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I remember seeing the first Star Wars here in 1977. The original theatre was built in 1970. They added 3 or 4 screens inside the mall in the 1980’s that were separate from the original theatre.
Twin Lakes opened on June 12, 1968. It’s first showing was “The Odd Couple”.
The Westport opened on June 26, 1953. It’s first showings were “Roseanna McCoy”, starring Farley Granger, and “Rocky Mountain”, starring Errol Flynn.
The Terrace opened on June 6, 1952. It’s first showings were “Frontier Gal”, starring Yvonne DeCarlo, and “Canyon Passage”.
The Starlite opened on October 1, 1953 as the Rainbow Drive-In. It’s first movie was “Fort Defiance”. The Rainbow later became the Landmark Drive-In on June 21, 1974. “Mark 1” ’s first movies were “Walking Tall” and “Junior Bonner”. “Mark 2” was still being built at the time.
The Sunset opened on December 25, 1951. It’s first showing was a western called “Slaughter Trail”.
The Pawnee opened on July 4, 1950. It’s first movie was “Red River”, starring John Wayne.
The Miller opened on May 1, 1922. It’s first movie was “Beyond the Rocks”, starring Rudolph Valentino and Gloria Swanson.
The Meadowlark opened only two days before the Pawnee did. It’s first movies were “The Lady Takes a Sailor”, starring Jane Wyman and “Easy Living”.
The K-42 opened on July 22, 1949 as the 42 Skyvue. It kept this name at least into the 60’s. It’s first movie was “Albuquerque”, starring Randolph Scott.
The Fox opened on October 23, 1969. It’s first movie was “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”.
The Uptown opened on July 16, 1928. The first movie was “The Jazz Singer”, starring Al Jolson.
The Boulevard opened on May 17, 1945. It’s first showing was “Diamond Horseshoe”, starring Betty Grable.
Cinemas West opened on February 11, 1977. It had 4 auditoriums. Two of them opened with “The Sentinel” and the others had “Fun With Dick and Jane” and “Bugsy Malone”.
Cinemas East opened on July 17, 1974. It consisted of 4 auditoriums. Opening day featured “Mame”, starring Lucille Ball in the largest auditorium, with “The Way We Were”, “ A Touch of Class” and “ American Graffiti” in the others.
The 81 Drive-In opened on August 15, 1946. It’s first showing was “Silver Skates” along with the 3 Stooges, a “Colortoon” and Late News.
The 54 Drive-In opened on September 4, 1947. It’s first showing was “The Yearling” starring Gregory Peck.
I saw a lot of movies here, including “Star Wars” when it was first released and “Earthquake” with Sensurround that made the seats “quake” when the earthquake started during the movie. I remember my aunt taking me to the grand opening of the entire mall, with Governor Docking dedicating the building. The first movie shown there was “Marooned” starring Gregory Peck on March 25, 1970.
I believe when this theatre opened it was called the “Jerry Lewis Cinemas”.
I’m not sure about “Commonwealth” being on the floor, but it was definitely in the center of the marquee. It also had a giant “S” ( for Sullivan Theatres) in the middle of the terrazzo floor in the lobby.
This was my favorite theatre of them all. I saw my first movie there, “Smoky” about a horse, in 1967. What I remember most was the sunken lounge area behind the concession stand. The restrooms and the offices were located there also. I also remember the murals depicting Wichita history inside the auditorium. I did some microfilm research and found that the Wichita Beacon on January 15, 1950 included a special commemorative program heralding the new theatre. The first movie shown there was “The Heiress” starring Olivia de Havilland and Montgomery Clift on January 17, 1950.
What I remember about this theatre was the large mural behind the concession stand with images of Hollywood stars. It can be seen at the Boxoffice link that Tinseltoes generously provided.
My first theatre job was here from April 1984 until January 1991. I didn’t realize until I worked at other theatres how narrow the projection booth was, which made it difficult to move prints around. It didn’t help that boxes of concession cups and lids were stored there because of lack of space elsewhere. Still, there were a lot of good memories there. I was glad to have worked for Commonwealth Theatres while it was still around, since they were the chain I remember most when I went to movies when I was younger.
If I’m not mistaken, this drive-in used to be known as the Rainbow and later the Landmark.
I have a great aunt that lived for decades in a house next to the parking lot behind the Sunset. When I was a kid playing outside her house I could see the marquee and remember seeing titles like “Funny Girl” and “Paint Your Wagon”. I only wished I had seen a movie there before it closed.
Twin Lakes is where I saw “Lawrence of Arabia” in 70mm when it was re-released in 1989 I believe. At the time, I believe it was the only theatre in Wichita that had the capability of showing a 70mm print. The other memory of Twin Lakes I have is that one of the “twins” had a huge window where you could look at the lake outside. It had a curtain that was drawn before the movie started of course.