Madrid Theatre

3810 Main Street,
Kansas City, MO 64111

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rivest266 on April 26, 2018 at 3:43 pm

Grand opening ad in the photo section.

OKCdoorman on January 16, 2016 at 12:11 pm

The (Fox) Madrid’s final day as a movie theater—with 10c admission—was Friday, January 16, 1942 (the day of Carole Lombard’s plane crash), with a one-day-only-marquee of Janet Gaynor & Fredric March in the 1937 version of A STAR IS BORN, and Randolph Scott & former silent-film star Hope Hampton (in her last-ever screen role) in 1938’s THE ROAD TO RENO. There are no listings for it as an active movie theater in the city newspaper after that. [Kansas City Star]

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 15, 2015 at 2:09 pm

The November 28, 1925, issue of The Film Daily also notes DeFoe & Besecke as architects for a theater to be built on this block, though it gives the locations as 39th and Main Streets and the Madrid is closer to 38th Street. Original plans also called for more seats:

“Kansas City — DeFoe & Besecke, Archts., have completed plans for erection of theatre bldg. at 39th & Main Sts. on site 65 x 165. Seat. Cap. 3,000. Approx. Cost $200,000. Owner— R. L. Willis, 3804-06 Main St.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 24, 2012 at 2:36 am

The June 5, 1926, issue of The Reel Journal said that the new Madrid Theatre in Kansas City had been designed by the architectural firm of DeFoe & Besecke (Victor DeFoe and Walter A. Besecke.)

spectrum on November 25, 2010 at 7:04 pm

New webpage address is They have some photos – looks like some architectural details survived, still has a horseshoe balcony, and a proscenium arch (although devoid of ornamentation)

BrianBrian on April 19, 2008 at 8:44 pm

Its for sale because Karl Schimell, owner of Madrid Theatre can’t get a liquor license besides having a lack of parking.
He has also heard that lightrail will be coming down Main Street (in about another 8 years) which for any business is bad news unless your James B. Nutter.
Karl Schimell is very unhappy with the new catering ordinance since he can’t have his salsa every Friday night.
Whoever buys the theatre will have to deal with the neighborhood association.

Just think. The neighborhood told him it was a very, very bad idea to renovate the theatre. I guess they were right.

longislandmovies on April 12, 2007 at 10:55 am

Theater for sale 2.2million

RobbKCity on August 1, 2006 at 5:50 pm

Yes, the Madrid does have an upper balcony, and it appears the original design did have additional seats along the sides.

Here are links to some photos taken after the renovation.

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Here is the front facade and entrance:

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The lobby:

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The fountain in the lobby:

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Stairs to the upper lobby:

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Upper lobby:

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 3, 2006 at 4:34 am

1500 seats does seem excessive, but 700 is too few. I count 31 seats across the auditorium in most of the last eleven rows (the loge section), and there are probably three more seats in most of the 18 or 19 rows (it’s difficult to count the most distant rows, the picture being too small) beyond the loge section. So there are a bit over 900 seats visible on the orchestra floor, and the picture appears to have been taken from the lower part of another section of seating (perhaps stadium style) at the rear of the house. There could be perhaps another three hundred or so seats, unseen behind the camera’s position. The ceiling doesn’t look high enough for a true balcony to be back there, so it’s probably just a few rows of seats on risers. I doubt that the total could have been much over 1200 seats, though.

RobbKCity on January 3, 2006 at 12:02 am

I can’t see how the Madrid seated 1500 people in 1926 if the linked photo is a representation of its capacity. It doesn’t look like it had more than 700 seats in the theatre.

gohomekansas on July 27, 2005 at 3:36 pm

I went to see a concert there and the sound system in really bad. I had the hardest time of finding a parking space. It’s scary in that part of the city of Kansas City. The street people was asking me for money. It was an awful night. I won’t be going down or up there again.

claydoh77 on January 13, 2005 at 9:11 am

Here is a link to a vintage photo of the interior of the Madrid.
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This photo is from the University of Minnesota Collection of the Great Western Stage Equipment Company, responsible for drapes, backdrops, lighting and more in theatres (especially in the midwest) from the 1920s-1960s.

Photograph of Landscape drop curtain inside of the Madrid Theatre space (Kansas City, MO.).

Front: “13558.” Back: “Our velour and silk wall panels and arch. Madrid Theatre – KC.” Stamped “The Commercial Photo Co. Kansas City, MO.” Back: Stamped “Property of Geo. G. Wing. Great Western Stage Equipment Co. 917 Holmes St. Kansas City, Missouri” and “United Scenic Artists Local 350 -2016.” Also stamped “The Commercial Photo Co. Kansas City, MO.” Many rough pencil sketches on the back suggesting chandeliers or lamps. Numerous mathematical calculations are also noted.