King Theatre

6115 King Hill Avenue,
St. Joseph, MO 64504

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King Theatre

Opened on May 19, 1934 as the Valley Theatre, closing April 23, 1940. It reopened on July 1, 1940 as the Nickel-O-Dion Grand Theatre and in 1941 it became the Grand Theatre which closed in December 1941.

On August 22, 1942 it reopened as the King Theatre with Tyrone Power in “Jesse James” & Henry Fonda in “The Return of Frank James”. The theatre seated 441 and was operated by Dickinson Theatres out of Mission, KA along with two other theatres in St. Joseph. The King Theatre closed on May 4, 1955 with Maria Montez in “White Savage” & Paul Henreid in “Last of the Buccaneers”. The vacant building was demolished in the late-1960’s.

Contributed by Chris 1982

Recent comments (view all 21 comments)

Chris1982 on October 21, 2014 at 7:07 am

All this makes me wish I never added this theatre.

Tp on October 21, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Joe you could be right but I talked to my dad who went to several movies at the King Theater. He told me it was torn down to complete the East side intersection of King Hill + Alabama, that it use to be a T type intersection and reduce the amount of traffic. If you see the road to the right of Darcis School of Dance that for a long time was the road for people to take to the East until the city made the east side portion of King Hill and Alabama intersection. The King was located to the North and left side right next to Darcis School of Dance.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 21, 2014 at 6:47 pm

The wall on the north side of the building looks like it was once a common wall between two buildings. Part of the top at the back has been taken down, and in Google’s street view photo it looks like some exposed bricks have broken off of it. I think the building the King Theatre was in might have been a bit taller than the building the dance studio is in.

Tp on October 22, 2014 at 11:03 pm

Joe I went to a Facebook site called St Joseph Mo Past, Present and Future asking anyone who remembers anything about the King Theater. So keep checking with site for added responses.

Tp on February 13, 2017 at 5:22 am

joe please go to facebook put in search box king theater go down where it has post by Terry Mcginnis click on comments section make sure you get them all several people tell what happened to king theater and it shows a picture of where it use to be one person said there was a small space between it and darcis school of dance

Tp on February 13, 2017 at 5:24 am

these people remember going to movies at this place

Marmond on February 20, 2017 at 2:24 am

I grew up in St. Joseph and I remember the King Theater quite well. I remember spending many a Saturday afternoon, in the summer, in the coolness of the theater watching double features. The King Theater closed in the mid 50s and was never occupied by any business until it was demolished in the late 60S. The building in the picture is not the King Theater. The building pictured, currently Darcee’s School of Dance was originally Weiner' Department Store. To the south of Darcee’s is the intersection of East Hyde Park and King Hill which was the “main drag” providing access off Mason Road/East Hyde Park Streets to King Hill Avenue until road were made in the late 60s. The grassy area immediately to the left/north of Darcee’s is where the King Theater was located and north of the King was the Brown family home. The King Theater and Weiners’s Department Store/ Darcee’s did not share a common wall. There was a narrow space between the two building that collected a lot of trash and debris. In behind Darcee’s and the King Theater was a large, undeveloped hill which we used to play on. During hard rains mud would was from the hill into the street south of Darcee’s creating a slippery mess and a safety hazard. In the late 60s the highway department removed Weiners Hill, the King Theater and the brown family home to provide a direct access from Mason Road/East Hyde Park Streets to Alabama Street.

Tp on March 2, 2017 at 9:25 pm

First opened up as the Great Plains Grand Theater on Sunday April 7, 1940 newspaper adds ran for 16 days until April 23, 1940 when it closed it remained vacant until it reopened as the King Theater its not for sure how long it remained vacant until opening of the king Theater

Tp on March 7, 2017 at 9:04 pm

First newspaper adds appeared in both the St joe newspress and st joe gazette on August 27, 1942 which would make that the opening day for the king Theater

dallasmovietheaters on June 16, 2019 at 2:51 pm

The south side Valley Theatre operated on King Hill Avenue from the silent era and didn’t covert to sound closing in 1930. The Dubinsky Brothers relaunched a new Valley Theatre across the street at the this former factory location on May 19, 1934. The theater immediately made headlines for running low-cost shows with non-union projectionists. The theatre was then the subject of a monopoly suit in 1940 by the competing Rialto Theatre owners who alleged that the Valley Theatre was merely a loss leader aimed at driving their independent theater out of business.

The theatre was closed. A new independent operator took on the theatre calling it the Nickel-O-Dion Grand Theatre on July 1, 1940. A year later, prices increased to 10 cents and the truncated new name, the Grand Theatre. It closed at the end of July 1941 and reopened under new management on November 15, 1941 closing after just a month of operation. The following August, the theatre relaunched as the King Theatre on August 22, 1942 with the fine double-feature of “Jesse James” and “The Return of Jesse James.”

The King Theatre was closed on May 4, 1953 with a double feature of “White Savage” and “Last of the Buccaneers.” The Dickinson Theatre would only offer the theater building with a “non-compete” clause ending the theater’s operation.

BTW: It was never called the Great Plains Grand Theatre.

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