Booth Theatre

119 W. Myrtle Street,
Independence, KS 67301

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Booth Theatre  Independence, KS  April 1997

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Booth Theatre in Independence, Kansas opened 1927 as the only theatre in Independence to be designed specifically to show motion pictures. It was owned by Thomas Booth and designed by the Boller Brothers architecture firm. With seating of 1,100, the Booth Theatre opened to a standing room only crowd.

It offered a variety of arts, news, and entertainment as well as its main movie feature. The interior was worth the price of a ticket; and as Mr. Rothafel of Roxy theatre fame once stated, “We sell tickets to the theatre, not the movies”.

The Booth Theatre was in operation until April 20, 1980. A church congregation purchased the theatre and used it for services until 1987. The Booth Theatre Foundation was established in 1991 for the purpose of preserving, restoring and operating the theatre as a performing arts and motion picture playhouse.

As a contributing community member, the theatre will be host to community theatre, recitals, seminars and classic film series. The Booth Theatre was listed on the national register of Historic Places on October 13, 1988.

Reconstruction began in 2007 and is currently underway on the renovation of the first front quarter section of the theatre.

Contributed by jackie haltom

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

kpdennis
kpdennis on April 25, 2009 at 12:21 am

Here’s the Booth in 1997:
View link

DonLewis
DonLewis on December 30, 2010 at 8:29 pm

From 2010 photo of the Indepencence Theatre in Independence. [Please click on thumbnails for larger view].

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 25, 2012 at 7:11 am

A PDF file of the NRHP nomination form for the Booth Theatre can be downloaded from this link. An interesting revelation in the document is that Lee DeCamp was the supervising architect on the Boller Brothers' Booth Theatre project.

DeCamp’s connection with the Bollers apparently went back to at least 1911, when one or both of the Bollers probably supervised the construction of the Empress Theatre in Kansas City that DeCamp designed for the Sullivan & Considine circuit. When Robert Boller went to Los Angeles later that year, it was to work on projects for Sullivan & Considine. It’s possible that Boller and DeCamp were associated on some other projects over the next few years, until the Sullivan & Considine circuit collapsed, and Robert Boller returned to Kansas City by 1915.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 25, 2012 at 7:20 am

In 1939, the Booth Theatre became part of the Griffith-Dickinson theater chain. The company was in the process of remodeling and renovating many of its theaters, with plans for all the projects being done by the Dallas architectural firm Corgan & Moore. According to the August 19, 1939, issue of Boxoffice, the Booth Theatre was one of the former Dickinson houses that the newly combined circuit was updating.

The new marquee added as part of the project, seen at top right on this page of Boxoffice, appears to be the one still on the building.

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