Roxy Theater

126 E. 4th Street,
Carthage, MO 64836

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Roxy Theater...Carthage Missouri

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Ritz Theater was possibly previous name. Small one screen theater, destroyed in fire. Was open through 1964.

Contributed by Jack Moran

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

imaxman on November 20, 2011 at 1:29 pm

The last time I went to this theater was 1963. When I came back in 1972 it was gone, I think destroyed by fire, Google street view shows the empty space where the theater was. Film’s I saw in this movie house were “The Shaggy Dog”, “Flubber”, “Island of Dr. Moreau” and some other Jerry Lewis films. These are some of the shows I can remember, If I remember correctly the Fox off the town square from the north side had already been converted to the Star Lanes bowling alley. This was about a year before I ventured into a projection booth and began my lifelong job as a film projectionist, ending with 30 years with IMAX. I hope to return to Carthage library someday and look-up newspaper articles to update this thread.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 21, 2011 at 2:42 am

In 1913 there was a movie theater called the Delphus located in this block of 4th Street. The August 2nd issue of The Moving Picture World said that a new airdome had been built at the rear of the Delphus Theatre in Carthage, and would be known as the Delphus Hippodrome. The operators of the theaters were J.P. Williams and Joseph Logan.

The Arcadia Publishing company’s book “Carthage, Missouri,” by Michele Newton Hansford, has a ca.1914 photo of the south side of the square in Carthage (Google Books preview,) and the caption says that the Delphus Theatre was located in the three-story Cassaday Building, about in the middle of the block. Goggle Street View shows that the building is no longer there. Is it possible that the Delphus Theatre was the house that eventually became the Roxy?

If the Roxy was not in the same building as the Delphus of 1913, it’s possible that it was the unnamed theater mentioned in the April 27, 1921, issue of The American Architect, which said that F.B. Logan was taking bids for construction of a two-story, 80x100-foot brick theater building on East 4th Street in Carthage. The project had been designed by a Kansas City architect named A.C. Wiser.

As both the Delphus and the 1921 theater project were connected with someone named Logan, it might be that the 1921 project was a replacement for the Delphus, which appears to have been located in a building dating from the 1870s or 1880s, judging from the photo in Hansford’s book.

The only problem I can see with the original Delphus or the 1921 project, assuming it was built, having become the Roxy is the difference in size. The 1922 edition of Julius Cahn’s guide listed the Delphus as a 1000-seat house, and the 1921 project was certainly a large building, so the 300 seats attributed to the Roxy here would be quite a way off.

imaxman on November 21, 2011 at 3:02 am

Hello Joe Thanks for your input, Somehow I seem to think it is the Roxy, at least during the 60’s when I went there, it was almost a long narrow almost shoe box one entrance to the auditorium, can’t remember if a single isle down the middle or seats in the middle. but it was definitely a small 200-300 seat theater. use to get in free with a potato chip sack on some promotions. I just retired and now are researching my old childhood theaters. Have been using IMDB to try to verify some dates. more later.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 21, 2011 at 3:20 am

I should add that the name Delphus Theatre was in use in Carthage at least as late as 1946, when it was mentioned in an issue of The Billboard.

imaxman on November 21, 2011 at 3:39 am

Hi Joe I’m looking at google street view. and the book review simultaneously attempting to get an idea, the Hollbrook drugstore later bookstore was on south corner, I used to hangout there and a jewelry store was on the other end of the block. book review the Electric ? theater shown on the west side may be the Roxy, I’m checking to see if they may have the west mixed for the south. I’ll be searching the net. We rented a house from Murry Dunkin drug store, I was there in the 4th thru 7th grade and moved after the Kennedy assassination.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 21, 2011 at 4:23 am

I’m sure the photos of 4th Street in Hansford’s book are correctly captioned. The building that, in the 1914 photo, has “MILNES FRIEND GRO.CO” painted on the side of it is still there. It has a very distinctive parapet that can still be picked out in the Google view. The two-storey building just beyond it is still there, too, occupied by a business called Front Page.

The building the Delphus Theatre was in had to have been on the site of the one-storey building that now has a loan company and the Abbey Title Company in it. The Delphus was definitely on 4th Street, and is definitely gone. If the Roxy was actually on Main Street, then the Delphus Theatre is definitely not yet listed at Cinema Treasures.

The Theatre on Main Street that Hansford’s book calls the Electric (with a question mark) might have actually been called the Elite. There was a house of that name in Carthage, according to the book “Victorian America: Transformations in Everyday Life, 1876-1915,” by Thomas J. Schlereth (Google preview.)

imaxman on November 21, 2011 at 11:28 am

Morning Joe, Thanks for your input and eagle eye, I know my memory has faded some. Upon retiring this must be a normal obsession, trying to relive the past. Surprisingly I can remember where I viewed certain movies, and so I use IMDB to check the dates. I’m in California, and cannot go to library’s to look up info. A web page mentioned that the Carthage library had the local newspaper from 1888 to present on microfilm. Someday I’ll get there. I was amazed to discover last night that Google has published many U.S. newspapers including Nevada, Mo.

Also in Carthage there was the Sunset Drive in, not yet listed here.

I’m thinking the Roxy was lost between 1963-68, when I returned as a seasoned projectionist and wanted to see the Roxy “soooo bad”. But it was gone. Fall 68 is when I returned to Nevada, MO. for four months and worked the Fox. In 1979 I returned to California and have been here since then, only with occasional visits to Carthage.

All the people on this web site are wonderful I can spend hours reading history. Especially thanks to the Web Host for providing this cinema web site.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 23, 2011 at 8:54 am

Memory can be tricky. For years, I had a vivid memory of a particular theater in Los Angeles that turned out never to have existed. After discovering that my memory was false, I’ve realized that I’d rather forget the details of something real than remember something that never was real.

I’ve been searching the Internet for more information about theaters in Carthage, but have found very little. I found a reference to a Royal Theatre in Carthage in 1924, but no details about it.

The Delphus Theatre had a near neighbor, the Burlingame and Chaffee Opera House, spotlighted in this Carthage Press post, but that house closed in the 1890s and probably never ran movies.

The same post mentions a Grand Opera House, which opened in the 1890s at 4th and Lincoln. The Google Street View of that intersection doesn’t show anything resembling a theater standing there today. I’ve found references to it being in operation as late as 1908, so it’s possible that it lasted long enough to become a movie house for a while.

Given the slim pickings on the Internet, more information about the theaters in Carthage will probably have to wait until somebody with access to local sources turns up here. We’re always glad to have more contributors adding to the database.

jsheehy454 on December 20, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I have an ancestor that had a stroke and died in Carthage on October 10, 1914. On his death certificate it states that he died in the Hippodrome Theatre, 4th and Lincoln St., Carthage, MO.

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