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Most locations are from 1941-1953 City Directory
Original structure may no longer exist


*** The 1915 City Directory lists a record number of 24 Theaters ***


DRIVE-IN THEATERS



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SKYLARK DRIVE-IN THEATER
137 North Belt Highway


Skylark Drive-In Grand Opening was on Monday, July 25, 1949
The cost was low, Adults .50 cents
There were fireworks Display at dusk, free Pony Rides, Bottle Warmers and a Diaper Service
The feature film on opening night was "South Of St Louis" staring Joel McCrea
The Skylark Drive-In was the second Durwood drive-in to be built
It was built in 1949 with a car capacity of 600
It was located across the Belt Highway from the Belt Bowl
In June of 1955, the Skylark Drive-In started to screen CinemaScope movies
Over the years the Skylark Drive-In screened mostly family, comedys westerns, adventure and drama movies
The Skylark was managed and operated for many years by the James Kibble family
Chester & Harriet McGaughey managed the theater until it's closing in 1982
The last two movies shown were "Poltergeist" & "Clash of the Titans"
On July, 11th 1982, a fire started in the concession stand 2 hours before it was due to open that Sunday night, causing $30,000 in damage
The Skylark Drive-In did not reopen for the remainder of the 1982 drive-in season
It did not open for the 1983 drive-in season either
Everett Hughes, the Crown Cinema director of operations, commented if it did reopen it would be at half of the 600-car capacity
The attendances at the Skylark Drive-In was on the downhill before the fire and it was not profitable anymore to continue operation
It was decided in 1984 to demolish the Skylark Drive-In
Mr Hughes decided to redevelope the property into retail stores and health services offices
The lot sat empty for many years before selling a part of it to Venture
Venture built a new department store on the south end of the property and remained in business for at least 10 years
Heartland Hospital remodeled the Venture store and currently occupies the location for it's offices
Hy-Vee, numerous stores, a bank and a strip mall now occupy the Northeast area
Photo #1: 1973 photo showing the entrance to the Skylark. According to the sign on the far left, Return to the Planet of the Apes was "coming soon". Note the costumes, they were promoting the current movie, "The Legend of Boggie Creek"
Photo #2: 1949 newspaper Skylark advertisement
Photo #3: Thursday, May 17, 1984 - the large screen was taken down. The theater had been closed since the 1983 season due to the fire in the concession stand
Photo #4: 1973 newspaper advertisement
Photo #5: Speakers needed to hear the movies, they had to be hung on your car door or window. Some people drove off forgetting to remove them thus damaging their vehicle
Photo #6: Remnants of the concession stand fire July 12, 1982
Photo #1: donated by Michael McGaughey
Photo #3,6: donated by Terry Plumb





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BELT DRIVE-IN THEATER
2203 North Belt Highway

The Belt Drive-in theater occupied 18 acres of land
It was located on US 71 highway, 1/2 mile north of the old US 36 Highway
The Belt Drive-In opened on July 11, 1947
First movie was "Breakfast in Hollywood" with Tom Breneman
The Belt Drive-in had a car capacity of 550 cars and was built on a hill
The back of the screen faced the Belt Highway
The Shangri-la Motel & resturant sat at the base of the hill
The screen was a 60 foot steel structure erected by Missouri Motor Movies Inc.
All traces of both structures are now long gone
Photo #1 - St Joseph News-Press newspaper advertisement
Photo #2 - Highway 71 - Cool Crest Mini Golf in foreground, Belt Drive-in can be seen in the background
Photo #3 - When the drive-in sold, the entire hill was leveled
Photo #4 - current view of where the theater once stood
Photo #5 - current view of where the theater once stood
Photo #6 - current view of where the theater once stood
Photo #7 - The Belt Drive-in marquee
Photos #8 - The concession stand - Ashland United Methodist Church held services on Sunday mornings
Photos #9 - Advertisement for Ashland United Methodist Church services on Sunday mornings
Photo #10 - 1949 Belt Drive-in advertisement
Photo #11 - Newspaper photo of construction of screen in 1947
Photo #12 - Aerial view of the Belt Drive-in in the late 1940's
Photo #13 - 1948 newspaper photo of the Belt Drive-in screen construction
Photo #14 - 1948 newspaper photo of Assistant Manager Larry Bennett displaying a speaker
Photo #15 - Cropped & enlarged section of photo #2 showing Cool Crest, Shangri La & Belt Drive-in locations
Photo #17 - June 29, 1980 - Church member opening trailer/pulpit
Photo #18 - couple in car
Photo #19 - church people greeting incoming patrons
Phoot #20 - November 19, 1982 - the screen begins coming down
Photo #21 - November 19, 1982 - the screen is coming down
Photo #22 - November 19, 1982 - the screen is down
Photo #23 - November Newspaper article - part 1 of 3 After 35 years of service, down comes the screen
Photo #24 - November Newspaper article - part 2 of 3 After 35 years of service, down comes the screen
Photo #25 - November Newspaper article - part 3 of 3 After 35 years of service, down comes the screen
Photo #26 - 1955 photo
Photo #27 - Church people greeting cars




