Clark Theatre

Shelbina, MO 63468

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Clark Theatre

The New Janus Theatre was opened by 1916. It was later renamed Grand Theatre. In 1937 it was renamed Clark Theatre and operated until at least the late-1960’s.

Contributed by Lost Memory

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

ripvanwnkl on January 31, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Some of my fondest childhood memories included Saturday matinees at the Clark theater in Shelbina. I lived there from 1948 to 1952 (age 4 to 8). My grandfather was Rev. J. L. Shoemaker, minister of the Shelbina Christian Church.
I still have a photo of me at the Clark with Smiley Burnett, Gene Autry’s sidekick. During those days, it was common for “B” western movie stars to make personal appearances at small town theaters to the great delight of their young fans.

Dave Van Winkle
Springboro, Ohio

jroads on October 26, 2010 at 2:47 am

My grandmother ran Clark theater for a number of years, and then my father took over until it went the way of many other small town theaters and closed up shop. I can tell you it was open well past 1951 since I was born in 1963 and went to many movies there in my childhood. I’m guessing it closed around 1970, though I’m not sure of the exact year.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 26, 2010 at 3:21 pm

John, a pity someone.or the town couldn’t keep the marquee going.It must hurt to see it like I did in the 1985 picture.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on October 27, 2010 at 4:04 am

It is probably a parking lot,Chuck 1231.

Chris1982 on October 16, 2014 at 10:27 pm

The Clark Theatre goes back to at least the mid-1920’s when it was known as the New Janus Theatre followed by the Grand Theatre. By 1937 it was known as the Clark Theatre.

jroads on October 17, 2014 at 4:46 pm

Mike, it’s not a parking lot, but it was torn down and another city building now sites on the lot.

Chris, thanks for the extra info. I never knew the past history.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 17, 2014 at 6:22 pm

The New Janus Theatre was mentioned in the June 10, 1922, issue of The Billboard, which said that Ray Huggins had purchased the interests of his partner, N. C. Parsons, becoming sole owner of the house.

An interesting story about the New Janus Theatre is told in the obituary of Ethel Pauline Spalding, a centenarian who died in December, 2012. When she was fourteen, her parents, J. C. and Anna Delonay, owned the New Janus Theatre, but lived in Monroe City where they operated the Joy Theatre. They would frequently send her on the train to Shelbina where she would open the New Janus, sell the tickets, close the house after the show, and return to Monroe City on the train with the day’s receipts. This must have been around 1926. It was quite a different world then, I guess.

DavidZornig on November 13, 2015 at 8:12 pm

1966 print ad, 1944 & 1957 photos added.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 13, 2015 at 9:50 pm

The New Janus Theatre was in operation at least as early as 1916, when the June 17 issue of the Macon Daily Chronicle-Herald of Macon, Missouri, reported that the theater’s projection machine had been stolen the previous Thursday night. A few nights later the thief returned and stole the replacement machine that theater operators Jones and Spaulding had rented. This time he was apprehended, according to the June 22 issue of the La Plata Home Press. Howard Davison was arrested with the head of the second machine in his luggage as he awaited a train to Kansas City, where he had sold the first machine for $47.

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