Odeon Theatre

Hardin, MO 64035

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The Odeon opened in 1913 as a venue for live theater. The history is unclear as to whether the same building survived into the next century as the Odeon. In 1919, a Wurlitzer organ was installed. The theater began showing silent films in the 1920’s, and from there the trail runs cold.

Hopefully some Hardinites can enlighten us on the more recent history of the Odeon.

Contributed by Ken McIntyre

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 26, 2011 at 7:15 pm

The date of 1813 for the building of this theater has to be wrong. I suspect a typo. It was probably built in 1913. The town’s own web site says that white settlement in the area didn’t begin until 1815. A settlement called Old Hardin developed in the 1830s, but the current town wasn’t platted until 1868, and wasn’t incorporated until 1881. I can’t find a theater at Hardin listed in any edition of Julius Cahn’s guide. The town was probably too small to support a theater before the 20th century.

This web page mentions graduation ceremonies for Hardin High School being held at the Odeon Theatre in 1936, so it was still standing in that year.

According to an item in Boxoffice of May 12, 1956, a Bach-Mar Theatre at Hardin, which had been closed for about four years, was being reopened by Kenneth Bachman and J.D. Martin. Most likely this was the Odeon, renamed. As the town has always been quite small, it’s unlikely any theater other than the Odeon was ever built, unless the Odeon was either destroyed or converted to some other use before the house that became Bach-Mar was built.

A February 23, 1959, Boxoffice item mentions Glen Lentz, who “…used to operate the theatre at Hardin, Mo.” That’s the only other mention of Hardin I’ve found in Boxoffice.

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