“Outsiders” gas station gets restorations

SPERRY, Okla. — A gas station that was in “The Outsiders” is being restored with the hope that it will bring tourists to Sperry.

The DX gas station on North Cincinnati Avenue in Sperry is one of the iconic locations in the film.

The gas station, along with Rob Lowe and Tom Cruise, starred in “The Outsiders” in 1983.

Since then though, it has fallen into disrepair and needs a new roof, windows and security system.

Danny Boy O’Connor, the executive director of The Outsiders House Museum in Tulsa said he hopes restoring the gas station will help bring in more visitors to Sperry.

“What we’re really trying to do is just preserve another iconic movie location and also get people to discover not only Tulsa, Oklahoma, but Sperry, Oklahoma, maybe Sapulpa, maybe Skiatook, some of the other locations that also have outsiders locations,” said O’Connor.

“It’s not only important to the town itself, but it’s important to the rest of the world as it pertains to their love of the movie, love of the book, so it’s a motivating factor. The DX I think helped usher in the interest in saving the rest of the downtown community,” he continued.

O’Connor and the nonprofit Upward Sperry are working together to fix the gas station.

After an appeal on Facebook they raised enough money for a new roof, but they also want to fix the building and put props in there.

“We’re gonna rebuild the inside exactly like it would have been in 1967 and have the memorabilia that you would have seen in there,” said Gary Coulson, the president of Upward Sperry.

Coulson and O’Connor said they want to honor and preserve Green Country’s pop culture history and hope this restoration will put Sperry on the map.

They plan on saving the shingles from the roof and selling them piece by piece to raise money.

They are hoping to have the gas station completely restored by September for Sperry’s homecoming.

There are also hopes that the restoration of the gas station will help boost Sperry’s economy by bringing in tourists and ushering in restorations of other buildings in downtown Sperry.

“It’s going to be an event space, I believe in the near future that we can constantly draw people out here who are Outsiders fans or Main Street USA fans or old car fans, this is the perfect place to host all kinds of events,” said O’Connor.

“These Main Street USA type places are worth saving, and there’s a whole new revival of people who are discovering road trips again since coming out of COVID and discovering what a privilege and luxury it is to just spend some quality time with people in a car riding down Main Street USA or riding down Route 66 and coming to discover these types of places,” he continued.

The DX gas station is across the road from two other “The Outsiders” movie locations, the building which was in the 52 card pickup scene, which was nearly destroyed after being hit by a car and a fire earlier this year, and also the Rexall Drug Store.

There are also plans to restore the Rexall building. Coulson said it will give a boost the economy.

Coulson said Upward Sperry wants to encourage more businesses to open in the area wile restoring and preserving Sperry’s iconic buildings for future generations.

“Sperry needed a shot in the arm and we’re getting it. Myself and a few other entrepreneurs are buying up all the buildings, we’re going rebuild them to their original condition and try to bring more life here, and once this is complete it’s going to be a major tourist attraction,” Coulson said.

O’Connor said he’s hoping to get plaques put up that mark the historic Outsiders filming locations.

He said he’d like to have some of those installed by the end of the year.