Midland Theatre

1228 Main Street,
Kansas City, MO 64105

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Midland Theatre, Kansas City, MO in 1929 - Auditorium

Viewing: Photo | Street View

This large movie palace was designed by Thomas W. Lamb in 1927. It originally seated over 3,573 patrons and was built for a staggering $4 million — quite an amount for a theater in Kansas City in its day.

Originaly known as Loew’s Midland Theatre, and part of Marcus Loew’s theater empire, the theater briefly became a bowling venue in 1961 when Loew’s left the theater.

In 1966, American Multi-Cinema bought the theater. A company known then for its innovations with smaller, twinned theaters now operated one of the largest movie palaces on earth.

The renamed Midland Theatre was listed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 1977 and stopped showing movies in 1981 when it became a venue for stage shows, concerts, and other peforming arts.

It remains one of the grandest movie palaces ever built in the United States and a testament to the heralded work of Thomas Lamb.

It was closed on May 13, 2006 for a major refurbishment, re-opening on September 9, 2008.

Contributed by Brooks

Recent comments (view all 68 comments)

Tinseltoes on July 19, 2012 at 11:28 am

Get our your handkerchiefs. This 1962 trade article will make you weep:Boxoffice

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 19, 2012 at 3:11 pm

This page needs the AKA’s Saxon Theatre and Studio Theatre, per the Boxoffice article Tinseltoes linked to.

Tinseltoes on July 23, 2012 at 10:12 am

“Original Elegance Restored!” in this 1965 trade article: Boxoffice

Tinseltoes on July 24, 2012 at 7:34 am

The Screening Room, a mini-cinema in the Midland building, described in this 1966 trade article: Boxoffice

Tinseltoes on August 5, 2012 at 9:28 am

“Gala Rededication” described in this 1977 trade article: Boxoffice

Tinseltoes on August 27, 2012 at 7:12 am

This 1938 trade article describes the Byam Theatre, which doesn’t seem to be listed at CT under that or any other name. The Byam was located in Fairmount, a suburb of Kansas City: Boxoffice

Tinseltoes on September 4, 2012 at 7:52 am

Can’t find a CT listing for a Southtown Theatre, described in this 1940 article as a “suburban house” in Kansas City, MO: Boxoffice

Carlj on January 19, 2013 at 8:11 am

The Midland no longer shows any movies. It’s main use today is for smaller concerts. They removed all of the seats from the lower level. I remeber seeing The Empire Strikes Back here back in the day.

Infanma on July 7, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Not sure what it was called, but I remember the VERY small auditorium in what seemed like the basement of the Midland. One of the posted articles mentioned The Screening Room.I’m not sure it was named that, but I saw many movies there, including Midnight Cowboy.

KCB3Player on August 15, 2014 at 4:53 pm

I thought I might add this bit of information. After the Loew’s Midland Theater Closed, it was converter in the Stage are to a Pro Bowling Facility. That lasted for only several months and then folded because the other pro bowling team had their competitions at the old Plaza Bowl. With in two months an owner of major surfact parking lots in Kansas City wanted to get a permit from the City to demolish the Midland Theater leaving only the Midland Tower. What is really insane is that the City was actually going to issue the demolition permit. At the same time, there were plans to demolish the Tower and Esquire Theaters also for surface parking lots – that did not happen because of a contract dispute between the owners of the theaters and Fox Midwest Theaters that had open contracts to use the Buildings and they were still paying taxes even though the theaters were closed. It is very sad to think that the beautiful Midland Theater was very close to being lost forever. Sadly we lost the Tower, Esquire and Orpheum Theaters in 1961 all in beautiful condition.

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