Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

1228 Main Street,
Kansas City, MO 64105

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Showing 51 - 68 of 68 comments

bruceanthony on June 17, 2006 at 10:34 am

What is the latest news on the Midland? You would think with all the development in the area this theatre would be secure not the other way around. I cannot understand the City government not providing funds to help secure this theatre as a performing arts center when they are spending so much redevelopment money on the Power and Light District.brucec

Organguy on May 17, 2006 at 1:25 pm

Bad News for Kansas City’s beautiful Midland Theater. The developers of the Power and Light district plan on converting the
Midland Theater into a super night club and take out the auditorium’s main floor seats for most of them, tier it for table seating and install a dance floor. In additon, there will be some private boxes installed in the balcany and a lot of glitzy lighting etc. Everyone I know agrees that the Midland should be left as a performing arts center with traditional theater seating. If the stage were made larger, it could handle more touring shows.
The Empire Theater down the street has been gutted and should have been the theater turned into a “House of Blues” style night club.
The Midland is listed on the National Historic List – therefore, I do not thing the auditorium should be altered, which is planned.
AMC could easily build a new 6 or 8 screen digital theater on the Empire Theater block and have a win-win situation, especially since their world headqquarters is just down the street. Help save the Midland Theater

ghamilton on October 4, 2005 at 3:01 pm

Hi,Warren,You missed the Virginia Theater of Danville,Va,of all places.The remarkable palace had 5,000 seats.Your list of the biggies needs that one.The list I’d pay to see is actual,real,certifiable movie palaces that still show scheduled theatrical releases.

tomdelay on October 4, 2005 at 8:43 am

The Robert Morton is now installed in the KC, MO Civic Center Music Hall, 13th and Wyandott. It is now a 4/27 Robert Morton.

It is understood this historic instrument is about to undergo massive changes to its original winding system to make the instrument
more “Wurlitzer-like”.

An original Robert Morton organ can be a fine instrument when installed to its company’s original standards and properly regulated.

bruceanthony on September 26, 2005 at 10:42 am

The Midland seems to have booking problems by the news reports I have read. AMC wants to reposition the Midland when the Empire is renovated into a multi screen theatre as part of The Entertainment distict that will be built in this area. The Midlnad doesn’t seem to book any Broadway shows like they had in the past. I would like more into if it is available.bruce

mlind on July 19, 2005 at 1:31 pm

They just keep on coming:
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Photos of construction on this site – too many to list

mlind on July 18, 2005 at 1:59 pm

Link to photo from 1955.

henrypr on April 25, 2005 at 8:38 pm

The Midland hosts the Kansas City Pops during the season and The Phantom of the Opera every winter.

tomovieboy70 on April 22, 2005 at 3:41 pm

I used to attend roadshows here with my grandmother when I was a child in the 1960s. Incredibly ornate, massively huge movie palace was totally overwhelming to me as a child. I saw “The Sound of Music”, “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, “Funny Girl”, “On A Clear Day” and “Fiddler on the Roof” here. We always sat in the center orchestra and I was awestruck at the size of the screen. Many happy memories of seeing great films in an unparalleled setting. I’m so happy to know that it still exists. I haven’t been back to Kansas City in decades, but I spent many joyful hours in the past at this gorgeous theater.

JAlex on November 20, 2004 at 9:27 am

The only AMC house I’ve been in that does not have cup holders!

Mike (saps)
Mike (saps) on June 16, 2004 at 8:17 pm

So AMC is still running this house, though not as a movie theater? If so, that’s pretty remarkable. I wonder if any other chains have repurposed their venues without selling or ababndoning them.

JimRankin on April 29, 2004 at 5:36 am

Tour of Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas Theatres in 2004
From June 26 through July 1, 2004 the Theatre Historical Society of America will tour a number of theatres in Kansas City Missouri and surrounding areas, including theatres in Lamar, Joplin, Richmond, St. Joseph and Springfield, MO, as well as Miami, OK, and these cities in Kansas: Leavenworth, Kansas City, Emporia, El Dorado, Augusta, Wichita, Hutchinson, McPherson, Salina, Concordia, and Topeka. More information is contained on their web site: and special photos and information concerning the Kansas City theatres: UPTOWN and the MIDLAND is available on this temporary page of their site at: A glossy brochure about this “Heart of America” Conclave is available from the Society’s headquarters listed on their homepage, via E-mail to the Ex. Director, or via snail mail. Membership in the Society is not required to attend the Conclave and tour the theatres, but fees do apply as detailed on their site. Bring your camera and lots of film, for it is usually difficult or impossible to enter these theatres for photos, and some of them will surely not be with us in the years to come.

