Midland Theater

414 N. Broadway,
Pittsburg, KS 66762

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The Midland Theater was operating prior to 1941, when it was listed with a seating capacity of 814. It was operated by Paramount Pictures Inc. It was still open in 1950.

Contributed by Billy Smith / Billy Holcomb / Don Lewis

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 24, 2012 at 12:52 am

The Midland Theatre has been demolished. Its site, and that of two adjacent buildings, is now the site of the modern structure housing the Kansas Teachers Credit Union. The historic building that now houses Harry’s Cafe is at 412 N. Broadway, and was next door to the theater.

This web page about Pittsburg’s theaters says that the Midland was torn down in 1973. It also says that there was a theater at this address as early as 1907, originally known as the Wonderland, then the Vaudome, and then the Electric. This web page has information about them, and features a 1908 Sanborn map showing the location of the theater and another on the same block, the Palace.

However, the page also says that the Electric Theatre was torn down about 1919, along with an adjacent grocery store, and replaced with a new theater called the Klock, which later became the Midland. I’m not sure that the Electric was demolished, though. This page from the same web site has several photos of Broadway looking north from Fourth Street, and it looks to me as though the Klock/Midland had the same footprint as the building that housed the Wonderland/Vaudome/Electric. I think it’s possible that the original theater building only underwent a major remodeling when it became the Klock.

The Klock Theatre was set to open soon, according to an item datelined Pittsburg in the September 9, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World:

:“To the person or persons guessing the date or nearest date of the opening of the Klock theater here, a prize of ten dollars will be awarded. This contest is an unusual one. Most theaters on opening offer a prize for the best name suggested. The advertisements in the Pittsburg newspapers say: ‘Look the building over and make your guess.’ The managers, Messrs. Klock and Klock, are uncertain as to the opening date. The contest closed August 19, so it is presumed that the theater will open shortly.”
The history page of the Fox Colonial Theatre’s web site mentions the Klock/Midland Theatre a few times, noting that the 1926 remodeling of the house was designed by Boller Brothers, and that 1926 was the year the Klock was renamed Midland.

The Fox Colonial web page also says that the Art Deco marquee placed on the Fox in 1959, and still in place now, had been moved there from the Midland. The pittsburgksmemories web page says that the Midland closed in 1958.

The best photographic view of the Midland I’ve found is on this page of the book Pittsburg by Randy Roberts and Janette Mauk, and it’s only a partial view. Still, it gives an idea of the somehwat Italian look that Boller Brothers gave the facade in their design for the 1926 remodeling. The marquee that was later moved to the Fox is recognizable.

Will Dunklin
Will Dunklin on February 22, 2014 at 8:25 am

In June 1926, the Rudolph Wurlitzer Company shipped their opus 1356, a Style 109 pipe organ of 2 manuals and 3 ranks plus a piano to the Midland Theatre, Pittsburg Kansas. This is a very small instrument, implying that the Midland was not a big hall.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 22, 2014 at 11:00 am

The Midland was narrow but fairly deep, about 35 x 150 feet. The building was also fairly tall, and probably had a deep balcony.

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