Aladdin Theatre

1506 Belmont Avenue,
Kansas City, MO 64126

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Aladdin Theatre

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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. The theatre closed in 1959 and was used as a church until around 2014.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 20 comments)

kcfan
kcfan on June 18, 2009 at 10:38 pm

Lost Memory, You’re correct about the 1927 opening for the Aladdin. The Polk’s City Directory lists the theater for the first time in 1928, which would presumably place it’s opening in late 1927 or early 1928. You’re research skills are par exellence!

RobbKCity
RobbKCity on August 3, 2011 at 9:35 pm

The address of the Aladdin Theater changed when they renamed 15th Street as Truman Road.

dhoward
dhoward on July 28, 2012 at 8:51 pm

I attended the Aladdin Theater for every change of the program (3 times a week) when I was about 4 to 7 years of age (1940 to 1943) and almost every weekend thereafter, until I was in high school and college some distance away. I lived at 1302 Fremont about 3 blocks north and east, at that age. The theater was actually at 6038 E. 15th St. in the 1940 tax rolls, its address today. I have been looking for any photos of that wonderful theater in those days (with the marquee and ticket booth) of my youth for many, many years, and have never been able to find anything! Recently photos of every KC neighborhood taken in 1940, for the tax rolls, were made available when the file was given to the Kansas City Library Special Collections, and I asked Jeremy Drouhin of that department and he provided me with a thumbnail photo file of every address on 15th street from White to Belmont, and the photo of the Aladdin Theater WAS MISSING! My bad luck continues. It would not have been a very dramatic photo, but the marquee and ticket booth would have been there!

The shop front to the east (right) was a sweet shop connected to the theater, and the corner shop was a drug store, with the diagonal entrance.

The photos shown here are very good quality of the great old Spanish/Moorish architecture with the venerable tiles, etc! I will continue to search for any photos of that era, and I’ll post the request for any of those here on this site, in the hopes that SOMEDAY, someone might have some early photos that would provide me with a nostalgia trip. And, of course, if I were to find anything, I would love to post the photos here.

If this is too verbose or personal or otherwise too off-topic the moderator may feel free to delete it!

croint
croint on March 27, 2013 at 4:32 am

In the 1960s when this building was owned by Rick West’s family, I was in a rock band called The Satellites. We played here dozens of times in ‘65, ‘66 & '67.

I think it was called Rick West’s Teen Club. On Fridays and Saturdays, they would book two bands. The stage area was divided in half—one band on the left, one on the right. Each band would play for 45-minutes (if I recall correctly). As soon as one session ended, the other band would begin, providing non-stop music for the young patrons.

There was a concession stand near the front entrance, with tables and chairs nearby on the level part of the floor. The floor then slanted downward (where all the seating used to be), then leveled again about 15 or so feet from the stage, providing a nice sized dance area.

Great memories for me. But, also, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the comments here. So much wonderful history. How great it would be if someone could find photos when it was the Aladdin Theatre.

KCB3Player
KCB3Player on September 26, 2014 at 4:08 pm

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.

KCB3Player
KCB3Player on January 16, 2015 at 2:40 am

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.

AladdinRose
AladdinRose on December 23, 2015 at 6:14 pm

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).

pnelson
pnelson on December 24, 2015 at 12:27 am

Tragic if this beautiful building is not saved. Must be one of the nicest buildings in town. Lets see the interior in the past.

KCB3Player
KCB3Player on April 7, 2016 at 4:52 pm

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.

KCB3Player
KCB3Player on April 7, 2016 at 4:53 pm

Whoever Aladdin Rose is – I would appreciate it if you would call me at 816 813-3664 Mike G

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