10th Street Theatre

15 W. 10th Street,
Kansas City, MO 64105

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10th Street Theatre

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The 10th Street Theatre opened around 1910 owned by the Standard Amusement Corp. In June 1916 it suffered a fire, and after refurbishment it reopened in August 1916 renamed Columbia Theatre. It was still operating as the Columbia Theatre in the fall of 1917. It later went back to its original name 10th Street Theatre and was still open in 1925.

Contributed by elmorovivo

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 4, 2018 at 9:24 pm

The Tenth Street Theater suffered a fire in 1916, as noted in this item from The Moving Picture World of June 10:

“Fire at the Tenth Street

“Kansas City, Mo.—Fire which originated from electric wires in the orchestra pit, according to firemen, did extensive damage to the pipe organ of the Tenth Street theater, on Tenth, near Baltimore. Much of the interior wall finishing of the theater was ruined, and a piano, an electric player-piano, the stage and incidentals were burned. The damage was reported at $2,000 to the building and $4,000 to the contents. The building was owned by the Standard Amusement Company of this city, which also operates the Willis Wood Theater.”

The October 7, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World had this item:
“Kansas City, Mo. — The Tenth Street theater, recently taken over by C. G. Bard, has been redecorated and renamed the Columbia.”
The magazine was rather late in making this announcement. It had already noted the opening of the Columbia, and its unusual policy, in its issue of August 26:
“A House That Caters to Women.

“Kansas City.—The new Columbia theater, formerly the Tenth street, has opened as a house catering to women, with ‘The Little Girl Next Door.’ C. G. Bard, manager, did , some excellent work in connection with the picture. For Instance, he secured moving pictures of the red light district of Kansas City In its present state—it has been abolished as a red light district—and these were run for comparison with the scenes of the story. He secured also recommendations of the pictures from prominent social workers, most notable being the statement of Nat Spencer, secretary of the Society for the Suppression of Commercialized Vice, who declared: ‘It is my personal opinion that every man and women should see this great picture.’”

Another item on the same page noted that Mr.Bard had also put up signs on both the Columbia and his other house, The New Rialto Theatre, saying “No children admitted”. Both these policies were soon abandoned, however, at least at the Columbia, as the October 7 issue revealed on another page:
“Kansas City, Mo. — The Columbia theater, the former Tenth street, is having good success, though some of its original plans have changed. The idea of having a moving picture exclusively for women has been abandoned, at least temporarily. This policy, which was confined however, to the afternoon shows, was pursued during the long engagement of ‘The Little Girl Next Door’ and was used effectively for advertising purposes. The price at the theater are 15 cents for adults, and 5 cents for children.”
The Columbia was still operating under that name at least as late as the fall of 1917, when movies it was presenting were reviewed four times in The Independent, a local weekly paper focusing on arts and entertainment. The last mention of the Tenth Street Theater I’ve found is in an item about its former manager which appeared in the January 3, 1926, issue of The Film Daily:
“Kansas City — Sam Goldflam has been appointed manager in charge of sales of Arrow productions, which are to be distributed in this territory through the Independent Film Corp. He was formerly manager of the Tenth Street theater.”
Assuming this was the same Tenth Street Theatre, it must have reverted to its original name sometime after 1917, and must have still been open at least into late 1925.

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