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I used to go to this theater frequently in high school. I believe it started off when the 14 screens were built as regular theaters. Never being the type to focus on quality instead of the latest flavor of the month, Wehrenberg then shut down all of the theaters on the left hand side of the building to convert them all into stadium seating. Now this theater has half stadium seating, and half regular seating. I believe building stadium seating here was because Wehrenberg always likes jumping on the bandwagon instead of blazing their own trail, and because they needed to compete with the up and coming West Olive 16 which was (at the time) the largest theater and the one with 100% stadium seating.
Getting to the theater today is a little different than it was when it was built. Manchester road now is only 1 way in front of the theater. You actually go behind it if you’re headed west on Manchester when you cross over the highway. I don’t know if this new road format has helped or hurt business at this theater. I will say it is one of the nicer Wehrenberg theaters I have been to (at least in the 1990s). This also seems to be one of the last all-brick Wehrenberg theaters as they now build bawdier theaters like Ronnies, St. Charles 18, Dardeene Prairie. No offense to the architect, it’s just the brick looks much more impressive.
How odd. What was the movie you were seeing when it happened? I’m assuming you never went back to this theater?
What year did it close exactly?
Edit: My above comment about Derek pleading guilty was pasted in the wrong area. That should be above the 2nd to last paragraph
First of all, this is in reference to the theater INSIDE THE MALL, NOT the stand alone theater outside of the mall.
The first commentor was correct. I researched the KC Star and saw that there was a murder. The murderer was 15 year old Derek Clouse who, under orders from his dad, shot his mom during a showing of “Robin Hood: Men In Tights.”
From KC Star on August 11, 1993:
Police took an unidentified 15-year-old boy into custody Tuesday evening after he allegedly shot his mother to death at a Kansas City, North, movie theater.
Witnesses at the Metro North Mall Theater said the teen-ager shot his mother five or six times with a revolver only moments before the 5:20 p.m. showing of “Robin Hood: Men in Tights. ” The 43-year-old Kansas City, North, woman – who suffered wounds to the upper body – was pronounced dead at the scene. Her name had not been released several hours after the shooting, pending notification of relatives.
Police took the youth to the Clay County Juvenile Justice Center for investigation of murder.
Capt. Vince McInerney, a Kansas City Police Department spokesman, said the youth could not be interviewed until juvenile court authorities were present.
McInerney said off-duty police officers working security at the Metro North shopping center, 400 N.W. Barry Road, took the youth into custody.
According to some of the 25 to 30 audience members, three to six shots were fired just as the coming attractions ended.
“I hear this popping noise, and three or four shots went off,” said Rita Moburg of Kansas City, North. She was sitting with her two children in the row of seats in front of the victim.
“I turned around, and I could see sparks coming out,” she said. “Then he took off running. ” Moburg said she covered her children’s faces as the victim, bloody and apparently wounded in the head, slumped behind her.
While an off-duty Kansas City firefighter rushed to the victim, another moviegoer – Blake Sterzinger, 24, a graduate student from Leavenworth – chased and grabbed the teen-ager.
Sterzinger, who was sitting only three feet away, said he saw the “whole thing in front of me, in silhouette; I saw the muzzle flash. ” He said he saw the youth, who was wearing a baseball cap, drop the gun and run toward an exit.
He said he ran after the youth. “It just seemed like the thing to do, I didn’t think about it much, I just acted. ” Sterzinger said he caught the youth, who did not resist, at the doors leading into the theater. He said he restrained the youth and escorted him into the theater lobby.
“He (the youth) shouted to call 911. Those were his first words,” Sterzinger said.
Before authorities arrived, Sterzinger said, he talked to the youth who allegedly said: “I don’t know why I did it. ” Sterzinger said the youth told him that he had stolen the gun from his father and didn’t know it was loaded.
“He was so shocked; he was white as a sheet,” Sterzinger said.
Aaron Udell, a Lenexa teen-ager, had turned around in his seat just before the shooting began.
“I watched him pull out the gun,” said Aaron, 13. “I don’t know why I turned around. ” Aaron said he also saw flashes.
John Donnelly, an off-duty Kansas City firefighter who was sitting near the victim, said he heard “five or six pops. ” “I heard the pops. I thought that at first it was fireworks. ” His wife, Sandra, said she heard someone laughing just before the shots rang out that sounded “inappropriate. ” Moviegoers reacted immediately to the gunshots but didn’t panic.