bruceanthony on April 25, 2004 at 5:28 pm

Warren could you list the 20 largest theatres in the U.S I also would be interested in seating compared to the size to the actual theatre. In recent years many theatres have been renovated or restored and there seating capacity reduced. If I am correct I think the top ten with theatres still standing would be 1 Radio City 2 Detroit Fox 3 St. Louis Fox 4 Atlanta Fox 5 Chicago Uptown 6 Boston Wang 7 Jersey Stanley 8 Kansas City Midland 9 Chicago Chicago 10 Pittsburg Stanley. But I could be wrong. I do know the four largest theatres West of the Mississippi would be 1. Oakland Paramount 2. Fox- Oakland 3. Seattle Paramount 4. Portland Portland. Only the Fox- Oakland hasn’t been renovated or restored.brucec

JimRankin on April 6, 2004 at 9:14 am

Rather a pity the current photos shows only the back of the auditorium, since it is the stage aspect that shows the non-Opera House look of the dramatic proscenium when it originally had the two legs of the grand drapery descending from a plaster ‘crown’ and then upswept in arcs to mountings on the proscenium frame: a unique design, and most beautiful. Almost as nice as the original of the KINGS in Brooklyn!

JimRankin on March 25, 2004 at 8:51 am

In 1979 the Theatre Historical Soc. of America did an entire ANNUAL on this theatre, titled: “The MIDLAND THEATRE, Kansas City, MO” and the dozens of vintage photos therein reveal a most luxurious design by noted theatres architect Thomas Lamb, a biography of whom is included there. Latter day photos there reveal that the wonderful design of the upswept legs of the grand drapery on the proscenium, as originally installed, were not replaced during a recent refurbishment, and the photos reveal what a loss this is! Sixty-foot-long swags of fringed velvet would be impressive in any setting, but here with a royal crown motif as the center of the drapery it is a fitting and wonderful aura of design. The MIDLAND has been illustrated elsewhere as in the landmark book of 1927—1930: “American Theatres of Today” (which is in some libraries and sometimes available from,)) and it is also illustrated in other of the Society’s publications, such as the 2003 ANNUAL about the San Francisco FOX theatre. The 42-page 1979 ANNUAL will please anyone loving beautiful theatres.

To obtain any available Back Issue of either “Marquee” or of its ANNUALS, simply go to the web site of the THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA at:
and notice on the sidebar of their first page the link “PUBLICATIONS: Back Issues List” and click on that and you will be taken to their listing where they also give ordering details. The “Marquee” magazine is 8-1/2x11 inches tall (‘portrait’) format, and the ANNUALS are also soft cover in the same size, but in the long (‘landscape’) format, and are anywhere from 26 to 40 pages. Should they indicate that a publication is Out Of Print, then it may still be possible to view it via Inter-Library Loan where you go to the librarian at any public or school library and ask them to locate which library has the item by using the Union List of Serials, and your library can then ask the other library to loan it to them for you to read or photocopy. [Photocopies of most THSA publications are available from University Microforms International (UMI), but their prices are exorbitant.]

Note: Most any photo in any of their publications may be had in large size by purchase; see their ARCHIVE link. You should realize that there was no color still photography in the 1920s, so few theatres were seen in color at that time except by means of hand tinted renderings or post cards, thus all the antique photos from the Society will be in black and white, but it is quite possible that the Society has later color images available; it is best to inquire of them.

Should you not be able to contact them via their web site, you may also contact their Executive Director via E-mail at:
Or you may reach them via phone or snail mail at:
Theatre Historical Soc. of America
152 N. York, 2nd Floor York Theatre Bldg.
Elmhurst, ILL. 60126-2806 (they are about 15 miles west of Chicago)

Phone: 630-782-1800 or via FAX at: 630-782-1802 (Monday through Friday, 9AM—4PM, CT)

sdoerr on November 29, 2003 at 7:00 pm

Wow, fabulous and ornate theatre! Anyone have any pics of what it looks like today? Also the new link for the official AMC is View link