Century 21 Theatre

2801 S. Glenstone Avenue,
Springfield, MO 65804

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The Centrury 21 Theatre was located in the Battlefield Mall and opened as a single screen theatre in 1970. It was closed in 1997. One of two theatres to operate in the mall at one time.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 25 comments)

KingBiscuits
KingBiscuits on March 31, 2007 at 5:41 pm

Part 5: 1990 to the end

Films Shown:

6/27/1990 Days Of Thunder
8/24/1990 Pump Up The Volume
9/14/1990 Postcards From The Edge
10/19/1990 Quigley Down Under
12/21/1990 Kindergarten Cop
2/8/1991 The Neverending Story II
3/1/1991 The Doors
4/5/1991 The Marrying Man
5/10/1991 Switch
6/7/1991 Thelma and Louise
6/14/1991 Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves
8/16/1991 The Doctor
10/4/1991 Paradise
12/20/1991 JFK
2/21/1992 Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot!
4/3/1992 Straight Talk
5/29/1992 Sister Act
8/28/1992 Honeymoon In Vegas
10/16/1992 Consenting Adults
11/20/1992 Malcolm X
12/16/1992 Forever Young
1/29/1993 Lorenzo’s Oil
2/19/1993 Unforgiven
2/26/1993 Falling Down
3/26/1993 Born Yesterday
5/7/1993 Rich In Love
5/14/1993 Posse
5/28/1993 Made In America
7/9/1993 In The Line Of Fire
9/17/1993 Manhattan Murder Mystery
10/1/1993 The Joy Luck Club
11/5/1993 RoboCop 3
11/24/1993 Mrs. Doubtfire
3/25/1994 D2: The Mighty Ducks
4/29/1994 With Honors
6/10/1994 Crooklyn
6/17/1994 Four Weddings and A Funeral
6/24/1994 Wyatt Earp
7/20/1994 The Client
10/14/1994 Little Giants
11/11/1994 The Santa Clause
1/13/1995 Nobody’s Fool
3/10/1995 Outbreak
4/21/1995 While You Were Sleeping
6/2/1995 The Bridges Of Madison County
7/28/1995 The Net
8/25/1995 Desperado
9/15/1995 The Prophecy
9/22/1995 Showgirls
9/29/1995 Steal Big, Steal Little
10/13/1995 The Scarlet Letter
11/10/1995 Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls
12/22/1995 Grumpier Old Men
2/9/1996 Broken Arrow
3/29/1996 A Family Thing
4/26/1996 Sunset Park
5/10/1996 Fargo
5/24/1996 Spy Hard
7/3/1996 Phenomenon
8/16/1996 Tin Cup
9/27/1996 Extreme Measures
10/25/1996 The Associate
11/22/1996 Star Trek: First Contact
12/25/1996 Michael
2/14/1997 Hamlet
2/24/1997 final day of business

And that’s the entire history of the Century 21.

KingBiscuits
KingBiscuits on June 12, 2007 at 5:29 am

One additional film:

10/18/1996 Bulletproof (I accidentally forgot this one)

wurvous
wurvous on June 23, 2007 at 12:45 pm

KingBiscuits, thanks for the incredible research on every film that played at the theater I practically grew up in (1970-1984). Along w/the Fox, Gillioz and Tower theaters (and I guess I’ll throw in Petite 3 and the Fremont, too, and all those great drive-ins), I treasure the impact these places had on me as I grew up in Springfield. How did you go about finding all of the info? Scanning newspaper microfiche images? Are you looking to do the same for the other classic theaters in Springfield? I’m actually writing a series of personal essays on the way filmgoing shaped my view of the world and this information is of great help. For many of these movies, I showed up on opening night. At least now I know the exact date. Meaningless as it may be for some, I’m quite happy to have this resource. Thanks again.

KingBiscuits
KingBiscuits on July 22, 2007 at 5:09 am

Yes, I used the invaluable microfilm at the Library Center in Springfield, MO. I’ve also got about the last fifteen to twenty years of the Tower and pretty much every Springfield opening from 1978 to 2001. Plus, my near photographic memory for the last few years comes in handy as well.

KJB2012
KJB2012 on November 2, 2007 at 3:46 pm

Any photos of this cinema?

cerjda
cerjda on August 28, 2008 at 9:10 pm

God! I just found this site and this place is awesome! Particularly I’ve been in half of the theatres in kansas and missouri. To answer Joel’s question above Re: Star Wars at the Century=> At that point and time, Mann tried to get SW, but the deals were too rich and they had bought the film in a number of other locations – they spread the wealth and leveraged the risk (should it not be a big hit). Several other things to note: The C21 not only had a sister in Wichita, but a sister in St Louis (the Cypress Village). All 3 of the theatres were built around the same time by NGC. I still have an original program from the opening of the Century 21. Some of the interesting pieces of trivia is the Yo-Yo marquee that could go up and down to change programs. I say “could” because in the winter IT USUALLY FROZE IN THE UP POSITION!!!!!! Another plush aspect of the theatre was the composite wall panels. People were amazed at it for some reason and there were many places next to the seats where they would pick to see if it was really that nice. I know – I painted a number of those spots as well as the floor one spring. I worked there as well as a number of other theaters in Springfield from 1971 to 1973. I met many fine people at all the theatres and chains in town. After I left exhibition, I went into distribution and sold pictures to a number of the theatres here. If that Joel Weide is the same person that ran theatres in Ks – I probably sold to him when I worked at MGM-UA.

KingBiscuits
KingBiscuits on August 28, 2008 at 9:39 pm

You may notice that the film Showgirls ran in first-run but was pulled after a week. You may think this was due to a mall policy (since many malls won’t run NC-17 films). That is incorrect (they had no such policy and the nearby Battlefield Mall 6 ran such NC-17/X titles such as Cronenberg’s Crash and a late night show of Faces Of Death). In actually, the Dickinson NC-17 policy changed shortly after the film opened and the chain forced all of their theatres to pull the film after the first week. As a result, both Springfield theatres running the film (this one and the Town and Country) pulled it after the first week.

JoelWeide
JoelWeide on August 29, 2008 at 11:51 pm

Yep you’ve got the right person. I was unaware of the sister in St. Louis. I worked at the Mall Cinema, Wichita, Kansas when ‘Star Wars’ first came out. This version seated 805, but only 725 were useable as patrons complained becuase the picture was too big if they had to sit up close, (go figure!) As for the Yo-Yo marquee, the Fox-Garvey in downtown Wichita had a similar single pole sign. The Fox was new NGC construction next to the Holiday Inn high rise, (it is now something else, and the theatre is gone.) The close proximately between the two buildings created a wind tunnel effect and the sign would actually twist around the pole, periodically the sign company would have to be called to twist the thing back.

hhardley
hhardley on July 19, 2010 at 12:27 am

The screen of the old Century 21 Theater is now being used at the Gillioz Theater in downtown Springfield. The Gillioz was closed in 1980 and has been restored and reopened.

jaf
jaf on November 6, 2010 at 6:23 pm

I remember seeing Tom Sawyer at this theater in 1973 at age 9. The screen was huge. It may have been a different movie but I also remember intermission with music and the huge curtains opening and closing. When I’m back visiting family it’s bittersweet to drive by the Tower and Century 21 locations.

Nice to hear the screen is being used at Gillioz. Was lovely to walk around the downtown area and see all the renovation and restoration work. It was also so run down and abandoned looking for so many years.

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