LBM folks know him as the founder of the distribution giant Cedar Creek, but in Tulsa, Okla., Clark Wiens is better known for his role with movies.
In 2003, Wiens and the Circle Cinema Foundation purchased a 1928 theater in Tulsa's Whittier Square. Since then, the Tulsa World reports, the Circle has provided the latest independent, documentary and educational films, as well as film-related special events, such as guest speakers following a movie’s opening and premieres of pictures made by Oklahoma filmmakers.
The story notes that Wiens started a business in Enid, Okla., sold it and moved to San Francisco (where his identical twin brother lives) for a few years before returning to Tulsa in the 1970s — to study law.
“I decided I didn’t want to do that, and I knew that I didn’t want to be gone all the time and not see my children grow up. I saw an ad for a credit manager position for a lumber yard, working 8 to 5,” Wiens recalled. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t those hours be great?’ So I took that job, and it didn’t take long for me to think (of the lumber yard operations): If they can do this, why can’t I do it? And then, of course, I started working longer hours.”
That life ultimately led to the creation of Cedar Creek Lumber in Broken Arrow, Okla., which now is majority owned by an equity firm. Wiens remains a vice president and stockholder, but he spends much of his time with the Circle Cinema Foundation.
For more of the wide-ranging interview, including Wiens' recounting of what it's like to run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain, check out the Tulsa World story.