Glenwood Theatre

9100 Metcalf Avenue,
Overland Park, KS 66212

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Glenwood Theatre

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After five years of planning and the expenditure of more than $500,000, the Glenwood Theatre in Overland Park, KS opened to the public on November 23, 1966.

Hailed as ‘Kansas City’s Luxury Theater’, it maintained that stature for over 33 years.

Outside, a large fountain stood amongst beautifully landscaped grounds. Inside, the Grand Promenade exhibited statues, a fireplace, and most noticeably, a 15 feet wide by 15 feet tall imported Italian crystal chandelier.

Hostesses escorted movie patrons into the 816 seat auditorium, which boasted high back red rocker lounge chairs and a fully carpeted floor.

As a movie would begin, 40 foot tall curtains would slowly retract to reveal a 70 feet wide by 35 feet tall curved screen. The Glenwood Theatre was capable of showing 16mm, 35mm, and 70mm film formats.

As the movie exhibition industry became more competitive, a second smaller screen was added to the side of the main auditorium.

The Glenwood Theatre quickly became the most popular theatres in the Kansas City area, setting the world record for ‘Star Wars’ after making $1 million the first year of its release.

In 1983, two more smaller screens were added, but the original auditorium continued to be the popular draw.

With the introduction of a nearby megaplex in the 1990’s, ticket sales at the Glenwood Theatre declined.

Unable to compete, the theater closed in May 2000.

Sadly, amid much protest, the Glenwood Theatre was razed and replaced by a strip mall, signaling the end of a magical cinematic era.

Contributed by Keith LeBrun

Recent comments (view all 52 comments)

andysummers on July 28, 2010 at 5:44 am

I’m wondering about the stolen “Return of the Jedi” 70mm prin. Is this still an ongoing investigation?

Now was the pyrite version of “Return of the Jedi” scored from the stolen 70mm print or 35mm?

The only way to tell is to look at any still existing VHS/Beta tape and look for que dots.

(Circularly) for 70mm
(Oval shaped) for 35mm prints

Que dots appear around every 15 to 20 minutes depending on each reel length.

Also any privately brought new/second hand 70mm projects in the past 10 years leading up to the theft at gunpoint in 1983, or any stolen 70mm projectors for this persons needs to make dodgy pyrite copies.

Chances are the print today would be so far, gone faded colour magnetic stripe would be fragile if not flaked away by now, due to poor storage.

Was there also a similar case in the UK of stolen “Return of the Jedi” print as I remember reading on huge poster at video library around 1983, and the theft in the US wouldn’t concern the UK.

So was the simultaneous coordinated theft by two parties working on different sides?

I’m, sure the FBI would like to catch these people? Maybe they are STAR WARS nuts or just pair of serious pyrites that wouldn’t care about shooting someone.

KingBiscuits on July 28, 2010 at 10:42 am

The thief was caught the next morning and the print was returned to the theatre.

Cobalt on March 4, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Anyone remember if PATTON played here in original run?

dalemonaghen on June 21, 2011 at 3:58 am

The Glenwood was demolished but the marquee was saved and moved a short distance to just east of 95th and Metcalf Ave. It is being used for the new Glenwood Arts Theatre located inside Metcalf South Shopping Center.

kdrake1007 on February 28, 2014 at 11:25 pm

I worked at Glenwood Theater from February 1977 to October 1977. I started in the concession stand and moved to ticket sales sometime after the Star Wars opening. I remember Star Wars there fondly. We had a Kansas City premier for the movie the night before it opened nationwide. Several employees dressed as characters from the movie, an usher as Chewbacca and the head cashier as Princess Leia. I dressed in a formal and handed out roses to all of the ladies attending. Smitty was the projectionist at the time and we all swore he lived in the projection booth – he had a bed and bathroom there and we rarely saw him leave. Every night after the last show had started, we would total the ticket receipts and then call in our total sales to each distributor. The lobby design was not meant for sell-out shows. As the crowds would build, the lobby would fill and completely surround the concession stand and ticket booth, both round, and once you had served everyone closest to you, there wasn’t much to do until they started seating for that show. The manager was named Pat, don’t recall his last name, and the assistant manager had been an owner or manager for one of the drive-ins, Shawnee Drive-In perhaps. Great memories! Loved that theater and was very sad to see it go!

Logan5 on September 24, 2014 at 6:39 pm

“The Rocketeer” was presented at the Glenwood in 70mm 6-Track THX Dolby Stereo SR beginning on Friday June 21, 1991 (the film’s nationwide release date).

KCB3Player on December 28, 2014 at 3:06 am

Patton had an exclusive run at the Empire Theater and it was probably the last 70 mm film there with the curved very large Cinerama screen.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 28, 2014 at 3:31 am

Here are fresh links to the March 20, 1967, Boxoffice article about the Glenwood Theatre:

Page one

page two

JS on January 12, 2015 at 2:51 am

Went to Planet of the Apes as an 8 year old in 1968. It was the first time I was in a true theater and I remember being impressed. Previously my family only took us kids to drive-ins.

rivest266 on July 30, 2015 at 9:13 pm

February 5th, 1969 grand opening ad for the Glenwood II in photo section

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