Crest Theater

4825 E. Douglas Avenue,
Wichita, KS 67218

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Crest Theater 1954

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The Crest Theater in Wichita was designed by architectural firm Boller & Lusk. It was located near the Lincoln Heights Shopping Center. The Crest Theater was opened in December 1950, was closed in 1989 and demolished in 1997. A chiropractic clinic is located at this address today.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 5, 2009 at 7:02 pm

Construction had not yet begun on the Crest when the December 4, 1948, issue of Boxoffice published Robert Boller’s rendering of the front. The firm name was not Boller Brothers, though. Carl Boller had died in 1946, and by the time the Crest was built Robert Boller was associated with Dietz Lusk in the Kansas City firm of Boller & Lusk.

keysenior
keysenior on August 26, 2009 at 7:15 am

I was an usher at the Crest, 1953-1955. When a patron, like a doctor, wanted to be paged if they had a call, they filled out a little card and we noted where they were sitting. If they got a call we went and got them (usuall a good tip followed). The Crest showed a couple of 3D movies while I was working there. Because, they had to use both projectors for 3D, they had an intermission to change the film.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 3, 2010 at 1:22 am

A view of the auditorium is one of two photos of the Crest featured in an ad for Heywood-Wakefield theater seats in Boxoffice of October 7, 1950.

keysenior
keysenior on October 5, 2011 at 5:28 am

In the 1950s there was an usher’s dressing room down front at the left side of the screen. It could be reached from a tunnel that went under the theater from the front to the back. The uniforms were cleaned weekly and very smart

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 5, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Linkrot repair: Here is the October 7, 1950, Boxoffice page with the Heywood-Wakefield ad featuring two photos of the Crest Theatre.

Bonus link: The architect’s rendering of the Crest, as featured in Boxoffice of December 4, 1948.

JD1940
JD1940 on February 28, 2012 at 1:43 am

I officed in this theatre during part of my tenure as City Manager for the Commonwealth and later United Artists Theatres. As mentioned above, United Artists closed the theatre and turned off all utilities. That made ever reopening the theatre impossible as it had an artesian spring in the the office area which soon flooded the lower area of the theatre when the sump pump ceased to function. The main floor was reseated in the early 80’s to provide more comfortable seating but the theatre was not able to compete once the multiplex operations entered the scene.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on April 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm

May 15 1974 has “BUSTING” playing at 7;30 and 9;30.

tutorgirl
tutorgirl on December 27, 2012 at 4:15 pm

Went to the Crest in ‘50s and early '60s. Did it have a terrazzo logo on the floor with a shock of wheat with the word “Commonwealth”?

kwilkin1962
kwilkin1962 on January 13, 2013 at 2:07 pm

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.

Lyndon
Lyndon on November 23, 2013 at 12:40 pm

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

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