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COWTOWN DRIVE-IN THEATER
PARKVIEW DRIVE-IN THEATER
BARNARDS AUTO SALVAGE
1526 Alabama


Mary Belle Miller, Beverly Miller and a resident of Topeka Kansas, Joseph Stark opened the Cowtown Drive-In in 1952
The Cowtown Drive-In was located at 1526 Alabama on the south side of Alabama where Barnard's Auto Salvage is today
Alabama is the highway that leads to Lake Contrary
The Cowtown Drive-In grand opening was on Friday, May 30,1952
They had a fireworks display at dusk. The feature films were "The Nevadan" starring Randolph Scott and "The Big Wheel" staring Mickey Rooney and Thomas Mitchell
The Cowtown was open for 20 years, from 1952 until 1972
It held 350 cars and was owned by B. Miller from 1952 to 1969
Mid-American owned the drive-in from 1969 until 1972
Under new ownership, it became the Parkview Drive-in Theater in 1973
The Parkview's final closing date is unknown at this time
It was a real Mosquito Haven, there were so many mosquitos there that it was very miserable watching the movies. They gave each car a mosquito repellant that you lit and put on the car's dash. (it never worked for me)
It was a very bad location to have an outdoor theater, not only because of the mosquitos but there were several packing houses and stock yards fairly close and sometimes the smell was pretty bad
The theater property is currently owned by Barnards Auto Salvage
The screen is gone but some of the concession stand and projector room still remain
One photo shows what was left of the old Cowtown marque in 2001
Clifford Brigman and his son ran the Parkview from 1975-1979

Photo #1 - Announcement of the Cowtown Drive-in opening
Photo #2 - 1952 aerial photo of Cowtown Drive-in theater
Photo #3 - Newspaper advertisement
Photo #4 - Newspaper advertisement
Photo #5 - Newspaper advertisement
Photo #6 - Newspaper advertisement
Photo #7 - The sound and projection equipment used at the Cowtown
Photo #8 - #20 Current views of the property as it is now
Photo #21 - The Cowtown screen prior to it's razing
Photo #22 - Current owner's son
Photo #23 - The current owner
Photo #24 - The Harlen Springs family picketing the Parkview Theater
Terry Plumb got permission to photograph the Cowtown remains
Terry donated many of the photos & some information





SILENT, OPERA & VAUDEVILLE THEATERS





AIRDOME SILENT MOVIE THEATER
8th & Felix
1118 Frederick

Grand Opening Sunday May 17,1908
1800 seats
Admission 10c, A Few at 20c
First movie shown: Virginia Goodwin in The Viper On The Hearth
Photo - 1912 newspaper advertisement




A-MUS-U SILENT MOVIE THEATER
629-631 South 6th








BIJOU DREAM SILENT MOVIE THEATER
4th & Edmond

1905 photo of Bijou Dream Theater





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CASINO SILENT MOVIE THEATER
and CASINO with BOATHOUSE
Lake Contrary Park

Casino Theater was located in the Lake Contrary Park
Grand Opening Sunday June 14,1914
Miss Myrtle Howard and her International Trio
Worlds Great Society Dancers and Entertainers
High Class Motion Pictures
Afternoon and Night
Admission: FREE--FREE--FREE





