1506 Belmont Avenue,
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Architects: Carl Boller, Robert O. Boller
Firms: Boller Brothers
This small neighborhood theatre designed by the Boller Brothers opened in 1927 and seated 562. A single floor theatre with a gray paneled front facade and V shaped marquee. It had a small lobby and concession stand, three aisles led into the auditorium. Grill work on the front sides on each side of the stage area housed the pipe chambers of the Kilgen 2 manual 5 ranks organ. The theatre closed in 1959 and was used as a church until around 2014.
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Recent comments (view all 24 comments)
Still looking for pictures of the Aladdin Theater in the early 50s when it was still operating. It was a beautiful theater inside and out. The Pink and Grey Painting in 1955 covered up some real beauty inside. I went there many times when I was young, especially the Summer Saturday Morning 10:00 Movie Series where nearly ever kid in the neighborhood attended. It was nearly capacity at every one of those showings. The Sunday matinee’s were the same – at near capacity from most of the kids in the neighborhood. Previews, Newsreal, a cartoon and usually two movies all for about $.50. Wow, those were the days. It was so beautiful when lit up at night – a lot of neon and dancing lights.
I just heard that the old theater building and the entire just sold – I wonder who bought it and what are they going to do with it. It obviously needs a lot of work but that beautiful streetscape is well worth some work on it. By the way, they theater actually closed in 1959 and NOT 1964.
My family and I were considering purchasing this building from the investor who bought it in 2014, but we were disheartened to discover that, over the summer, a tree collapsed the roof on the back of the East building all the way into the basement. The current owner has not yet done any cleanup or attempted any repairs, leaving the building open to the elements.
We were mentally and financially prepared for the other vandalization and well-intentioned internal build-out, but the caved in roof was a bit of a jaw-dropper.
Sadly, given the current owner’s lack of maintenance, it seems likely that this cinema treasure is headed toward demolition. If anyone has any good resources for groups that might be able to help save the Aladdin, I would be very interested to hear from you!
If you’d like to help Save The Aladdin, you can join us on facebook (http://facebook.com/savethealaddin), check out our website (http://savethealaddin.org) or contribute financially through causevox (http://savethealaddin.causevox.com).
Tragic if this beautiful building is not saved. Must be one of the nicest buildings in town. Lets see the interior in the past.
I see the pic with the damage but cannot place the location. The auditorium’s roof is completely covered with a metal roof and doubt it that was damaged. Maybe this is one of the side buildings. Not sure if the back of the theater where the screen and speakers once were was covered by the metal roof, so it could be that or one of the side buildings. It needs to be repaired by someone. Have all the church furnishings been removed. If not, I would buy the Hammond Organ and Leslie Speaker because I originally sold it to that church to the older church owner. Someone needs to let me know. AS for the the auditorium. All of the drop ceiling and the side wall paneling needs to be removed. There is damage to the ceiling from the old rug cleaning company but that could be repaired – it is a sprayed on insulation between the beams. The lights in the ceiling are pretty cool. The Heating and AC would need to be completely redone and also the plumbing but it could be done as a non profit organization. The Aladdin could be home to many of the fine Hispanic Movies available but would require digital project and sound. It would be a pretty major effort, but I think a lot of donations would come in to do it. The company that did the liter weighted beautiful neon marquee could probably replicate a new Marquee and blade sign at a reasonable price. I know the Eastside is in pretty bad shape but the Mayor as insisted that moneys be allocated to improve the Eastside of KC – so Grants are always available but they must be written up and submitted – Federal, State and Local. It is a treasure well worth saving. It could also be a local live performance venue and movie theater, just put the new screen on a roll about frame to be moved to the back wall and build out the stage floor about 10 feet. A lot of vintage items could be acquired from Wade Williams and the Fine Arts Group. I know they would be excited and helpful.
Whoever Aladdin Rose is – I would appreciate it if you would call me at 816 813-3664 Mike G
For those interested in saving this building, a non-profit has been founded for that purpose. You can donate to the organization at savethealaddin.causevox.com. Thank you for any donations you can share.
On a recent drive by the theater, I see damage from a fire or a roof collapse, on the Belmont Ave. side. From the roof line, down about 3 feet, and all along the length that east wall, there are no bricks, which allows the passerby to stare into a totally gutted interior space. This is the storefront that used to be Tull’s Drugstore, later a café whose name I don’t recall. Mike Gallagher and I have spoken recently about the neglect of this eastside treasure. It now ranks high on Historic Kansas City’s “Most endangered buildings” list. Anyone have news on it’s ownership and any intended steps to prevent further decay?
It is now official, the city has determined that the old theater is not safe and has scheduled demolition. At this point, I just wish the facade could be saved and secured for something new in the future.
The organ was a II/5 Kilgen, opus 3947, which disappeared without a trace long ago.