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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
I just saw the interior of the Empire Theater earlier today and it has been completely gutted down to the bare concrete, steel and brick.
There is nothing left – however, I was told that some of the ornmentation was salvaged including some brass and bronze from steps and a lost of pictures. It is pretty much cleaned out and they are ready to begin exterior resoration while the interior is all redone to turn it into 6 very stylish screening rooms and some lounges and cafe’s etc. I am hopeful that care will be taken to design interior elements that would duplicate some of the original pieces. It is so sad what happened to the interior. There was once a lot of beauty in there. You can always drive up to Omaha and visit the Orpheum Theater since it’s interior is almost a clone of what the Empire once looked like. At this point, I am glad that building is being saved even though it will not be the same as it once was.
The old Belmont Theater was never demolished. It has been a church since it closed as a movie theater. The front is all different, but the interior has not been changed all that much. From the balcony – there are steps going down the side walls to the stage area. The original theater seats are still there and have been redone.
Great to see a crew in there working on the historic Empire Theater.
It will once again be a jewel in Kansas City with the new Power and Light District development.