Bell Theatre

118 E. 1st Street,
Ellsworth, KS 67439

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Built in August 1887 as a Masonic Lodge. It became the Ellsworth Opera House. The Golden Belt Theatre was opened October 13, 1915 and had a skating rink. In 1929 it was renamed Golden Bell Theatre. Following a renovation, in 1947 it was renamed Bell Theatre.

It became a lounge in 1980 and on October 19, 1983 it was destroyed by a fire.

Contributed by Ken Roe

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dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on October 17, 2018 at 8:48 am

The building housing this theatre dated back to August 3, 1887 as the Masonic Lodge building. It then served as the Ellsworth Opera House. As a film venue, the Golden Belt Theatre and skating rink opened on October 13, 1915. Its original name is for Ellsworth’s place in the wheat belt and associated Golden Belt Railroad line and the Golden Belt auto route that was created in 1910/1 running through Ellsworth.

Late in 1929, Sherman Wiggins converted to Western Electric Sound who likely was convinced by Western Electric’s business ally, Bell Telephone, to change the name of the theatre to the Golden Bell for the sound era. The theatre would get a major refresh in 1947. Under new operators, the venue’s name was shortened to the Bell Theatre closing in 1974. It became a lounge in 1980. Just short of its 100th anniversary, a fire destroyed the building on October 19, 1983, which was being readied for a renovated club space.

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