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Here are a couple of links from the Kansas City Library to Photos, info & postcards of the Shubert:
According to a December 5, 1926 article in the Kansas City Star, this was originally a 1909 “neighborhood amusement place” and “nickel show” theatre which was renovated into a motion picture theatre.
A February 21 1938 article says that the building was destroyed by a fire, witnessed by about 600 spectators.
I assume it was rebuilt not long after the fire.
The Folly was originally called the Standard, changed to the Century & finally the Folly.
Here is a link to more info on the folly & an old postcard from it’s days as the Century:
Here are two photos of the Brookside from 1977 & 1961
Correction to above- Isis was closed in 1970, demolished in June 1997.
Check out this link for an internal view of the Neptune including the proscenium, a backdrop & the front rows of seats:
This photo is from the University of Minnesota Collection of the Great Western Stage Equipment Company, responsible for drapes, backdrops, lighting and more in theatres (especially in the midwest) from the 1920s-1960s.
Front: â€œ14431.â€ Back: â€œ62 Neptune Theatre KC MO.â€ Stamped â€œProperty of Great Western Stage Equipment Co. 917 Holmes St. Kansas City, Missouriâ€ and â€œUnited Scenic Artists Local 350 -2016.â€ Also stamped â€œThe Commercial Photo Co. Kansas City, MO.â€
Wow! Eccentric is a good word for this one! Lots of Pink & mirrored surfaces, definitely unique & very retro! I’ll have to stop in for a peek next time I’m headed for Colorado.
Here is a link to a vintage photo of the interior of the Madrid.
Photograph of Landscape drop curtain inside of the Madrid Theatre space (Kansas City, MO.).
Front: â€œ13558.â€ Back: â€œOur velour and silk wall panels and arch. Madrid Theatre – KC.â€ Stamped â€œThe Commercial Photo Co. Kansas City, MO.â€ Back: Stamped â€œProperty of Geo. G. Wing. Great Western Stage Equipment Co. 917 Holmes St. Kansas City, Missouriâ€ and â€œUnited Scenic Artists Local 350 -2016.â€ Also stamped â€œThe Commercial Photo Co. Kansas City, MO.â€ Many rough pencil sketches on the back suggesting chandeliers or lamps. Numerous mathematical calculations are also noted.
I don’t know anything about this theatre but just a business idea for someone looking for a new venture… How about regularly showing Superman movies for tourists in addition to regular fare for the locals? Metropolis, IL is the home of Superman after all & this town has all kinds of touristy Superman stuff from a Superman museum to a huge Superman statue. I don’t know if it would work but heck, it may be just quirky enough in this roadside attraction town.
Breaking news on the Empire Today (Also appears in today’s newsreel)
Kansas City Buys the Empire:
Truly sad for the Gaiety. Visiting Boston this past March I noticed it by accident while in Chinatown. I visited this site later to find out more about this hidden treasure & since then I have followed the news updates and information here. The only hints to a theatre inside this grand old building are the fading carved out words on the exterior. From the pictures I have seen, the inside is still beautiful, capable of being restored and has excellent acoustics. I hope that something can be done to save this historic gem.
Yes, to follow up on my previous comment; according to Mary Bagley’s book on Missouri’s Theatres:
“AMC changed the name to the Empire and opened it with the movie Exodus as a reserved-seat, road-show house. The theatre retained an organist until 1961, when there was a dispute with the musicians' union. Still under AMC ownership, the theatre was split into two- the Empire and Royal- in 1969. Then in 1980 it was halved again into the Empire 4 theatres.”
The theatre was split into 2 auditoriums and later 4 by AMC. I believe that at one point one side was called Empire while the other side was called Royal.
Here is an updated link for the “Bygone Theaters” link above:
Here is an updated link:
I am also trying to get a hold of a copy of an article on file at the KC Public Library:
Little Known Industries of Greater Kansas City, 1926-1929
Reprint of a newspaper article about the history of the theater building opening in 1887 as the Warder Grand Opera House, reopening in 1897 as the Auditorium Theater, and in the early 1900s being converted into a manufacturing plant for the Great Western Stage Company.
I saw this video on MTV & wondered the same thing.
Recently, Dickinson has been advertising a new Theatre and are comparing it as being reminiscent of the Glenwood Theatre in their commercials. I am waiting to see if their advertising is true, it opens this Friday. Info & showtimes are at their website:
Here is the text from the press release about the groundbreaking.
