Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet

1400 Main Street,
Kansas City, MO 64105

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Showing 1 - 25 of 110 comments

imaxman on August 25, 2015 at 6:48 pm

In the fall of 1968 I saw “2001 Space Odyssey” I suppose in the lower Empire 2. Possibly in that same time period I say “Around The World in 80 Days” in the upstairs theater, a reissue? Last film I saw in the upper small theater was “Flap” Anthony Quinn Release Date: November 1970 (USA). That was the last film I saw there as I returned to California.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 8, 2015 at 12:17 pm

Here is a bit of additional information about the period when the Empire was operated by Stan Durwood’s AMC Theatres. It is from the NRHP Registration Form (PDF here) for the Mainstreet Theatre, and the details differ somewhat from the original conversion plans noted in the 1966 Boxoffice article:

“In 1967, Durwood split the Empire into two theaters, by adding steel girders to the front of the balcony and extending a deck from the balcony to the proscenium. This made a large theater upstairs with 1,005 seats. It was first called the Royal, and later the Empire I. The Empire II (first floor) continued as a Cinerama Theatre. In 1980, the upstairs was further split in two with a wall down the middle. Each theater seated about 400. A small lobby under the balcony had been converted earlier to a narrow theatre with a small screen seating about 100. It was called the Academy then later known simply as the Empire 1, 2, 3, and 4.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 8, 2015 at 12:00 pm

The Durwood circuit’s plans to convert the balcony of the Empire Theatre into a separate auditorium were reported in the October 24, 1966, issue of Boxoffice. Durwood had acquired the house from RKO in 1960 and subsequently remodeled and renamed it the Empire. An upstairs lounge had been converted into the 136-seat Academy Theatre prior to the twinning of the original auditorium.

Durwood’s plan was to continue operating the 900-seat ground floor theater as a Cinerama house called the Empire I, while the new, 1,200-seat theater in the former balcony and upper part of the auditorium, which was to extend to the top of the original proscenium, would be operated as a roadshow house called the Empire II.

The $300,000 conversion was designed by architects Hugh Hamlin and Charles Pike of the firm Northern & Hamlin.

BeltwayBrian on March 11, 2014 at 7:25 am

Nothing but love for this theater. It was my first (three consecutive nights) visit to an Alamo Drafthouse and I was not disappointed (Flash Gordon!). Love to know that this old gal has some very cool history. Viva Cinerama!

Carlj on January 19, 2013 at 8:21 am

Our parents took my sister and I here Christmas Day 1979 to see Superman. was a great theater and was glad to see it reopen

WTKFLHN on December 30, 2012 at 4:29 pm

I can remember going to the Missouri and seeing a movie and sitting in the front row by the Orchestra pit to see a “Blackstone, the magician” show around 1950, I think. He made a canary in a small cage disappear and I got to check his coat sleeves to make sure he didn’t have it there.

CSWalczak on November 15, 2012 at 9:31 pm

This theater has reopened as the Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet; the seat counts in some of the theaters has been reduced is some of the screening rooms. View article

CSWalczak on October 1, 2012 at 10:16 pm

The Mainstreet is closing temporarily for conversion to the Alamo Drafthouse format; reopening is estimated to be around November 15, 2012. View article

KingBiscuits on August 22, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Actually, I would say the Drafthouse company taking over is the best thing to happen to this theatre. This is a theatre that should be getting exclusives and indie fare (instead of playing the same movies as everyone else) and this company does just that. Also, you never read a bad thing about the Drafthouse chain and they know everything that is right about filmgoing.

KCB3Player on July 18, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Tinseltoes – I have enjoyed seeing the different changes of the RKO Missouri (Mainstreet Theater). Do you have a ref of the changes that were made to the Liberty to the Roxy theater that also appeared in Box Office. The Roxy was a beautiful little Durwood Theater (actually their 2nd theater in KC)

KCB3Player on June 26, 2012 at 5:53 am

So what – the Marquee Lounge was pretty kool too. I do not remember any lounge called the Chesterfield unless it was the Lounge upstairs in the dome when the theater was called the RKO Missouri. The stairs going up to that lounge are gone. Also the 2nd floor ballroom that was also a dance studio. I worked there in 1965, 66 and early 67 and went thru every inch of that wonderful old theater. The lounge was pretty nice but had a lot of clutter in it just like all the store fronts became a catch all of old theater items like projectors speakers etc. I wish they would have left that 2nd floor ball room – it was beautiful and was one of a few areas of theater not destroyed by years of neglect. I wanted the old Academy and Studio marguee signs but they got thrown into the dumpster when the theater was beeing completely gutted. The old Empire signes with the crown was in there too.

