Showing 26 - 41 of 41 comments
The info is incorrect above. The beautiful theater was in operation on weekends up thru then end of 1969 or early 1970. It was a beauty in very nice condition. It was a Mom and Pop operation. They had even put in new lighting in the mid 60’s on the side walls. The screen was never changed to show wide screen movies but they did a matting trick. In the late 60’s there was an Independence Community Theater that tried to use the Granada and was willing to build out a stage coming forward that would have allowed for a larger movie screen to be installed. However, the City Council along with the owner of the local cab company had other plans. He wanted it demolished so he could park his cabs on that site. Everyone I talked to in Independence was sick over the covert action with the City Council to declare a “Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority” to become a Cap Parking Lot. If it would have remained standing, it would have still been in operation today as a Live Theater venue and also a specialty movie theater. This is a terrible loss for downtown Independence and the entire city. Very sad indeed. I watch it demolished in 1972 right after I was discharged from the Air Force. I tried my best to save it, but I could not compete with politics. It was in beautiful condition and not converted to any type of retail use when it was destroyed. Does anyone have any pics of this theater – I would live to have a copy. They are posted on OldKC.com but no one can copy pics from that site for personal use, nor can they buy them.
Was this theater ever restored? Where was it located?
Are there any interior pics of the Empress. As a young boy, I can remember seeing it being demolished while riding in a 12th Street Streetcar on several occasions. It was a very large theater and maybe even larger than the Tower on 12th Street.
I reference to one of the above comment, I never did take any pictures and really regret it. I have a piece of Tera Cotta from the beautiful front of the building. There were rumors that Stan Durwood wanted to dismantle the front of the Roxy to have it redone in a multi-plex but that did not happen. It was sad to see it demolished especially when all the drapes were removed and you could see all the beautiful plaster work that was destroyed. It was truely a beautiful theater. When the theater was demolished all of the old theater organ pipes were also destroyed. The organ had been covered and it was also destroyed with no intention of saving it. Not even sure anyone knew it was there since it had been covered over for many years from the 1959 renovation. I do have a few interior display signs that were in the upstairs lounge. Wish we still had this wonderful theater.
Still hoping to find some quality interior auditorium pics of the Tower and Orpheum. However, I am not interested in interior pics of all the old downtown KC movie palaces.
Any assistance will be most appreciated.
I am trying to locate some different interior pics of the Tower and Orpheum Theaters. Mainly the Auditorium Pictures. Also, trying to find a serious of demolition pictures. They used to be avaialable with the Kansas City Star and the KC Public Library but I can no longer locate them.
Please call me at 816 347-0487 if you have any.
I love the new AMC Mainstreet – wish they would consider building on to it and add maybe another 6 screening rooms with about 150 seats each. The more people the relocate and move back downtown, the more business that the Mainstreet will get. I love the Power & Light District and hope for its success. Once we can secure a major league team at Sprint Center all will come together. Now hoping for the new 1000 room convention hotel to be built a block away from the Mainstreet Theater. I think that downtown KC is really looking up even if the economy is very bad right now.
I would agree with getting the Warren Theater Co. into the Palace and maybe even a few other theaters. They would fit right in with our wonderful local theater owners of the Eastland Theaters and the Fine Arts Theaters. The closest thing we have to a Warran Theater is the beautiful AMC Mainstreet which is a retored old movie palace. The outside of the building is one of the most beutiful in the entire city. Thanks AMC.
I was hoping that the Englewood Theater was going to re-open last Summer, but that did not happen. Rumor is that there were problems between the owner and Independence City Government. I was out in that are last week and several of the neighbors have heard sad news that the Englewood will be gutted in the near future with all the contents going to another Theater project outside of Independence, MO. I think it is going on more than 3 years since it was last opened, so the info must be true. I know that the Fine Arts Theater has never opened for the same reason – problems with permits and the Shawnee City Government. Maybe the Fine Arts Group or Mr. Williams should come to Lee’s Summit, MO where they will be greeted with opened arms and full assistance especially if they were to open a vintage style movie theater in the historic downtown district. When I think of all the movies that I would have loved to have seen at the Englewood – it just pains me to see this beautiful retro movie theater closed (guess I could say the same thing for two downtown theaters in Kansas City, KS – The Granada and the Avenue Theaters
To all the Kansas City theater lovers – wouldn’t it be wonderful if we still had the Orpheum, Tower, Paramount, Roxy, Empress, and Palace Thesters, not to forget some of our wonderful neighborhood theaters. I am still looking for a picture of the Aladdin Theater on Truman Road and Belmont when it was in operation. I am told that there are a lot of theater pictures at the UMKC Library, but I have never been there. Also would like the National Theater on Independence Ave.