COLONIAL SILENT MOVIE THEATER
111 North 7th Street
Now an empty lot
Photo #1 - November 26, 1913 Newspaper advertisement





COMIQUE SILENT MOVIE THEATER
5005 King Hill Avenue

Listed in the 1912 City Directory as the Comique Theater at 5005 King Hill Ave
It was only listed in the 1912-1915 City Directories
It was listed as being vacant in the 1916,1917 & 1918 City Direectories
It was a short lived silent theater
The 5005 address is no longer a valid address
Evidently it was either torn down or absorbed by the building in the photo
All above photo and information was donated by Terry Plumb
Terry drives up from KC and researches theater data for me





CRYSTAL PARK SILENT MOVIE THEATER
4th & Faraon


Circa: July 22, 1907




CRYSTAL SILENT MOVIE THEATER
221-225 South 5th Street

Known to be in operation September 12, 1920





DIXY SILENT MOVIE THEATER
6213 King Hill Avenue

6213 King Hill Avenue
This was listed in the 1912 City Directory as Dixy Theater
The red brick building this looks like its vacant now
All above photo and information was donated by Terry Plumb
Terry drives up from KC and researches theater data for me



DUDLEY SILENT MOVIE THEATER
211 North 2nd Street

Known to be in operation in 1921
Information donated by Terry Plumb



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EMPRESS SILENT MOVIE THEATER
216 South 7th


There is plaque on the building "1889", evidently when it was built
In the 1915 City Directory, the Empress Theater was located at this address
Known to be still in operation on September 12, 1920
The building sits just north of the old Green Hills store on South 7th
The above photos and information was donated by Terry Plumb
Terry drives up from KC and researches theater data for me



GRAND SILENT MOVIE THEATER
6104 King Hill Avenue






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HAPPY HOUR SILENT MOVIE THEATER
SOUTH PARK SILENT MOVIE THEATER
1805 Commercial

Known to be in operation in 1915
This was listed in the 1915 City Directory as Happy Hour Theater
In the 1916 and 1917 City Directory, it was listed as South Park theater
Looks to have been a very short lived theater
In the 1918 City Directory, it was listed as Isadora Fox General Merchandise
Photo #2, the plaque between 2 windows, reads "Isadora Fox 1914"
Evidently the building was constructed in 1914
Did Isadora Fox rent the building out to Happy Hour for a year?
Maybe the store also contained the movie theater
That's something we will never know
The above photos and information was donated by Terry Plumb
Terry drives up from KC and researches theater data for me



KINODROME SILENT MOVIE THEATER
814 Frederick Avenue


Known to be in operation in 1908
Information donated by Terry Plumb



LIBERTY SILENT MOVIE THEATER
2007 St Joseph Avenue

Known to be in operation September 12, 1920
Edward A Brondridge was the owner
The 2007 directory has that address being Floyds Alibi Lounge
2007 St Joseph Avenue would have been directly across the street from the Regal Theater
Information donated by Terry Plumb



Lyceum Theater1 Lyceum Theater2

LYCEUM SILENT MOVIE THEATER
5th & Jules Street

The theater was located on the southwest corner of 5th & Jules Street
The theaters was known to be in operation in 1913 and also in 1920
No further information is available



LYRIC SILENT MOVIE THEATER
119-121 South 6th


Grand Opening: September 2,1906
Frank De Atley Manager
St Joseph's popular family resort
The Curtis Musical CO.
Opening Play: A Ten Thousand Dollar Beauty
Admission:10c 15c and 25c
All week day Matinees 10c
Newspaper Adv: Get In Line And Follow The Crowd To The Lyric
Data donated by Terry Plumb





MAJESTIC THEATER
SILENT MOVIES & VAUDEVILLE
712 Edmond

Photo: 1925 photo of the Majestic Theater, then renamed as the Electric Theater
In 1925, there was an alley on the east side of the theater
Note the telephone pole and all of the wires
The Majestic Theater opened in 1910 playing silent movies and vaudeville acts

