Paramount Theatre

1114 Main Street,
Kansas City, MO 64105

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Paramount Theatre exterior

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located in downtown Kansas City, this theater was formerly known as the Newman Theatre when it opened in June 1919. It originally had an Austin pipe organ and later in 1925 this was replaced by a Wurlitzer style 260. A 3 Manual 15 Rank organ with real 32ft Diaphones. The organ is currently in a private home in Zanesville, Ohio.

In the 1940’s it was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. and was re-named Paramount Theatre after 1945. From 1969, it was briefly known as the Towne Theatre after it had been converted into a 4-screen cinema.

It was torn down in 1972.

Contributed by William Hamilton, Robert Maes

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

PaulLD1
PaulLD1 on February 21, 2009 at 10:26 am

The Newman Theatre witnessed the world premiere in 1920 of cartoons drawn by young starving artist named…..Walt Disney. The then 18/19-year old Disney drew advertising cartoons for that theatre’s “Newman’s Laugh-O-Grams”.

seymourcox
seymourcox on September 15, 2009 at 3:27 pm

Vintage shot from the J.K. Redmond archives -
View link

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 30, 2010 at 8:41 pm

Here is a Boxoffice ad featuring the Paramount in June 1952. I have never heard of this film.
http://tinyurl.com/ycu9zml

DonLewis
DonLewis on November 28, 2010 at 12:53 am

From the 1920s a postcard view of $2,000,000.00 Newman Theatre in Kansas City.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on February 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm

Thanks for posting the photo Don.

KCB3Player
KCB3Player on June 10, 2013 at 4:56 pm

I worked at the Paramount in 1965 abd early 66. The wonderful secrets that builting had especially behind the screen on the old stage. It was a large performing arts stage and much of the organ pipes and effects were still there. No one knew that the organ was downstairs on a lift until the theater was demolished. There was a grand piano, drums and a harp behind the screen sitting to the side of the stage. Also, we went into the ceiling where you could see the equipment to lower the beautiful lights for cleaning. A very young Thomas Hart Benton painted most of the murals that were pricesly and simply demolished. No one cared, not even the so called Landmarks Commission. Stan Durwood knew about them when he had it converted to the Towne IV and was careful to not destroy them but cover them up. I doubt that he woudl see that theater demolish 4.5 years later for one of the uglist buildings in downtown KC. The Roxy went too and could have been a wonderful playhouse incorporated into the City Center Project. No vision aat that time.

WTKFLHN
WTKFLHN on July 16, 2014 at 5:19 pm

I recently was watching a deluxe DVD of the film “Funny Face” from about 1956. The secondary DVD goes into a elaborate description of the VistaVision film process. I worked at the Plaza theater, among others, and never realized what that process entailed. I found out it requires a special projection system and a VERY large screen, which most theater owners balked at buying because of the cost. I just wondered if anyone knows if the Paramount theater had one. Anyone know?
Thanks.

Don H

WTKFLHN
WTKFLHN on August 22, 2014 at 4:40 pm

I can remember as a child, being downtown with mom, standing on the east side of Main street, watching them take down the Newman Theatre sign, and starting to put up the Paramount sign.

Don H.

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