Several years ago, someone posted pic of the Tower, Esquire and Orpheum Theater all being demolished withine 6 months apart in 1961. They
I wish someone had some good interior pictures of the Esquire and the Tower Theater. As for the “grind” house – I am not sure that was true of the Esquire (formerly 12th Street. I think someone is getting confused with the theater across the street facing McGee. It had a performing arts stage, back stage and dressing rooms. I think the Esquire theater was built strictly as a movie house with a theater organ installed. The stage was only big enough for the organ equipment, screen, curtain rigging and later the speakers.
I may be wrong, but I had been told this by my father.regular singer
I used to live in Manchester, NH in the early 80’s and was in the AF Reserve and went to Portsmouth, NH quite a bit. I loved the old Colonial Theater in the center of town. It was closed, but there was a video store in the lobby and the owner took me into the theater to see it after hours. It was a beauty and could have been a wonderful performing arts theater, or maybe modified and tiered for a banquet facility. I know about the old Music Hall – I saw movies in there. But, why would the City of Portsmouth have ever let that theater be demolished – that is just wrong. Can someone please post pics of the Colonial Theater?? What a sad loss for NH.
I worked at the Roxy Theater in the mid to late 60’s when it was owned by Durwood Theaters. It was always a classy 1st run house. We hated when the beautiful Neon Lit Marquee was ripped down and a very plan and boring marquee replaced. It was always maintained in very fine condition and was that way when it was demolished. I was in shock when I was dischared from the Air Forse after spending a year in Korea and driving thru downtown to see the Roxy and Paramount Theater (Towne lV Cinema) being readied for demolition. Much of the facade of both theaters should have been salvaged. Actually, the Roxy would have been the pefect “playhouse” for live theater if it would have been incorporated into the plans for that block renovation and a stage and back stage area built. Today, that would have happened for sure. Much of its interior beauty was hidden by drapes on the side walls and the ceiling painted black. If was a very beautiful and intimate movie theater. Some of the best films were shown there exclusively. I recall the Carpetbeggers having very long run with Carol Baker and that was Alan Ladd’s last film. It starred George Peppard in his best film role.
Wish we could have the Orpheum, Paramount, Roxy, Esquire, Tower, Palace, Empress and even the Regent back today. Kansas City with its live theater activity, opera, dance and art film interested could have found many uses for those once beautiful downtown venues.
Does anyone have any demolition pics of those theaters?
The Esquire Theater opened briefly in 1960 by the owner of the Waldo Theater and I think the name of the company was Commonwealth Theaters. They spend some money getting it all spruced up and then it was pretty much stolen from them and the lease broken inorder to just tear it down for a surface parking lot – the same fate of the beautiful Tower Theater that was in near perfect condition after begin renovated for several long runs of the movie Oklahoma and another long run exclusive film in Todd-A-O – Around the World in 80 Days. Recently installed seats at the Orpheum Theater when The Robe opened their were broght over to The Tower. Both theaters on 12th Street were beautiful and perfect! But, sadly demolished for a surface parking lot that is still in use today – nothing has been built on that site. Very Sad Indeed!
Does anyone of good interior pics of the Orpheum and Tower Theaters of Kansas City, And, any demolition pics that I know the KC Star ran in addition to pics and stories in Box Office Magazine? I would like to do an artical in the Pitch about the beautiful theaters that we lost espeically to surface Parking Lots. Any assitance will be most appreciated. If the pics are not public domain, I will do my best to get permission to use them.
Does anyone have drawings or pic of the planned interior of the referbished Mainstreet Theater?