Electric Theatre

546 Minnesota Avenue,
Kansas City, KS 66101

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This Boller Brothers-designed theater opened in 1922 and was closed and demolished in 1976. The Reardon Civic Center is on the site today.

Contributed by edmond hilton

Recent comments (view all 9 comments)

claydoh77
claydoh77 on September 2, 2004 at 10:30 pm

I think this theatre actually opened in 1922 not 1911. It seated 2200 and was designed in the Spanish Renaissance Style. It was one of 3 theatres in Kansas City, KS designed by the Bollers. The others were the Art Theatre at 18th & Central and the Granada, 5 blocks away at 10th & Minnesota. The Electric was one of the larger theatres designed by the Bollers and was the premier movie theatre in KC, KS prior to the construction of the Granada. The Granada could not compete with the size of the Electric (1200 seats) but its atmospheric interior was a hit compared to the Electric’s “hard-top” style.

If the add photo function comes back soon, I have a postcard showing a nice street view of the Electric from the 50’s.

mlind
mlind on November 10, 2004 at 7:12 pm

I remember the Electric from when I was a kid in the 50’s. It always seemed a little creepy to me. It was probably rundown by then and maybe not playing first run movies. We usually went to the Avenue, Granada, or another one I remember being call the State.

mlind
mlind on July 15, 2007 at 1:24 am

Interior photo View link

An architectural website about the building that currently occupies the site says: “The 3,000 seat Electric Theater, built with a full orchestra pit in 1902 for vaudeville (before silent films) saw its final curtain call followed by a wrecking ball in 1969.” Was the Boller Bros. theater a remodel?

mlind
mlind on September 19, 2008 at 12:54 am

The link below talks about the ‘original’ Electric being torn down and replaced by new theater in the Spanish Renaissance style around 1922.

View link

This article talks about the Electric being built in 1906
View link

So there were two theaters on the same site.

mlind
mlind on October 1, 2008 at 11:43 pm

This link shows a postcard street scene with the Electric marquee visible on the right side.
View link

mlind
mlind on March 18, 2009 at 4:42 pm

On a index of photos in the Wyandotte County Museum is:

1965-32-8 Front of Electric Theatre, 8/10/1921 (neg)

Unfortunately, they don’t have any photos online.

mlind
mlind on March 20, 2009 at 6:42 pm

The Wyandotte County Museum has several old pictures of the Electric. If someone feels the urge, here is the information:

1982-5-598 Electric Theatre, c.1930,razed for urban renewal, 1971
Marquee reads, “William Powell and Big Cast in ‘The
Benson Murder Case’ Screen Song-A Show for the Whole
Family-Sound News”.

1982-5-1446 Electric Theater, 500 block Minnesota. Marquee
advertising George Raft, Miriam Hopkins and Frederick
March in “All of Me”.

5-1-26-a Minn. Ave.– Electric Theatre, Askins, c.1970
5-1-26-b Minn. Ave.– Electric Theatre, Town House Hotel, c.1970
5-1-28-b Minn. Ave.– Electric Theatre, Jay’s Clothing Store c. 1965
5-1-30-b Minn.Ave.– DeGoler’s Drug Store, Electric Theatre,
c.1970

5-1-30-c Minn. Ave.– DeGoler’s Drug Store, Electric Theatre,c 1970
5-1-31-b Minn. Ave. – Electric Theatre, c.1965
5-1-51-a Minn.Ave.– Electric Theater

precisiontile
precisiontile on February 2, 2010 at 9:45 pm

I am looking for any information about a wedding that was held atop of the Electric in 1926. The wedding was for my grandparents (John Thomas Reynolds and Caterina Maria Ellena). The wedding was held on top of the Electric after winning a radio contest and broadcast over the air. All the area merchants donated items for wedding gifts. We are trying to figure what the contest was for and why it was held on top of the Electric. We have a few articles, but not much! Any information is greatly appreciated. Thanks, Thomas Reynolds 620-875-2800

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 31, 2012 at 1:54 am

Here is a circa 1954 photo of the Electric Theatre.

Here are three photos of the Electric Theatre, including two interior shots, from the November 3, 1928, issue of Motion Picture News.

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