Parkway Twin

8600 Ward Parkway,
Kansas City, MO 64114

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Opened by Durwood Theatres (later known as AMC), the Parkway Twin was listed as the first automated twin cinema. Seating was listed at 450. The AMC Ward Parkway 22 is located on the site of the Parkway Twin. The theatre opened in 1963 and closed in 1978.

Contributed by Chuck

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 7, 2009 at 7:05 pm

Although numerous books repeat the Durwood mantra that this was the first ever twin theatre with a common box office and common concession stand, there were others around the country in existence when this opened. In fact, even the high profile Cinema 1 & 2 in Manhattan had opened the year before.

Scott Neff
Scott Neff on January 7, 2009 at 7:19 pm

Often the distinction people make about the “first” twin theatre was that it was BUILT as a twin theatre. It wasn’t a single that was turned into a twin as I imagine the Cinema 1 & 2 was in Manhattan.

AlAlvarez
AlAlvarez on January 7, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Scott, the Cinema 1 & 2 was purpose built almost a year earlier.

christofermeissner
christofermeissner on March 27, 2009 at 11:24 pm

AlAlvarez: you are right that there were other twin theatres before the Parkway, and that Cinema I-II in Manhattan predated it (and was likely the actual first twin theatre). General Cinema had a few twin theatres opened by mid-1963, with a few more on the drawing boards (or under construction). I think the legend that this was the first twin theatre is something that has been propagated by AMC in its attempt to grab all the credit for “inventing” the multiplex theatre. The more accurate landmark for the Parkway is that is was probably the first twin theatre to be opened that was located inside an enclosed mall—as opposed to being a free-standing building near or attached to a mall or shopping center.

swdailey
swdailey on March 12, 2013 at 9:44 am

What’s funny is that the current mall’s owners, RED Development, boast of this being the first multiplex “with its original two screens (since renovated and expanded to 14 screens)”. Uh, that original twin theater closed in 1978 and the current multiplex didn’t open until 1992 – in a different area of the mall. It’s close to the original location, but there is no connection. Makes for a good PR spin though I guess.

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