Landers Theatre

311 E. Walnut Street,
Springfield, MO 65806

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Cimarron
Cimarron on April 16, 2013 at 5:56 am

Theater ran all night movies on Saturday in early 60’s. Spent most of a night there while on week end pass from Fort Leonard Wood along with buddies…It was a cheap way for GI’s to bar hop and crash over night, hop on a bus Sunday and return to post. I recall it as being a really neat and somewhat ornate theater..Good times in Springfield!

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm

This web page from the Springfield-Greene County Library, says that the Landers Theatre opened on September 18, 1909 (our introduction currently says 1890 for some reason.)

The Landers Theatre suffered a major fire on December 17, 1920, and was not reopened until 1922. David and Noelle’s list of known Boller Brothers theaters lists the Landers Theatre as both a 1909 and 1921 project, so Robert Boller, who took over the Kansas City office when Carl moved to California around 1920, should also be credited as architect, as he probably did the plans for the rebuilding.

The official web site says that during the period when the theater was part of the Orpheum circuit, it was called the Landers Orpheum Theatre. The Landers Orpheum sign on the stage house has been restored, and can be seen here. The house was apparently never called just the Orpheum Theatre.

Although the official web site’s main page is captioned Springfield Little Theatre, the site uses the name Landers Theatre throughout, including in the company’s mission statement which says:

“Springfield Little Theatre is a volunteer driven organization, energized by the highest artistic ideals, that strives to entertain, educate and involve the community in live productions and in the preservation of the historic Landers Theatre.”
It appears that they still call the theater itself by its original name, while Springfield Little Theatre is only the name of the organization.

seymourcox
seymourcox on September 15, 2009 at 7:31 pm

Nice period photos of Landers can be seen here –

View link

ERD
ERD on January 31, 2009 at 3:55 pm

Attractive facade which still maintains its original appearance. I hope someone can post a photo of the auditorium.

JimS1
JimS1 on January 31, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Forgot to add— in the 50’s and early 60’s ( before it became the 400) the Landers was simply known as the Landers and was a second run theatre.

JimS1
JimS1 on January 31, 2009 at 1:33 pm

For Michael Coate-
Yes, the Springfield Little Theatre was called the Landers 400 when it was a movie theatre. The reason for the name— the downstairs orchestra section had 400 seats. The two balconies were closed off during the “400 years” Later, when Springfield Little Theatre bought the building to house their stage productions, the balconies were reopened after the building had been refurbished. Sorry, this reply is two years late but I just discovered this site!

hhardley
hhardley on September 21, 2008 at 5:45 pm

The Landers Theatre was the home to the NBC color television series “Five Star Jubilee” during the summer of 1961, not 1959

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 18, 2008 at 5:41 pm

Here is a postcard, circa 1910, from the Missouri State Library:
http://tinyurl.com/2t846a

Coate
Coate on September 18, 2006 at 1:30 am

Is this the same theatre as the LANDERS 400?

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on May 22, 2006 at 11:32 pm

Here is a photo and some additional information for the Landers:
http://tinyurl.com/pjt5o

moviejs
moviejs on November 7, 2004 at 3:19 am

I attended the Landers several times during the 50s when it was a first-run double-feature house specializing in action-adventure, western and monster movies. I saw one of my all-time favorites (“Forbidden Planet”) there, and late in 1959 attended a live nation-wide broadcast of the “Ozark Jubilee” tv show, which starred Red Foley. A wonderful old theatre, still in active use as a playhouse, located in the heart of downtown Springfield.