Maywood Theatre

Main Street at 7th Street,
Galena, KS 66739

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Sapp’s Theatre dates back to the 19th Century in downtown Galena. Converted to full-time movie operation, the venue became the Electric Theatre. It was converted to sound and became the Plaza Theatre. Under Dickinson Circuit operation, it was changed to the Maywood Theatre in 1932. On August 17, 1946 it was partially destroyed by a tornado but rebuilt and continued operation until at least to 1957.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 16, 2018 at 7:47 pm

This PDF from the Kansas Historic Route 66 Planning Committee, dated 2011, says that Sapp’s Opera House and the Maywood Theatre were two different buildings. The 900-seat Opera House was upstairs in a three-story brick building at the southeast corner of Seventh and Main Street, and opened on November 2, 1890. It was destroyed by a fire on March 8, 1931. The PDF has a photo of it.

The PDF says that the “Old Maywood Theatre” was at 320 Main Street, and describes it this way:

“This two story building has a parapet front wall with a gently curved shape and concrete coping. The top and sides of the façade wall are covered with stucco, although the first story and second stories also have areas of clapboard siding. A series of vertical and diamond shaped elements decorate the stucco wall above the second story windows. A variety of double-hung and fixed windows have been installed at both levels. A flat metal canopy above the first story is anchored to the building wall by a series of cables. Centered on a block of early 20th century commercial businesses, this building is part of the continuous street wall lining the west side of the block. A concrete sidewalk with a very shallow curb runs in front of the buildings. A variety of changes have been made to this building including replacing windows and siding in the first and second stories. This building appears on the 1918 Sanborn Insurance Map as a Motion Picture and Vaudeville theater. A stage occupied the west end of the space, while a second story viewing gallery was located at the east end. By 1930 it functioned strictly as a movie theater, but was listed as Purkett’s Laundry & Master Cleaners in the 1944 directory. Estimated date of construction pre-1918.”
Although the document is dated 2011, I think the text must have been written long before. There is no building at 320 Main Street today, although there is one at 302 Main Street that somewhat resembles the theater as described in the article. Also, looking at historic aerials it has been decades since the west side of this block had a “continuous street wall” of buildings. There is also an issue with the 1944 directory listing of the theater’s location as a laundry, as the Maywood Theatre Company advertised in the local high school yearbooks in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Perhaps the theater moved to another location, or maybe just shared the original location with the laundry?

The 1914-1915 edition of The American Motion Picture Directory listed three theaters at Galena: the Globe, the Midway, and the Pearl, which was the only one given an address, that being 705 S. Main Street. It’s possible that Pearl was an aka for Sapp’s Opera House.

The October 7, 1916, issue of The Moving Picture World had this item that could have been about the Maywood Theatre:

“Galena, Kans. — The finishing touches are being put on the new moving picture theater for L. H. Moore. It will have seating capacity of 800. A Wurlitzer pipe organ will also be installed.”
The 1920-1921 edition of Wid’s Year Book lists only the Palace Theatre, operated by N. W. Houston, at Galena. Perhaps an aka for the Maywood?

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