Burlington Opry

404 W. Neosho Street,
Burlington, KS 66839

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After closing as a movie house in 1989, the Plaza Theatre later became home to live entertainment, first as the Music Box Theatre, and today as the Burlington Opry. The theater was listed to the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.

Contributed by Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 24, 2009 at 8:19 am

The Plaza Theatre was remodeled and redecorated at a cost of $25,000 in 1940, as described in an illustrated article in Boxoffice Magazine of August 17 that year. The architect for the project was Larry P. Larsen.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 30, 2012 at 4:32 am

The NRHP document lostmemory links to says that the Plaza Theatre replaced another house of the same name that had operated on the site for one year, but doesn’t say what happened to the earlier theater. If you compare the photo of the Music Box in the NRHP document with the 1940 photo of the Plaza in the Boxoffice article Tinseltoes linked to, the basic structure of the marquee is the same.

The Boxoffice article says that the Plaza Theatre was 25x120 feet in size, while the NRHP document says that the current Plaza is approximately 50x110 feet. It looks to me like the owners of the Plaza might have decided that they had underestimated the potential demand when they built the house in 1940, so they expanded the theater in 1942. Of course it’s also possible that some disaster befell the 1940 building, but either way it’s obvious that the 1940 marquee was retained on the 1942 Plaza.

gedecker
gedecker on August 3, 2013 at 12:48 am

There was a significant flood in June, 1941 that damaged several buildings, and the Plaza Theater in Burlington was one of the worst damaged. This is probably why it was remodeled at that time. If you look at the front of the building, you can see the original structure in the middle, and then two “wings” built to each side, with a slightly lower roofline. The marquee is basically the same (it was covered by a plywood sign during its Opry days, but the “PLAZA” lettering is still there, although the neon tubing is in bad shape.

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