Some stood and shouted for ushers to stop the film and raise the lights. Others ducked under seats, afraid the gunman would fire randomly.
According to police, the maternal grandparents of the youth and the victim’s husband arrived at the scene shortly after the shooting.
For the next hour, shopping center patrons and moviegoers gathered outside the theaters, watching the manager’s office door, where police held the suspect.
“I can’t believe it was just a young kid,” Moburg said, shaking slightly. “Can you imagine? ”
Here’s a blurb from another article from the KC Star from 1994:
Lawrence Clouse was sentenced to life in prison without parole in December after he coerced his 15-year-old son, Derek Clouse , into killing the boy’s mother. Lawrence and Paula Clouse were in the midst of a bitter divorce when the killing occurred in a Kansas City, North, movie theater in 1993.
Does anyone know exactly WHEN the indoor theater closed down and the outdoor one opened up????? Is this when the mall really started going downhill or when Montgomery Wards closed?
Earlier this year, Derek Clouse pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to life. He could be eligible for parole in about 15 years.
Keller 8 Cine opened on Wednesday March 23, 1988. Please update the above post to reflect the correct date. It opened with free shows. This theater’s life began with heavy competition nearby. The South City Cinema across the street, the South County Cinema, the Lindbergh 8, and Wehrenberg’s own Ronnie’s 8 not far away. Upon checking the STL PD, South County and South City weren’t showing nearly as many current movies at the time and were showing flicks that had been out for weeks.
What was showing in December 1982 when it turned into 8??
When did the stadium seating for this theater begin?
I wonder what the future holds for this theater now that the mall is almost depleted of stores.
What were the 6 things showing in 1978? Also, when did they open it to 8 screens? Those two additional screens were pretty tiny if you ever ended up in one of them.
Any news as to what the building or site will be transformed into since it’s no longer a movie theater? God knows Wehrenberg would never revamp. If they were to do anything to it (not bloody likely) then they’d rebuild it into a 20+ screened theater. Go to hell Wehrenberg! Why can’t you just die and let AMC takeover?
Location? What’s there now?
I came here in January 2007 to see Dreamgirls. The sound was very soft. I haven’t came back since because I have other theaters closer to me, although it’s a nice looking theater right off of highway 152 in north KC.
I live right behind this theater and I come here frequently for first run attractions. Very nice, very very clean! I just wish AMC would keep their prices from rising ever so slightly every time I come to see a movie.
Not many white and black trash 13-16 year olds hang out in front. That’s what makes this one worth going to.
I used to go to this theater millions of times when I was younger all throughout the 1990s. In the 1990s, this was the grand mall for South County — especially because then the South County Mall off of Lindbergh was desperately needing to be remodeled and attendance wasn’t that great there. Crestwood was a very large mall and almost always had every space leased out. Attendance at Crestwood mall was always huge.
Today, a lot has changed. South County Center mall on Lindbergh finally went through a much needed remodel. Somehow around the 2000s, South County Center mall is the one to go to while in South County and Crestwood mall is now a dump.
The smaller 5 screen theater was located in the basement across from the food court. After a remodel (unsure of the year) the theater moved behind Dillards. The previous space in the basement became an Exhilarama game area.
Now that this mall is faultering, I’m amazed to see that the theater is still opened. Kenrick 8 down Watson has already closed. I don’t believe any screens here have stadium seating. I wonder how much longer this theater has left in it before it closes along with the rest of this mall. Only time will tell!
JAlex, how did you guess that Wehrenberg was about to pull the plug on this one before they did it? I knew it would happen soon enough — it was one of the smallest theaters Wehrenberg had left and Wehrenberg believes the bigger-the better.
I can only remember this theater as being a discounted one opened by Wehrenberg. I only went to this theater in the mid 1990s to see things like Casper, Beethoven, Psycho remake, and The Lost World.
Funny thing about the architecture, General Cinemas must have opened similar built 8 screen theaters in other cities as I can remember seeing a movie in Ft. Wayne IN and the theater looking exactly identical to the Lindbergh 8. The lobby and theater arrangement was completely identical.
Is it just me, or does anyone else ever think/feel that these discount theaters are not up to par as the “real” ones? I don’t mean to sound like a snob but I always felt this way about these second-run theaters….the pricing is great but it feels so sub-par…probably because I’m usually one of the only ones inside the theater.
This theater closed when Wehrenberg went bankrupt. It was completed torn down and replaced with a new office building adjacent to the Home Depot that’s down that way.
