Miller Theater

115 N. Broadway Street,
Wichita, KS 67202

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Miller Theater

The Miller Theater opened on May 1, 1922 with Rudolph Valentino in “Beyond the Rocks”. In addition to movies, live stage shows, and musical programs, celebrity appearances were also featured. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual, 11 rank organ. By 1943 it was operated by Fox Midwest Theatres.

The Miller Theater closed on March 18, 1970. The Wurlitzer organ had been restored especially for the final night and was played by noted organist Gaylord Taylor. It was demolished in 1972. The organ was put into storage and in 1981 it was installed in the Little River Studio and expanded to 19 ranks.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 13 comments)

missmelbatoast
missmelbatoast on December 16, 2006 at 7:40 pm

A brief history and vintage clear images of the Miller Theatre can be found in the link below;
View link

missmelbatoast
missmelbatoast on September 25, 2008 at 10:38 am

In the 1958 photo (12/2/06 posting), is there another theatre across the street?

Keith Wondra
Keith Wondra on March 3, 2009 at 1:52 pm

Miss Melba,
I think those are store signs. On the northeast corner of First and Broadway a block from the Miller was the Orpheum Theatre. The Orpheum is one of a few surviving theaters in Wichita.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on June 13, 2011 at 3:09 pm

I found out that our Modjeska theatre in Augusta,Ga was a Publix Theatre in 1929 so they had screens everywhere KenRoe.

kwilkin1962
kwilkin1962 on September 11, 2013 at 8:33 pm

The Miller opened on May 1, 1922. It’s first movie was “Beyond the Rocks”, starring Rudolph Valentino and Gloria Swanson.

Lyndon
Lyndon on December 15, 2013 at 4:57 am

Here is a story about the Miller.

Bobneale
Bobneale on December 7, 2014 at 5:38 pm

My name is Bob Neale, I was hired with the title of “after school Popcorn boy” in 1953. H. F. “Buddy” Brown was the manager at that time. Frank Young was an elderly black man who wore a spiffy uniform and white gloves and was in charge of every body. He was a mentor to many of the young people that worked at the miller. Knowing almost everyone in Wichita he could get tickets to the shows at the Forum. I married a girl who was an usherette and it has lasted almost 60 years so far.

Lyndon
Lyndon on September 4, 2016 at 3:47 am

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum has a thread of memories about the Miller.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 13, 2020 at 8:43 pm

Boxoffice of March 16, 1970 said that a farewell party would be held at the Miller Theatre on March 18, as a benefit for the local art museum. Organist Gaylord Carter would perform on the Miller’s Wurlitzer, which had been restored for the occasion by members of the Theater Organ Club. National General Corp. were the last operators of the Miller, and would soon open the suburban Mall Cinema as a replacement for the 1922 downtown house.

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