Aladdin Theatre

1506 Belmont Avenue,
Kansas City, MO 64126

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KCB3Player
KCB3Player on September 26, 2014 at 11:08 am

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.

croint
croint on March 27, 2013 at 12:32 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.

dhoward
dhoward on July 28, 2012 at 3:51 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!

RobbKCity
RobbKCity on August 3, 2011 at 4:35 pm

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

kcfan
kcfan on June 18, 2009 at 5:38 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!

irishcine
irishcine on February 25, 2009 at 9:27 am

Thanks, enjoyed the photos. Love to see an early interior view.

claydoh77
claydoh77 on February 25, 2009 at 7:40 am

Those are great. Thanks for sharing. The exterior of this theatre is very beautiful, it would fit right in on the Plaza. I’d love to see pictures from it’s heyday!

kcfan
kcfan on February 24, 2009 at 4:02 pm

Here are a few shots of the Aladdin exterior. Enjoy.

View link

RobbKCity
RobbKCity on October 13, 2007 at 4:31 pm

The alternate address for this theater building is:

6044 Truman Rd
Kansas City, MO 64127

RobbKCity
RobbKCity on October 13, 2007 at 4:30 pm

The Aladdin Theater (Calvary Church) is for sale for $275,000. The facade features colorful, ornamental terra cotta in a Spanish Mission style, and there is potential for retail space in the front of the building with a corner exposure (Truman Road and Belmont).

View link

Very large church facility with big chapel area, with 500+ seating capacity. Kitchen and dining area also on main level, along with smaller meeting/chapel rooms, office, storage, etc. Many upgrades over recent years has this property in great condition. Sold with parking lot west of building MLS#1342792 Keller Williams Eastland, Independence, Missouri, David Bryan, realtor.

kcfan
kcfan on July 24, 2007 at 4:23 pm

Thanks Mike for your great memeoris of the Aladdin in the fifties. Sadly, I didn’t get to enjoy its heyday. I too wish someone had photos from its early days. Too bad the smaller houses didn’t document their openings like the large theaters did. What a great treasure to have passed on to future generations. When the site allows, I will post my photos of the exterior.
Kevin

PianoJamMan48
PianoJamMan48 on March 29, 2007 at 6:35 am

Just a correction for the above – the Neon shaped Aladdin Lamp was in the color green in stead of blue with a light color green for the background. The rest of the marquee wasa dark burgandy, again, the same color as the Oak Park. I could still draw a very accurate picture of the marquee. Also, inside the auditorium – the seats had curved wood backs and the seat was padded and covered in blue leather. Those seats were taken out and placed in another old theater that had been converted into a church in the inner city. That church is still operating and the seats are still there.

PianoJamMan48
PianoJamMan48 on March 28, 2007 at 6:46 pm

The theater actually opened in the mid-30’s and closed in the Fall of 1957 after a showing of the film “Baby Doll”, which caused quite a stir with all the neighborhood churches. I wish someone would come up with a picture of the theater when it was open. I remember it because I grew up in that Eastside neighborhood. It had a very beautiful and well lited rectangle marquee with a sign above with alot of neon and dancing lights reading Aladdin. The marquee was very much like that of the old Oak Park Theater on Prospect. In the center was a blue neon lighted shaped Aladdin’s Lamp surounded by blue neon, with yellow neon smoke. To each side was a long red and two shorter teal/blue neon lights. On each end where the movies were posted, were chasing white lights. I still have some of the lettering. I was there the day that the marquee, signboard and Aladding sign were “ripped” down with once beautiful neon left broken all over the sidewalk. It all went into a trash truck. Someone turned it on the night before and left it lit throughout the night and we all though it was going to reopen. That was always the rumor. The inside had a pretty fresh coat of grey and pink paint from about 1955. However, it did cover a lot of beautiful stinciling on the walls and some paintings surrounding the vents on each side of the stage. The theater had a beautiful deep burgandy stage drape that opened an closed for each movie. There was an old Hammond Organ on the floor to the right side. There was a clock on the wall to the right side of the screen with a blue neon ring.
There was a lot of red and green neon lit glass brick in the back of the theater just before you entered the auditorium. The walls had light fixtures almost exactly like th ones now in the Englewood Theater – rescued from the old Strand Theater on Troost Ave.
The two towers had red lights on at night. There were many yellow bug lights on the underside of the marquee with one red light in the middle. At night, The Aladdin Theater was quite impressive.
There were some live shows between the movies on some Saturday nights in the mid-fifties. You would always see a Newsreal, a Cartoon, Movie Previews, and at least two films. There were many movie adds in the lobby. It was really a gem and one of the nicest Theaters on the Eastside. There were others – The Ritz, The National, The Belmont, The Gladstone, The Benton, The Vista and The Ashland – to name a few. Hope someone can come up an early 50’s picture.
Mike Gallagher
Lee’s Summit, MO

kcfan
kcfan on January 14, 2007 at 3:02 pm

I grew up two blocks from the Aladdin Theater in the working class east-side of Kansas City. The theater is located at Belmont Ave. and Truman Road. In the mid-sixties, the theater was showing “B” movies when Elvis impersonator, Rick West bought the movie house. He featured country and western style shows and of course himself as Elvis. He also featured Elvis films much to my sister’s pleasure. There was an adjoining drug store called Tull’s , which was converted to West’s Cafe. The facade is still intact and is a lovely ornate terra cotta structure. It currently is an evangelical church. I will add a photo soon.

JimRankin
JimRankin on April 29, 2004 at 6:30 am

Tour of Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas Theatres in 2004
From June 26 through July 1, 2004 the Theatre Historical Society of America will tour a number of theatres in Kansas City Missouri and surrounding areas, including theatres in Lamar, Joplin, Richmond, St. Joseph and Springfield, MO, as well as Miami, OK, and these cities in Kansas: Leavenworth, Kansas City, Emporia, El Dorado, Augusta, Wichita, Hutchinson, McPherson, Salina, Concordia, and Topeka. More information is contained on their web site: http://www.HistoricTheatres.org and special photos and information concerning the Kansas City theatres: UPTOWN and the MIDLAND is available on this temporary page of their site at: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~angell/thsa/fromarch.html A glossy brochure about this “Heart of America” Conclave is available from the Society’s headquarters listed on their homepage, via E-mail to the Ex. Director, or via snail mail. Membership in the Society is not required to attend the Conclave and tour the theatres, but fees do apply as detailed on their site. Bring your camera and lots of film, for it is usually difficult or impossible to enter these theatres for photos, and some of them will surely not be with us in the years to come.