Dickinson Theatres Breaks Ground on Johnson Countyâ€™s Most Extravagant Movie Theatre
Overland Park, Kans. â€" Wednesday, March 3, 2004 â€" Dickinson Theatres, in cooperation with Midwest Cinema Group, broke ground on what is expected to be Johnson Countyâ€™s most luxurious movie theatreâ€¦ the Palazzo 16.
Dickinson cut ground early on March 3, 2004 at the SW corner of 135th and 69 Highway in the Village Pointe Shopping Center in Overland Park, Kans. for what will be the gem of Johnson Countyâ€™s movie-going options.
A plush 16-screen theatre lavished in Italian villa decor, the Palazzo is expected to be Dickinsonâ€™s newest and most premiere movie venture. A concept in creation with Dickinson Theatres since the luxurious Glenwood theatre opening in the 1960â€™sâ€"the Palazzo hopes to exceed Johnson County movie-goersâ€™ expectations for quality, comfort and experience.
The architectural plans include towering white columns, rich colors and greenery, Italian-imported working fountains and detailed marble furnishings.
â€œItâ€™s been a dream of mine for a while now, to build a beautiful building that services our guests with quality presentations, above-quality service in an awe-inspiring environment,â€ says John Hartley, president and CEO of Dickinson Theatres. â€œWeâ€™ve taken the concerns of our customers from the last 40 years and weâ€™ve applied them to the Palazzo. From bathrooms to parking, we plan on building a theatre that becomes more to the customer than just a movie-viewing, itâ€™ll be a one of a kind movie-going experienceâ€¦where elegance and fun meet the magic of movies.â€
The Palazzo â€" envisioned by Dickinson Theatres, concepted by Darrin Ingram of Gould Evans architectural design firm and constructed by Luke Draily â€" is expected to open to the public in November 2004.
Dickinson Theatres owns and operates 39 movie theatres in the Midwest with 357 screens in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Missouri, North Carolina, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. A privately owned organization, Dickinson Theatres is headquartered in Overland Park, Kans. and employs over 885 staff members including 22 full-time corporate office employees.
Thanks for the note Charles, I forgot that it wasn’t listed & have updated my profile.
klebrun, I’ll scan the postcard and send it to you.
Hi John, I have two postcard views of this theatre taken soon after opening. One is in the auditorium and the other is in the lobby. Post your email or send me an email & I’ll send them to you.
Universal Pictures bought the Royal around 1925. From further research this was also known as the Fox Theatre or The Fox Royal Theatre. The original building was razed in 1947. A year and a half later the new Fox Royal opened on January 27, 1949. The newspaper headline read “Atchison is calling attention to the opening of it’s new theater, the Fox. The old town is getting foxy in many ways.” The opening included the world premier of the movie “The Sun Looks Up,” live stars appeared on stage. This was and still is, the only movie that ever premiered in Atchison.
Fox Midwest owned the Fox, as well as the Orpheum. The new Fox Theatre was absolutely the last word in theatre design. Steel, concrete and brick with terra cotta made the building virtually fireproof.
Identical to the RCA sound system used in Radio City Music Hall in New York City, the RCA sound system produced a natural tone to human voices, and amplified all musical tones without distortion.
One of the most beautiful interior appointments was the gigantic cloverleaf above the seats at the rear which hid the lights. In the beautiful foyer were terraced floors that featured a modern concession stand dispensing Coke, ice cream bars, popcorn or candy.
Cashiers, doormen and usherettes were outfitted in new blue military style uniforms.
On opening night, before each feature, was a stage show featuring Brenda Joyce, Hollywood star, ‘Ginger Denning of radio’s famed Denning Sisters and Leighton Nobel and his nationally popular 15-piece band. Atchison’s own Jack Moorhead was master of ceremonies. A Junior at KU, he worked to promote the Red Cross and War Bonds.
Tickets for the opening cost $1.50. Prices reverted to 60 cents for adults and 14 cents for kids the 2nd day.
Check out the link below for a very cool 360 Degree tour of the auditorium as it looks now after a beautiful restoration/renovation. Don’t forget to look up at the sky.
This was one of the first Boller Brothers atmospheric theatres. The auditorium was to have the ambience of a Spanish/Moorish open-air courtyard. The Boller Brothers also used similar designs for the Granada in Kansas City, KS and the Poncan in Ponca City, OK among others.
A photo of this building in its current use as Blaney’s Pub can be seen at:
current photos of this building may be seen at:
A photo of the theatre in it’s current use as Wisong Signs can be seen at:
This theatre still stands and is owned by the Pleasant Green Baptist Church.