1029 Central Avenue,
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The Nobles of the Ararat Temple opened a 3,000 seat auditorium on December 18, 1926.
During World War II, the building was owned by the American Red Cross. The center was stripped of seats and the building used as a blood collection center for the war effort. After World War II, the theatre was used for legitimate shows and was renamed Playhouse and then later the Victoria Theatre.
On March 22, 1959, the Durwood Theatre organization(AMC) reopened it as the 700 seat Capri Theatre, with the movie “South Pacific” in Todd-AO. In 1964, the screen was slashed during corporate-union turmoil; Durwood used non-union projectionists and fired striking stagehands.
The Capri Theatre was large, elegant and showy. The acoustics were perfect and the sightlines great. Arched doors lead into the small but impressive lobby. Above the doors is a colonnade of fluted Corinthian columns and windows. Inside, the décor was a combination of conservative burgundy and cream shades.
The Capri Theatre remained a mainstay in Kansas City movie theatres until closing on August 8, 1971 with “Ryan’s Daughter”. Then, opera and symphony displaced movies, and the theatre was renamed the Lyric Theatre. Opera and symphony moved to the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts when it was completed in 2011, and in 2014 the Lyric Theatre is unused. The auditorium was demolished and only the façade remains.
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