedom Sings - 584k .mov

Enterprise Square

Directions:
Oklahoma Christian College
Status:
Gone

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