CSWalczak on June 25, 2012 at 9:31 pm

Alamo Drafthouse plans to rename the lounge at the Mainstreet the Chesterfield to recall a piece of Kansas City history: View article

RobbKCity on June 19, 2012 at 3:26 pm

I still feel sad about AMC leaving the Mainstreet because AMC/Durwood Theaters has had a presence in downtown Kansas City for decades. This company was born in Kansas City, Missouri with the purchase of the old Regent Theater downtown. When they move from their headquarters building to Leawood, they won’t have any presence there at all anymore. The Power and Light District was originally Stan Durwood’s (AMC) idea. I wish AMC had ended up with ownership of the Mainstreet after it was restored, and not Cordish. I had hoped at one time that AMC would build a new headquarters building west of the theater.

KCB3Player on June 19, 2012 at 5:21 am

OK maybe a different company but it was the same consept – look at both companies' websites. Again, it was a total bust. Why is it that the AMC Mainstreet sold more tickets for its downstairs 3 screening rooms that the upstairs? I had two bad experiences with the upstairs theaters and it is annoying. Also, with the Alamo operation, the prices will probably spike. I think that AMC was stupid for handing over the Mainstreet Theater. As for the Midland, when is Cordish going to start working on The Midland Tower and start repairing the problems in The Auditorium – cracks and paint chips and other plaster problems and burnt out light buibs?

CSWalczak on June 19, 2012 at 12:15 am

KCB3Player: It was not the Alamo Drafthouse chain that took over the Majestic Theater complex at Zona Rosa; it was a Studio Movie Grill franchise. The Alamo Drafthouse chain has had far more success in its operations than SMG.

KCB3Player on June 18, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I am pretty sure that the Alamo Drafthouse took over the closed Majestic Theater complex at Zona Rosa and added more screening rooms and it was a total flop and closed 7 weeks later. The thinking that everyone wants to watch movies with a lot of stinky food in the air is just wrong. It is not working like some people think it will. I am OK with adult beverages but I do not want to be interrupted during the movie like they presently do in the 3 upstairs theaters. Screening Room 3 down stairs is fantastic and they are going to ruin it. I think I am going to stick with The Fine Arts Theaters, The Tivoli and the Eastland Theaters. Mr. Williams when are you going to actually open the Englewood and keep it open? If not, please sell it to someone that will.

troniks on June 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm

The Alamo Drafthouse announced today that they’re taking over this location:

JoelWeide on June 7, 2012 at 5:52 pm

Following link, thank you!

John Fink
John Fink on June 4, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Hillariously AMC is loosing their “flag ship” – haven’t been to an AMC in a few months, so I wonder if they’ll change their pre-show “magic chairs” ads. Good thing for the Power and Light District is they are getting a far better operator, Alamo Drafthouse is moving in:

RobbKCity on August 3, 2011 at 11:16 pm

It’s true about there being pens for elephants in the basement and a seal pool. I don’t think the tunnel to the President Hotel remains. It has probably been sealed up on both sides, and the City might have removed it during regular infastructure rebuilding. I haven’t heard of anyone who has seen or been in it.

MRagan on March 25, 2011 at 8:54 am

Reading about all the rooms that were under the theatre back in the 1920s and 30s for animals, and the tunnel to the President Hotel, makes me wonder what happened to them. Anybody know?

Don Lewis
Don Lewis on January 13, 2011 at 8:57 am

From 2010, photos of the Mainstreet Theatre in Kansas City MO. [Please click on thumbnails for larger view].

KCB3Player on January 2, 2011 at 3:28 pm

I love the new AMC Mainstreet – wish they would consider building on to it and add maybe another 6 screening rooms with about 150 seats each. The more people the relocate and move back downtown, the more business that the Mainstreet will get. I love the Power & Light District and hope for its success. Once we can secure a major league team at Sprint Center all will come together. Now hoping for the new 1000 room convention hotel to be built a block away from the Mainstreet Theater. I think that downtown KC is really looking up even if the economy is very bad right now.

ladymjw on August 28, 2010 at 9:10 am

I remember my last downtown movie was at the Empire and was Exodus. Glad to see the new Mainstreet is up and running. Hope to have an evening at the new entertainment district with dinner and a movie like we had back in the 1950s and 60s.