Fairlawn Cinema

5331 SW 22nd Place,
Topeka, KS 66614

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

The Jerry Lewis Twin Cinema opened on Wednesday May 31, 1972.

It was located at the west end of the Fairlawn Plaza Shopping Center. The original strip mall had opened in 1960, and in 1970 an enclosed mall just south of the center was constructed. A Woolco Discount store occupied the east end, and the Jerry Lewis Twin Cinema was the anchor on the west end.

The theaters were identical in size, each auditorium featuring 300 seats. Theater 1 had a red color scheme, with red curtains and red seats. Theater 2 had dark blue curtains and dark blue seats. The seats were centered to a large screen, with an aisle on each side.

A double-feature on each screen marked the opening. Theater 1 opened with “Black Beauty” and “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory”. Theater 2 featured “CC & Company” and “Soldier Blue”.

The Jerry Lewis chain did not have a history of success, and the theater closed less than a year later, on Tuesday April 10, 1973. The final features were “The Emigrants”, and “The Train Robbers”. The theater reopened the next day, Wednesday April 11, 1973 under the management of Dickinson Theaters, and was renamed Fairlawn Cinemas. The same two movies continued playing under the new ownership.

The theater had a successful run under the Dickinson chain in the 1970’s, featuring such hits as “Animal House”, “American Graffiti”, and “Raiders of the Lost Ark”. Business tapered off in the 1980’s when Dickinson’s Fox White Lakes added two screens, and General Cinemas Boulevard Twin became a triplex.

When Crown Cinema Corp announced they would be opening a six-plex in the new West Ridge Mall, less than two miles from the Fairlawn Cinemas, the writing was on the wall.

The new West Ridge theater opened on March 2, 1988, and the Fairlawn Cinemas would close less than three weeks later on Sunday March 20, 1988. The final features were “Moving”, and “A Night in the Life of Jimmy Reardon”.

The former theater space is currently occupied by the Lazy Toad Restaurant, Sports Bar and Lounge.

Contributed by Benjamin Zinn
You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater