Lyceum Theatre

517-519 Delaware Street,
Leavenworth, KS 66043

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The Unique Theatre was opened in 1904. It was renamed People’s Theatre later that year. It was renamed Lyceum Theatre in 1913, when it was bought at a foreclosure sale by C.F. Mensing. He operated the house at least into the early-1920’s. The Lyceum Theatre was still open in the mid-1950’s, when it was being operated by Durwood Theatres.

Further information about the Lyceum Theatre would be appreciated.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on December 28, 2010 at 7:29 am

PLEASE CHANGE ZIP TO:

66043

66048 sends it out in the country 12 miles from Main Street in Leavenworth on the Map.

Owners:

1930-1935 Dubinsky Brothers

1940-1950 Durwood Theaters of Kansas City, Misssouri, Stanley H. Durwood, President, they had over 20 theaters in Kansas and Missouri.

Photos are always welcome.

Roger Katz
Roger Katz on March 8, 2014 at 5:59 pm

517-519 Delaware St.

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on May 28, 2015 at 7:58 am

Beginning as the Unique Theatre on June 12, 1904, the Delaware Street theater was said to be drawing good crowds early on but then failed to make its nut and the vaudeville house closed abruptly on July 20, 1904. Lawsuits ensued. On Sept. 11, 1904, J.H. Dempsey re-opened the theater as People’s Theatre. Starting with vaudeville shows targeting females and children, People’s would largely stay with vaudeville under Maurice J. Cunningham’s direction. With Eddie DeNoyer taking over in 1912, the theater was known as “New People’s Theatre. DeNoyer goes into immediate financial issues with the theater and it goes into foreclosure.

C.F. Mensing Amusement Company of the Air-Dome, took on the People’s Theatre to convert from vaudeville to a heavier mix of moving pictures along with selected vaudeville acts. The company decided to have a name change contest in 1913. To Mr. Mensing’s credit, the vast majority of entries used Mensing’s name either by itself or as a moniker such as Mensing’s Grand. But Mensing rejected all of the and chose Lyceum as the winner. The theatre bowed on September 20, 1913 and a week later had the first Edison talking picture. One of the vaudeville acts to hit the stage there came from the Dubinisky Brothers stock company. The Dubinsky’s would take on the theater along with the Orpheum in 1930 advertising them as the Dubinsky Lyceum and the Dubinsky Orpheum. In 1935, they spent thousands upgrading the Lyceum. The long-running Lutheran Church Service would begin, however, in 1939.

The theater’s final operator was Durwood Theatre Circuit taking over both the Lyceum and the Orpheum. Again, for advertising purposes, the circuit would call the theater Durwood’s Lyceum. It would only open for the cold weather months as Durwood opted to split duties with its Skylark Drive-In which was only opened during the warm weather months. Durwood steered both the Lyceum and the Orpheum to their closures with the Orpheum coming first and the Lyceum second in the 1950s.

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