Gillis Opera House

500 Walnut Street,
Kansas City, MO 64106

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rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on July 2, 2007 at 11:11 am

The New Gillis Theatre in Kansas City is listed in the 1897-98 edition of the Julius Cahn Official Theatrical Guide. Lester M. Crawford was Mgr., and ticket prices ranged from 15 cents to 50 cents. The house had both gas and electric illumination, and was on the second floor. The proscenium opening was 44 feet wide X 46 feet high, and the stage was 40 feet deep. There were 8 in the house orchestra. The seating capacity is listed as 2,059 but the breakdown is smaller: Orchestra- 575, Balcony- 314, Gallery- 500; total: 1,389 plus box seats. Possibly, the 2,059 figure was reached by adding standee spaces, as large numbers of standees were allowed in these 19th Century theatres.

RobbKCity
RobbKCity on January 29, 2007 at 11:19 pm

The Gillis Opera House seated up to 1,700 patrons when the theatre opened in 1883. Source: Mrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection, Kansas City Public Library.