Wichita Theatre

310 E. Douglas Avenue,
Wichita, KS 67202

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Wichita Theatre, Wichita, Kansas, Auditorium, 1919

Viewing: Photo | Street View

A conversion of an existing building, the Crystal Theatre was opened as a vaudeville theatre in 1905. It was repened in 1918. This Spanish Renaissance styling has to be from the drawing board of Boller Bros. architectural firm. The Wichita Theatre was operated in the 1940’s by Fox Midwest Amusement Corp. It was still open in 1950 and was demolished in June 1970.

Contributed by J. D. Chapman

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on December 17, 2006 at 9:39 am

Listed in the Film Daily Yearbook;1941 & 1943 editions as having a seating capacity of 1,400. At that time it was being operated by Fox Midwest Amusement Corp.

raybradley
raybradley on December 19, 2006 at 8:57 am

These web pages contains vintage images of the Wichita Theatre,
View link
View link

deleted user
[Deleted] on February 9, 2007 at 8:22 am

The Wichita very likely had a Reproduco to accompany the silent flicks. These instruments combined a piano with three ranks of organ pipes and used player piano-type rolls.

seymourcox
seymourcox on May 24, 2009 at 12:56 pm

Look into this fun link to see hundreds of photos of historic Kansas theatres,
View link

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 11, 2012 at 9:24 pm

The Moving Picture World of March 15, 1919, confirms J.D.’s surmise that the Wichita Theatre was designed by Carl Boller. The article says nothing of a Reproduco, or any organ or piano at this time, but says that the Wichita Theatre had a 12-piece orchestra accompanying the movies at both the evening and the matinée performances.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 11, 2012 at 10:18 pm

As can be seen from the photo I just uploaded, the Wichita Theatre was much more Spanish than French in style.

Lyndon
Lyndon on November 26, 2013 at 4:03 am

For more memories of the Wichita, see: “I Used to Drag Douglas”

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on October 3, 2017 at 9:43 am

The “Hot Rod Gang” World Premiere was at the Wichita Theatre in August 1958, photo added via John Stutzer. More about the premiere in the link below.

http://www.kansas.com/cars/article1112410.html

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on October 3, 2017 at 9:47 am

More pics here too.

http://www.carnut.com/ramblin/ddouglas/ddouglas.html

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 27, 2017 at 9:39 am

Unless the original building was demolished and a new theater built on the site, this house opened in 1905 as the Crystal Theatre. This article is from the January 20, 1905, issue of The Wichita Eagle:

“NEW VAUDEVILLE HOUSE

“Crystal Theater to Open on East Douglas Avenue.

“The building at 310 East Douglas avenue is being remodeled for the purpose of a playhouse. The work has been going on at the building for some time, and is rapidly nearing completion. The building will be occupied by the Crystal Theater and will be used entirely for vaudeville purposes. The theater will be owned and operated by the Crystal Theater company, with main offices in Denver and San Francisco.”

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