Why is there a Texaco sign? Was there one behind it? I thought it was right along the edge of Lemay Ferry?
Did this theater close in 1987? When exactly did this close? Anyone know what the last movies were that were shown?
So was this located in the plaza that is now Babies R Us/Sports Authority, etc? Or over by Old Navy?
Why would they call this the South City theater? The location sounds deep in south county. If anything, the South County Cinema was just a few blocks north on Lemay and that was closer to SOuth City than this theater.
I can see why Wehrenberg built Keller to compete with all of these Lemay/Lindbergh theaters.
**Just to clarify, the 20 screened theater was build beside the 8 screen one. Therefore, when construction started, the 8 screen remained open in 1999 until it officially opened its doors in 2000. I remember the first movie I saw at the new theater was Scream 3.
Ronnie’s 8 doesn’t have a page here. I can’t remember what I first saw here but I do remember going ever since the mid to late 1980s.
When Ronnie’s 20 opened, it was roughly a year after the Arnold 14 opened. These two theaters put a squeeze on Wehrenberg’s own Keller 8 Cine. At this time Keller finally started getting every new movie instead of splitting the popular movies with Ronnie’s 8. It didn’t last though as Wehrenberg went bankrupt and Keller closed along with about 4 or 5 other theaters.
You know you’re at Ronnie’s today if you see a million little sloppily dressed teens gawking outside the theater with about 2-4 police officers hanging around too.
WHAT! This is now closed? Leave it to Wehrenberg to destroy the joys of cinemas. They care too much about these huge multiplexes and they let these smaller theaters suffer. I’ve seen them destroy their way through hundreds of great theaters just because they feel “the bigger the better.” This theater didn’t attract the millions of teens like Ronnie’s does. I now realize that Wehrenberg only believes audiences today are teens.
I went to this theater recently. It costs $2. The projection was poor at best. There was at least 2 inches or more of the movie that was cut off because the screen wasn’t within frame.
They also did not clean up the theater in between movies.
Where was this located? What street? What retail plaza space is this currently?
I’ve noticed that the concession on the right side of the theater has been dismantled and discontinued. I guess this place isn’t drawing the crowds like it used to.
The draperies do not open and close when a picture starts or completes. I don’t know where this came from, perhaps it was an idea when the theater was built?
This theater opened in Spring 1999. This opening brought about the beginning of the end for Wehrenberg’s own Keller 8 Cine about 10-12 miles north in South St. Louis County. The Jefferson County residents finally had their own theater to attend which dropped Keller’s numbers as Keller was always the next closest theater.
Again, Van Bibbler’s comments are WRONG. The 20 screen theater was built next to the 8 screen theater. Construction started in 1999. This theater did not officially open until early winter/spring 2000, NOT 1998.
When it was Ronnie’s 8, this theater was kind of dumpy, yet it had some charm. Today, it’s this huge ugly mess with a million little 13-15 year old prostitots gawking outside of the theater. I try to avoid this one at all costs.
The new website for Keller 8 is www.earlann.net NOT .com
Charles Van Bibbler’s info is incorrect — AGAIN. I used to work at Keller 8 from 1998 to 1999. This was always the crown jewel of South County cinemas. It was very quiet, large, and the 14-15 year old white trash that Ronnie’s always attracted stayed away and didn’t gawk at this theater.
When I started working here, I remember The Horse Whisperer had just came out. I worked when movies like Mulan, Tarzan, Austin Powers 2, and Something About Mary came to this theater.
It did die a painful death. Wehrenberg rarely gave this theater a blockbuster, instead preferring to give all the good movies to Ronnie’s 8. Keller and Ronnie’s always played opposite movies. And Wehrenberg wonders why this theater was unprofitable?!!
I can remember when I was little, my mom took me to this theater to see The Land Before Time in 1988. I remember being in the huge auditorium and being amazed.
Up above, it says that this theater opened in 1986. That is incorrect. This theater opened in March 1988. Wehrenberg FINALLY started giving this theater the #1 movies when Ronnie’s converted to a 20 screen theater like it is now. It’s a shame, I miss this theater’s glory days.
It is still open as a discount house, although not by Wehrenberg. The “8 Cine” sign on the side is STILL burnt out since 1999. The new owners still have not fixed that yet. I have no idea why not. The carpeting was neat — it has the symbol of the Wehrenberg crown. This hasn’t been replaced even though a new theater chain operates it. I’m glad to see that this theater is getting great business as a discount one. I’d love to see it return to get first run movies again!