KGOU

After 66 Years, Crystal Manufacturer To Close Its Doors On Film Row

Mar 17, 2017

 

Royden Freeland, Sr. founded International Crystal Manufacturing in 1951 in Oklahoma City’s FIlm Row district. Later this year, the company will close its doors.

ICM, now run by the founder’s son, Royden Freeland, Jr., produces quartz crystals of a variety of electronic devices, such as radios, microwave systems and medical devices. The Journal Record’s Molly Fleming writes ICM primarily produces small quantities of crystals. Business used to be booming. The 1980s, Freeland had over 200 employees. But technology and electronic manufacturing has changed since then. Today, he has 13 workers.

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“A big part of the crystal industry went to China,” he said, adding that it was easier to assemble the electronics since the other pieces were made in China as well.

The company will likely close its doors in May, he said. It was a difficult decision to make. Freeland has worked at ICM since 1965. He took over the company after his parents died in a plane crash in 1978. His sisters were once co-owners, but Freeland Jr. bought them out in the early 2000s.

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During his weekly business conversation with KGOU, Journal Record editor Ted Streuli said Freeland will sell his two buildings on Film Row.

“They are pretty much what you would expect in Film Row, with that great history,” Streuli said.

The office headquarters used to belong to the Metro-Golden-Mayer motion picture company. Freeland’s other building used to house the Poverty Row Film company.

Streuli says there are opportunities for the future owner to develop the property.

“This is the last big piece of FIlm Row that’s available to develop, and the buildings are in good shape, with historical elements like the film vault and art deco detail all still being intact. That’s not the kind of thing that becomes available very often.

The two buildings are being packaged with a parking lot. The list price is $3.1 million.

INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS

On changes in the electronic crystal industry

The company has really been hurt by technological advances. They sell crystals that used to be common in radios and other devices, but there’s a lot less demand now and there’s a lot more competition from overseas, particularly China.

On development opportunities for the ICM buildings

This is the last big piece of FIlm Row that’s available to develop, and the buildings are in good shape, with historical elements like the film vault and art deco detail all still being intact. That’s not the kind of thing that becomes available very often. The package -- both buildings and the parking lot -- are listed for $3.1 million and there’s already a lot of interest.

 

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