Springfield Little Theatre
311 E. Walnut Street,
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The Landers Theatre opened on September 18, 1890, with a stage production of “Golden Girl”. In 1908 it was operating as the Orpheum Theatre offering Orpheum vaudeville and quality live shows. The front facade is done in brick and terra cotta.
In 1915, movies were added to the vaudeville programme when D.W. Griffith’s “Birth of a Nation” was screened. Equipped for sound in 1927, it was the 35th facility in the world to play talkies, the first talkie movie to play at the theatre was “The Jazz Singer”. It was remodeled by Carl Boller of the Boller Brothers architectural firm of Kansas, Missouri. During the 1940’s, the Lander Theatre was operated by Fox Midwest Amusement Corp. and it operated as a first run movie theatre until the late-1960’s. For a while in 1959 it was also the home for a NBC national TV show titled “Five Star Jubilee”.
The Springfield Little Theatre purchased the Landers Theatre in 1970. Major renovations were done to the theatre in 1985 and 1988.
The Landers Theatre was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1977. The Landers/Orpheum Theatre was done in a Baroque/French Renaissance style. It is one of the oldest theatre operations in the state of Missouri.
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