Lains Cinema

127 E. Brooks Street,
Brookfield, MO 64628

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox Midwest Theatres

Architects: Carl Boller, Robert O. Boller

Firms: Boller Brothers

Styles: Spanish Renaissance

Previous Names: Degraw Opera House, Degraw Theatre, Fox Degraw Theatre, Cedar Cinema

Nearby Theaters

DeGRAW OPERA HOUSE (CEDAR CINEMA); Brookfield, Missouri.

Opened on December 1, 1905 as the Degraw Opera House seating 1,108. It was designed by the Boller Bros. A large theatre for a small town. Impressive front façade with a Spanish Revival style.

When the theatre was remodeled in 1958 the entire front was covered over with wavy panels in white on the outside and down the middle with red and white. During the mid-1970’s it was renamed Cedar Cinema

In late-August 1985 the theatre changed hands again and was renamed Lains Cinema. The new owners brutalized the theatre. Covered all the Spanish décor in lobby, balcony and main auditorium. Everything was painted a drab burnt red color with white trim. Of the 1,108 seats 502 were in the large balcony.

In the beginning the proscenium arch round the stage area was done in gold leaf. The columns that once graced the auditorium walls with the marble effect were all painted over in the gawdy red with white trim during its last remodel. The theatre quietly closed its doors for good in 1998.

It was converted into a discotheque, but had closed and was demolished by April 2005.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 1 comments)

50sSNIPES on February 13, 2024 at 8:23 pm

The DeGraw Opera House was named after the theater’s owner, Dr. Hamilton DeGraw, and opened its doors on December 1, 1905. Fred Dickinson was the local manager and the building was owned by Frederic Lehman, who was the father of Mrs. George Zeihr and Fred Lehman who at the time went to Riverside, California for unknown reasons.

The DeGraw Opera House was renamed the DeGraw Theatre several years later. Silent films were screened there and was followed by installations of Western Electric sound on June 3, 1929. The DeGraw Theatre was then renamed the Fox DeGraw Theatre the following year after it was taken over by the Fox Midwest Theatres chain.

The Fox DeGraw Theatre was remodeled on September 26, 1940 reopening with Bing Crosby’s “Rhythm On The River” (unknown if any extras were added).

Information about the Fox DeGraw Theatre as of 1940 goes as follows: Compared to the original and the 1940 remodel once you open the doors, it featured an updated box office in the foyer instead of being at one-sided which was where the doors were formerly located and was glass incased. To the left of the foyer is the office for Steve Souttar, who was the manager of the Fox DeGraw, and to the right is the concession stand. There are three entrances to the first floor proper. The main entrance is in the center and the entrances to each side of it. To the left is the men’s lounge and smoking room and to the right is the powder room for the women. The cushioned rugs are draped in salmon pink. To the side of the entrance to the balcony with broad stair casing with deep rugging.

As of 1940, the DeGraw had a capacity of 750 seats, with 550 seats in the main auditorium and 200 seats for the balcony. The back walls of the stage are shutoff by huge drapes, the ceiling was dipped in Nu-wood and there are two large exits that will make it possible to empty the theater in a very few minutes in case of any emergency located to both the left and right of the auditorium. On each side and in the lower ceilings are fluorescent indirect lights, and the projection room is in its original south wall spot in the back of the balcony and is entirely in fireproof being of reinforced concrete and steel. And lastly, to each side of the stage proper are the automatic air conditioner/heating units.

It was remodeled in 1958 when the entire front was covered over with wavy panels in white on the outside and down the middle with red and white. The theater was renamed back the DeGraw Theatre several years later after being part of the Fox Midwest Theatres for a few decades.

During the mid-1970s, the DeGraw Theatre was renamed the Cedar Cinema and was later remodeled in August 1976 after Charles (Chuck) Truesdell bought the theater. The capacity of seats was then downgraded from 750 to 504. Another remodel was done in 1982 with its capacity of seats downgraded again to 410 seats. During the early-1980s, Associated Theatres of Des Moines operated the Cedar Cinema for a short period of time until Hurschell Lain of Marceline purchased the facility in late-August 1985. Lain previously operated both the Star Drive-In in Marceline and the Lin-Vu Drive-In in Brookfield. At the same time, the theater was renamed the Lains Cinema.

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