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This theater has closed.
An article by Steve Rosen in the Kansas City Star on October 29, 2014 says that Brian Mossman, an owner of the company that operated the theater, said the lease was not renewed and the last day of business was Sunday October 26, 2014.
The Fine Arts Theatre Group, owned by Mossman and his brother Ben Mossman, operates two other movie houses in the Kansas City area—the Rio, and the Glenwood Arts. Information on those theaters can be found at their official website www.fineartsgroup.com.
My theory on the ‘east’ part of the name originally, is that Warren built this Palace east of Wichita and the Palace ‘West’ is west of Springfield. Then again, maybe it just designated the side of town the theater is on. It seems like the Palace in Wichita was a second-run theater pretty much from the beginning, like Springfield. But they both had THX, which was unheard of for a second run house. After the magnificent first-run theaters were built in Wichita, all the competition faded away and now the entire city is Warren.
I believe Mr. Warren’s father once owned theaters in Wichita, so obviously the town is special to him. I was surprised to see him expand to Moore, OK. The Oklahoma City area has a lot of theaters, so I don’t know how that town got so lucky. There are many towns in Kansas that could benefit from a Warren theater including Lawrence, Topeka and Manhattan. We were all looking forward to the Warren theater for Kansas City, KS at the Speedway, but that ended up being built by Phoenix and is nothing too special.
Since Warren is already successful in Springfield, it would seem a reasonable location for a first-run Warren theater, but I don’t think expansion is one of his priorities. I worked for Dickinson years ago in Kansas, and remember when they opened their Town and Country 6 in Springfield. There were a lot of theaters in town back then, but it was their pride and joy at the time, and I believe it was their first six-plex. Nowadays, it seems like towns are either massively overscreened, with several new theaters and lots of competition, or woefully underscreened with one aging, neglected, outdated property. I know the expense of constructing a new movie theater in 2015 is incredibly high, but I think the bean counters at some chains are missing an opportunity. It is sad to see the number of towns in Kansas and Missouri (and other states) that have no theaters at all anymore, so I suppose a town can be grateful if they have one that is still open.
I managed this theater for 8 months from Nov 1987 to June ‘88, so it definitely opened before 1993. It was a very nice theater and was programmed primarily with “family friendly” films, while the R-rated product usually went to the Coeur d'Alene Cinemas. The Christmas I was there we played “Three Men and a Baby’ in the large auditorium, which sold out several times, even tho the population of Coeur d'Alene at the time was only around 25,000. It was originally a 3-screen independent, each with about 200 seats, built by the gentleman who owned the roller skating rink to the left and just behind the theater in the above picture. The two additional screens of 350 and 225 seats were added on the north end at some point to match Luxury Theaters Coeur d'Alene Cinemas a few miles away. When I managed it, Luxury Theaters had already bought the theater. They ran it for a few years, then it became part of the Act III chain when they bought Luxury. I was in Spokane at that point and had left by the time Regal took over Act III. It appears Regal operated it until they opened their new 14-plex, at which point the Showboat and Coeur d'Alene 5-plexes were both closed.
This theater was acquired by B&B Theaters in November 2014, as part of their purchase of the Dickinson chain.
The name is listed as Little Rock Chenal 9 Imax. Information can be found at their official website bbtheaters.com
This theater was acquired by B&B Theaters in November 2014, as part of their purchase of the Dickinson theater chain.
The name is now listed as KC Northland 14. Information can be found at their official website bbtheaters.com
The name is now listed as Overland Park 16. Information can be found at their official website bbtheaters.com
This theater was acquired by B&B theaters in November, 2014 as part of their purchase of the Dickinson theater chain.
The name is now listed as Shawnee 18. Information can be found at their official website bbtheaters.com
This theater was acquired by B&B theaters in November, 2014 as part of their purchase of the Dickinson chain.
The name is now listed as Lee’s Summit 16. Information is available on the official website bbtheaters.com
There was an excellent article by Steve Everly in the Kansas City Star on Saturday May 24, 2014 about the I-70 and Twin Drive-In theaters. The article starts on the front page and continues on A12. It talks about B&B Theaters taking over the operation of the drive-ins, and that the switch to digital projection has been completed. Movie screens were repainted, and restrooms and the concession stand were upgraded. The seasonal grand opening was May 23.
UltraStar Cinemas took over management from SR Entertainment sometime in 2011, of both the Mary Pickford 14 and the Desert IMAX across the parking lot. Information is at their official website: ultrastarmovies.com
It appears this theater is now closed, as Mr. Neff mentioned earlier. Does anyone know if it has been demolished or is being used for another purpose now?
It appears Regency is operating this as a second-run theater now.
This theater is actually located just north of the old White Lakes mall, across the street from the former Sears. It opened in 1967 as an 850-seat single screen operated by National General. It was referred to as the Fox White Lakes because of its proximity to the mall, and because the mall owned the property. Mann took over operation of the theater shortly afterward. General Cinema opened their Boulevard Cinema I and II in 1974 just up the street, so in the fall of 1977 Mann closed the Fox in order to split the theater into a twin of 425 and 396 seats. It reopened in December 1977 showing ‘The Gauntlet’ and ‘Telefon’. Dickinson Theatres took over operation of the theater from Mann in 1980. In 1983 Dickinson wanted the mall owner to add two screens so they could stay competitive with the General Cinema theater, which had just split their twin into a three-plex. The mall was unable to finance the expansion, so Dickinson bought the property from the mall and built the addition themselves. These two new screens on the east end opened on August 17, 1984 seating 296 each. The first two movies in the new auditoriums were ‘The Woman in Red’ and ‘Sheena,’ and were the first in Topeka to feature Dolby Stereo surround sound! Crown Cinema bought the Dickinson theaters in Topeka shortly after Crown opened their new theaters at West Ridge Mall in 1987. At some point after Hollywood theaters took over from Crown around 1999, they closed the Gage 4, which had become a discount theater, and turned the Fox into a second-run theater. I believe the Fox was closed in 2004. There is a listing on loopnet with another good view of the theater looking northeast. At this time, the listing says the building is off-market. The abandoned mall and boarded up theater are among several buildings contributing to the general blight in the south Topeka area today.