Century 21 Theatre

2801 S. Gladstone,
Springfield, MO 65804

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Located across from the Battlefield Mall. Opened in 1973 and closed in 1997. One of six theatres in or around the mall at one time.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 27 comments)

wurvous
wurvous on June 23, 2007 at 9:45 am

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 2:09 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 12:46 pm

Any photos of this cinema?

cerjda
cerjda on August 28, 2008 at 6:10 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 6:39 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 8:51 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 18, 2010 at 9:27 pm

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 3:23 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.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 7, 2010 at 2:13 am

The street name needs to be changed. Google Maps gets confused by the nonexistent street name Gladstone. It much prefers the actual street name, Glenstone Avenue.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater