Century 21 Theatre

2801 S. Gladstone,
Springfield, MO 65804

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Showing 1 - 25 of 28 comments

Tinseltoes on July 29, 2012 at 8:38 am

Described in this 1970 trade article: Boxoffice

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

KJB2012 on November 2, 2007 at 12:46 pm

Any photos of this cinema?

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.

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 on June 12, 2007 at 2:29 am

One additional film:

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

KingBiscuits on March 31, 2007 at 2:41 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 on September 2, 2006 at 4:59 pm

Yes, you were talking about the Tower, in which that list is coming soon. Something Wicked That Way Comes would moveover to the Battlefield Mall 6 though.

Part 4:June 1985 to May 1990
6/7/1985 The Goonies
7/26/1985 National Lampoon’s European Vacation
8/30/1985 Compromising Positions
9/27/1985 Agnes Of God
11/8/1985 Target
12/6/1985 Spies Like Us
1/31/1986 Down and Out In Beverly Hills
3/14/1986 Hannah and Her Sister
4/11/1986 Just Between Friends
5/9/1986 Down and Out In Beverly Hills
5/23/1986 Cobra
6/27/1986 Labyrinth
7/18/1986 Aliens in 70mm
9/26/1986 The Boy Who Could Fly
10/17/1986 The Color Of Money
12/19/1986 The Mosquito Coast
1/16/1987 The Mission
2/6/1987 Platoon
4/17/1987 Project X
5/8/1987 Gardens Of Stone
6/12/1987 The Witches Of Eastwick
8/5/1987 Stakeout
10/9/1987 The Princess Bride
11/20/1987 Nuts
1/15/1988 Good Morning, Vietnam
4/15/1988 Stand and Deliver
4/29/1988 The Milagro Beanfield War
6/10/1988 Big Business
6/22/1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
10/7/1988 Punchline
11/23/1988 Cocoon:The Return
12/9/1988 Cocoon:The Return in 70mm (how such a dull movie was put into 70mm I’ll never know)
1/13/1989 Mississippi Burning
2/17/1989 True Believer
3/3/1989 Her Alibi
3/10/1989 New York Stories
3/17/1989 Fletch Lives
4/14/1989 She’s Out Of Control
4/28/1989 Loverboy
5/12/1989 Winter People
5/24/1989 Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade in 70mm
8/9/1989 The Abyss
10/6/1989 An Innocent Man
11/3/1989 Battlefield Mall 6 become a Wehrenberg theatre
12/1/1989 Steel Magnolias
3/9/1990 Joe Versus The Volcano
5/18/1990 Cadillac Man

dabutcher on September 1, 2006 at 1:24 am

An added note; I was talking about the Tower, not Century 21.

dabutcher on September 1, 2006 at 1:23 am

You missed Ghandi (a loooong run, because it won best picture that year) and Something Wicked This Way Comes, both in 1981. I was the manager then.

KingBiscuits on August 19, 2006 at 4:22 pm

Part 3:June 1980 to May 1985
6/13/1980 The Shining
7/18/1980 Honeysuckle Rose
8/15/1980 Smokey and The Bandit II
10/24/1980 Ordinary People
12/19/1980 9 To 5
4/10/1981 All Night Long
4/17/1981 Earthbound
5/1/1981 Friday The 13th Part 2
5/22/1981 The Legend Of The Lone Ranger
7/17/1981 Endless Love
8/21/1981 First Monday In October
10/2/1981 Paternity
11/6/1981 Time Bandits
12/18/1981 Taps
2/12/1982 On Golden Pond
5/28/1982 Rocky III
7/23/1982 The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas
10/22/1982 Monsignor
11/19/1982 The Empire Stikes Back
12/10/1982 The Toy
12/17/1982 sister theatre Battlefield Mall 6 opens as a General Cinema theatre with The Verdict, Trail Of The Pink Panther, Six Weeks, Honkytonk Man, 48 Hrs. and An Officer And A Gentleman
2/18/1983 The Lords Of Discipline
3/18/1983 High Road To China
5/13/1983 Blue Thunder
6/24/1983 Twilight Zone:The Movie
7/15/1983 Staying Alive
8/19/1983 Easy Money
10/7/1983 Never Say Never Again
12/9/1983 Scarface
2/17/1984 The Right Stuff
3/30/1984 Greystoke:The Legend Of Tarzan
5/23/1984 Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom (in 70mm)
8/15/1984 The Woman In Red
9/28/1984 The Bear
10/26/1984 American Dreamer
11/9/1984 Places In The Heart
12/7/1984 City Heat
2/1/1985 The Killing Fields
3/1/1985 The Sure Thing
3/29/1985 Police Academy 2:Their First Assignment
5/10/1985 Rustler’s Rhapsody

JoelWeide on August 8, 2006 at 1:23 pm

Thank you for your information…

KingBiscuits on August 8, 2006 at 12:39 pm

The Tower showed Star Wars as well as The Empire Strikes Back. Century 21 probably didn’t show Star Wars for thinking Exorcist II or The Deep would be bigger. The Tower was even closed and remodeled for The Empire Strikes Back.

JoelWeide on August 8, 2006 at 12:09 pm

Your list does not show the original ‘Star Wars’ I was wondering which theatre was showing the film and do you have any idea why the Century 21 was not.

KingBiscuits on August 8, 2006 at 10:25 am

I forgot to include one film shown:

4/4/1980 Fatso

KingBiscuits on August 7, 2006 at 7:10 pm

Part 2:June 1975 to May 1980
6/13/1975 Beyond The Door
6/27/1975 French Connection II
7/11/1975 Aloha, Bobby and Rose
7/25/1975 Jaws
10/3/1975 The Master Gunfighter
10/24/1975 Let’s Do It Again
11/25/1975 Hearts Of The West
12/19/1975 Once Is Not Enought
12/25/1975 Lucky Lady
2/11/1976 Barry Lyndon
3/12/1976 The Sunshine Boys
4/9/1976 All The President’s Men
5/28/1976 Mother, Jugs and Speed
6/25/1976 Murder By Death
7/30/1976 Logan’s Run
8/27/1976 The Great Scout And Cathouse Thursday
11/12/1976 Marathon Man
12/25/1976 A Star Is Born
3/25/1977 Airport ‘77
5/13/1977 The Car
5/27/1977 The Sting
6/17/1977 Exorcist II:The Heretic
7/15/1977 The Deep
8/26/1977 One On One (A History Of The Beatles for 3 days starting 9/9)
10/14/1977 MacArthur
11/4/1977 Oh, God!
12/21/1977 Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
3/17/1978 The Fury
4/14/1978 Coma
5/26/1978 Harper Valley P.T.A.'
6/30/1978 Heaven Can Wait (Bloopers for two weekends starting 8/18)
9/29/1978 Revenge Of The Pink Panther
11/22/1978 Death On The Nile
12/15/1978 Superman
3/30/1979 The China Syndrome
5/18/1979 Hanover Street
6/1/1979 Norma Rae
6/29/1979 Moonraker
8/10/1979 North Dallas Forty
10/5/1979 10
12/7/1979 Star Trek:The Motion Picture
Theatre becomes a Dickinson theatre on January 18th, 1980
2/8/1980 The Last Married Couple In America
3/7/1980 American Gigolo
4/18/1980 The Fifth Floor
5/2/1980 Where The Buffalo Roam
5/16/1980 Tom Horn

Also on July 6th, 1973 to January 17th, 1980, the theatre was a Mann theatre.

KingBiscuits on July 30, 2006 at 2:48 pm

After reading alalavrez’s lists of films shown on New York’s movie palace screens, it inspired to do a list of films shown on Springfield’s main (and sadly, extinct) one-screeners and movie palaces, beginning with the Century 21 (the Tower, the re-opening Gillioz and the Fox are coming soon). The list is appearing in five parts with the first one today.

Part 1:June 1970 to May 1975
6/4/1970 (grand opening as a National General theatre) MASH
7/22/1970 Patton
9/16/1970 Hello, Dolly!
10/28/1970 Move
11/11/1970 C.C. and Company
11/18/1970 Lovers and Other Strangers
12/9/1970 The Baby Maker
12/18/1970 I Walk The Line/ Santa and The Three Bears
12/25/1970 Tora! Tora! Tora!
1/29/1971 There’s A Girl In My Soup
2/19/1971 Five Easy Pieces
3/12/1971 Doctor’s Wives
3/26/1971 My Fair Lady
4/2/1971 Mrs. Pollifax-Spy
4/9/1971 Valdez Is Coming
4/21/1971 They Might Be Giants
4/28/1971 Gimme Shelter
5/5/1971 Zachariah
5/12/1971 The Beguiled
5/19/1971 The Night Visitor/The Revolutionary
5/26/1971 Little Big Man
6/16/1971 Vanshing Point
6/30/1971 The Andromeda Strain
7/16/1971 Klute
7/23/1971 The Anderson Tapes
8/6/1971 Summer Of ‘42
9/3/1971 The Love Machine
9/22/1971 Carnal Knowledge
10/6/1971 Billy Jack
12/23/1971 Diamonds Are Forever
1/28/1972 Kotch
2/18/1972 $ (Dollars)
2/25/1972 Straw Dogs
3/10/1972 The Hospital
3/31/1972 The Cowboys
4/26/1972 The Last Picture Show
5/24/1972 Mary, Queen Of Scots
6/14/1972 The Great Northfield, Minnesota Raid
6/21/1972 What’s Up, Doc?
8/16/1972 Frenzy
8/30/1972 Nicholas and Alexandra
9/22/1972 Butterflies Are Free
-10/13/1972 Modern Times (new print, 2 days)
10/18/1972 The Candidate
10/25/1972 Where Does It Hurt?
11/10/1972 The New Centurions/Santa Claus (latter for 3 days)
11/23/1972 Rage
12/6/1972 Hammersmith Is Out
12/13/1972 The Mechanic
12/22/1972 Deliverance
2/9/1973 Jeremiah Johnson
3/28/1973 Sleuth
4/11/1973 The Poseidon Adventure
6/1/1973 High Plains Drifter
6/22/1973 Tom Sawyer
7/27/1973 The Sound Of Music
8/31/1973 Enter The Dragon
9/21/1973 Scarecrow
9/28/1973 Romeo and Juliet
10/17/1973 Jeremy (Godzilla vs. The Thing/ Godzilla’s Revenge for 3 days starting 10/18)
10/24/1973 Hammer Of God/Fearless Fighter
10/31/1973 The Hong Kong Cat/Deep Thrust
11/7/1973 M
ASH (PG Version) (The Magic Christmas Tree for 3 days starting 11/16)
11/21/1973 A Touch Of Class
12/10/1973 The Iceman Cometh
12/12/1973 A Touch Of Class
12/14/1973 The Greatest Story Ever Told
12/21/1973 Man Of La Mancha/Fiddler On The Roof
12/25/1973 The Sting
2/20/1974 Serpico
3/20/1974 The Paper Chase
4/10/1974 The Great Gatsby
5/22/1974 Blazing Saddles
7/31/1974 Chinatown
8/30/1974 The Lords Of Flatbush
9/18/1974 The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz
9/25/1974 Time To Run
10/2/1974 Cabaret
10/16/1974 Ladies and Gentlemen, The Rolling Stones
10/25/1974 Gone With The Wind (Tom Thumb for 4 days starting 11/7)
11/22/1974 Law and Disorder
12/6/1974 The Klansman
12/20/1974 The Towering Inferno (includes benefit premiere on 12/19)
2/28/1975 Murder On The Orient Express
4/4/1975 Young Frankenstein
5/23/1975 The Reincarnation Of Peter Proud

JoelWeide on May 12, 2006 at 6:58 pm

If I remember right, this theatre was originally opened by National General Theatres, the forerunner of Mann, it was a single screen with a large auditoriam of around 900 seating, it was the exact same floor plan as the Mall Cinema in Wichita, Kansas which National General also operated.

KingBiscuits on April 29, 2006 at 10:15 pm

The area now has an Ethan Allen store.