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Not much on who operated this Drive-in. But in 1960-61 era, I was living in Topeka. I think this Drive-in was taken over by Fox Midwest. At about that time, the got some relief from the consent decree they were living under since the mid-1940’s and were allowed to add some drive-ins. They had one in Johnson county Kansas and I think this one. I work there briefly as assistant concession stand mgr.
Although we no longer lived in the neighborhood, my folks would take us to the movies at the ISIS. I remember in the 1940’s winter time, that that corner of 31st & Troost was the coldest place in all KC.
KCB3. I don’t remember it being called anything but the “Bagdad”. We livv3d in a apartment at 27th and Forrest in the early 1940’s and my folks used to go there.
This theater was also operated by Fox Midwest for Black patrons in 1940’s and 50’s
Hey Frank G, Great story!
Hey KCB3. I hope that that comes to fruition.
aeast. They had a fountain in the middle of the lobby. It was removed when the expanded the concession stand. The wishing well/drinking fountain you are thinking of was in the lounge, downstairs. I don’t recall it being removed was the building was still a theatre.
A friend of mine, Jack S. Who at one time was the assistant mgr of the Uptown and was mgr of the Apollo before it closed for the last time, told me the last time he was in the Uptown was during that 50 cent era. He said it was in bad shape. The floors were sticky from spilled drinks and just wasn’t clean. It upset him to see it like that and he never went back.
Yes. The Orpheum is now open. Thanks to the folks at Tipitina’s
I remember when I was working for Fox Midwest in the mid to late 1950’s, the manager of the Vista and the Gladstone was Jess Spain.
I remember going to the Oak Park on many occasions as a child in the the late 40’s and early 50’s. It typically showed a double feature. My brother and my folks went on one Saturday and came in during one of the features. We stayed until we came to the place in the movie where we came in. I remember the seats in the theatre being the old wooden seats probably made during WWII or earlier. They weren’t the spring loaded type that come up when you stand up. My dad was leading the way out and still looking at the screen instead or where he was going. The seat on the aisle was down, and my dad stumbled and fell over it and broke a rib.
I can remember seeing one of the worst movies ever made at the Panorama. I think the name of it was “Candy”. That movie looked like they had swept up the cutting room floor, spliced it together and sent it out and called it a movie. There was no plot, no story, no nothing. You kept thinking that something was going to happen that would make all make sense. But nothing ever did. I talked to friend whoa had seen it, too. And he had the same impression.
Wow! What a gorgeous theater!
Th Carrollton operated as a revival house in the 1970’s. I can remember taking my wife to see “the Harvey Girls”, and “The Toast of New Orleans” with Mario Lanza back then. This was before the advent of cable tv.
I remember going to see the Robe there in 1954 and siting in one of those loge seats with my younger brother.
what a crime that this magnificent theater is gone.
Thanks for the link to the map. It is very interesting.
Although I don’t live in KC anymore, I was happy to catch some glimpses of the remodeled Uptown when President Obama made a speech on his recent trip to KC. It looks Great! My compliments to Larry Sell and his efforts to keep this beautiful theater in good shape.
By the way. I live in New Orleans, now. So be looking for a 504 area code.
Mike. I’ll do that, I promise. When is the best time to call?
Mike. Where was the Capri Theatre you mention? I think I’ve heard of it, but I don’t find in KC listings here.
Mike. Did you ever work at the Plaza? The was a man with your last name there. He was an assistant mgr. But he left before I got there. I have heard his name mentioned. But I don’t know his first name.
Mike. You were talking about the sound system at the Plaza. I recall working there in 1956, when the film “Forbidden Planet” was playing. Back then, new shows started on Wednesdays and closed the following Tuesday.Well “Forbidden Planet” had one of the most stunning 4 track stereo soundtracks I’ve ever heard. On the Wednesday night show, it would knock your socks off. On Thursday, not so much. A lowly usher wouldn’t dream of going up to the projection booth to complain. So, I told my boss, the assistant mgr. He listens and says. “sounds OK to me”. So, I jumped about on Friday and he said the same think. On Saturday, he finally gave in and went up to the projection booth. The projectionist went to a relay rack, open the door and looked inside. He says, “Don’s right. there are 2 amps out. Will call RCA service co and get them out here Monday”. Monday night and Tuesday the movie sounded AWESOME again.
South Pacific did indeed play at the Tower in ToddAO.
The mgr at the time was Roy Hill, I think it probably ray for about a year or so. I know I saw “South Pacific” at the Tower when I was still working at the Plaza. It took me quite a while to get a pass to see it, even on a matinees. KCBE, the Disney movies you saw at the Esquire, may have been because the Esquire was in the FOX Midwest 1st run unit, with Uptown, Fairway and later, the Granada. If for some reason the Tower wasn’t running in the unit, the Esquire would be open and in the 1st run Fox unit. Disney movies always played 1st run at Fox. And they were Golden. Always a sell out on weekend matinees, especially. I can remember working at the Fairway, having the theatre sold out, and a double line from the box office, all the way to the back of the theatre in the parking lot and back out to the street. Those were the days.
Not that it matters much at this late date, but the Esquire didn’t get very good movies to show on that last 4 week run before we finally closed. “The Wreck of The Mary Deere”, for example. (Really ?) Also we had a hefty union payroll. For the life of me, I can’t figure why they needed a full time stage hand. There wasn’t any stage at the Esquire, No curtain, no movable masking. If we had been allowed to operate that theatre like they do today, I think we would have been there a lot longer that 4 weeks.