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Please note that the Fox Theatre listed on this site and the Fox Garvey are the same theatre. The ‘technical’ name for the Fox is Fox Garvey, named for the Garvey family who the part of the Wichita business district that the theatre was located in. The theatre was to have been equipped with 70mm but never took place.
The Westloop 6, Varsity, Campus and Sky Vue Drive-in were originally Commonwealth Theatres. Manhattan was a big town for Commonwealth as it is home to Kansas State University. I am not sure as to what order after Commonwealth was sold that Carmike took over the town but they eventually built a 12 screen complex. The city fathers are not happy with Carmike and have been looking for another operator to build in the town.
It was a stunning marquee, you can still see the upright ‘poles’ in the picture at the top of this page. Thanks for posting. —jw
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This theatre was originally built by National General and later operated by Mann and ultimately by Dickinson. At one point Dickinson added 3 screens inside the mall. The original ‘Star Wars’ played there and the auditoriam was upgraded to Dolby sound at the time. This theatre and the Century 21 in Springfield Missouri are identical except the auditoriam face the opposite direction. The theatre still is attached to the front of the mall as state above and the street sign has been converted into general advertising for the shopping center. (The reference to 21st and Amidon would be the Twin Lakes operated by Commonwealth.)
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It was my understanding that when Wallace (Hollywood) built the new 16 screen theatre that they intended to close this theatre but ran into lease problems with the shopping center owners. There was some sort of clause that they could not open another theatre within ‘so many miles’ of the mall. So they opted to keep it open and reduced it to discount status.
I remember being in this theatre in the early 1980’s very nice and excellent presentation. Sad to hear that it is closed.
I was in the IMAX auditorium this afternoon and saw the “Avengers.” It was the 3rd week of the run and the place was packed! The line of sight is excellent as the stadium seating is staggered so no heads block your view and you also have plenty of leg room. There are no commercials before the feature, and they are proud of that fact. A manager greets the audience just before the show starts and announces the policies of the theatre. A nice light show is then projected on the waterfall curtain as the 2001 theme is played as the curtain raises it is a nice effect with the multi-colored lights. Some of the side lighting fixtures look a little plastic, but for the art-deco theme that may all one could get as well. The staff is friendly and the place is clean. Restrooms had lines in them after the show was over. For those of us in Kansas it is the only good screen to watch a movie on.
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What is the current status of this theatre. DIckinson is either closing or selling off their screens, and are not doing any upgrading. Also was this originally a General Cinema house?
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From what I am reading is that National General originally built this theatre as a twin. If that is what I am reading there were very very few theatres that NGC specifically built as a twin, because Mann did a lot of twinning. This theatre does look very similar to the Fox VIllage in Tuscon,
It looks like it could originally been a General Cinema theatre.
I am amazed by the size of the upright sign. I wonder what it took to change the blubs on it?
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Chris Utley is right, we are in a totally different era today than even 10 years ago when it comes to film placement by the studios. These new owners have got to be creative with the marketing of the Chinese, it can be done, but I question if they think in the terms that Chris is describing.
According to the realtors web site, the theatre is listed for $425,000. It does not mention anything about the interior condition or what if any equipment may be left.
This theatre was built by Boston MA based General Cinema in the early 1970’s. The Topeka Boulevard Cinema originally was a twin and later the second auditorium was divided for a total of three houses. The interior was classic GCC featuring light gray seating and gray walls. This was the only GCC theatre in Topeka, GCC had other venues in Wichita, Kansas. The pictures that I uploaded show that the building and street sign are still in use, the building as a country western club and the street sign for the clubs advertising.
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