In September, 1915, the Majestic was renamed the Electric
Electric Silent Movie Theater Grand Opening:Thurs September 23,1915
The Grand Opening show was Wilton Lackaye and Clara Kimball Young in TRILBY
Admission was 10 cents
In 1926, the Majestic Theater building was torn down
The new Electric Movie Theater was constructed in it's place

Majestic Theater Grand Opening: Thurs Oct 13,1910
General Admission was 10 cents and Box Seats reserved was 20 cents
High Class Motion Pictures
Sullivan and Considine Vaudeville
Doors Open 7:30
Last Date Open: Friday April 23, 1915
Last Movie: The Arrival of Major Janet & Buster Brown at Hicksville






NICKEL SILENT MOVIE THEATER
206 West Missouri

Opened in 1910 and closed in the early 1930's
Manager in 1912 was William D Spurlock
It was called the Nickel Theater because admission was a nickel
In later years it became the Casa Loma lounge
The building no longer exists, only a vacant lot occupies the site



ODEON SILENT MOVIE THEATER
1110 South 26th


Now an empty lot at 26th & Seneca
Information donated by Terry Plumb



OLYMPIC SILENT MOVIE THEATER
502 South 16th


Now an empty lot
Information donated by Terry Plumb



ORPHEUM SILENT MOVIE THEATER
501 Felix


Later became the Buffaloe Bar according to the 1921 city directory
Information donated by Terry Plumb



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PALACE SILENT MOVIE THEATER
HOUSE OF WHEELS & TOYS
BIG BOYS TOYS
707 Edmond
PALACE SILENT MOVIE THEATER
FOXY'S HAIR DEN
2018 St Joseph Avenue


The Palace Theater had two locations in town, moving between 1909 & 1915
The 1st Palace theater appeared in the 1908 City Directory
The address was 707 Edmond, later becoming the House of Wheels and Toys
There is a lot of graffiti on the building side, too bad it isn't legible
In 1909, for some reason, it no longer appeared in city directory
In 1915, the Palace Theater once again appeared in the city directory
The new address was 2018 St Joseph Avenue, currently Foxy's Hair Den
I would say they were most likely building & moving the new theater

Photo #1 - Aug 11,2013 - Palace's 1st location 707 Edmond
Photo #2 - An older photo of 707 Edmond
Photo #3 - Aug 11, 2013 - Palace's 2nd location - currently Foxy's Hair Den
All above photos and information was donated by Terry Plumb
Terry drives up from KC and researches theater data for me




PARK SILENT MOVIE THEATER
10th & Mitchell

Known to be in operation September 12, 1920



PENN SILENT MOVIE THEATER
20th & Penn

Known to be in operation September 12, 1924



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PANTAGES SILENT MOVIE
& VAUDEVILLE THEATER
219 South 5th
Circa: 1912


Photo #3 - 1909 St Joseph Gazette Advertisement



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ROYAL SILENT MOVIE THEATER
614-616 Edmond Street
Known to be in operation September 12, 1920
Seating capacity was 800
Photo #3 - circa:1925 - newspaper article showing the inside of the theater
The building no longer exists
Photo #3 donated by Carol Stephens



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SAVOY SILENT MOVIE THEATER
302 Illinois
Known to be in operation in 1921-1926
This building originally opened as the Savoy Theater
It is located at the Southwest corner of Illinois and Gordon street
The Savoy Theater first appeared in the 1921 St Joseph telephone book
The Rialto Theater opened across the street in 1926
It is believed that the Savoy closed shortly after Rialto's opening as the Savoy was not listed in the 1927 telephone book
During the 1980s the building was used as a Bingo Hall on Thursday nights
Other uses were wedding receptions and some class reunions
Photos and information donated by Terry Plumb



STAR SILENT MOVIE THEATER
413 Edmond

Known to be in operation September 12, 1920



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TOOTLE'S OPERA HOUSE
& SILENT MOVIE THEATER
504 Francis Street


The building was erected by Mr. Milton Tootle in 1871 at a cost of $150,000
It was the most extravagant structure in St Joseph
The opera house officially opened on December 9, 1872
It seated 1400 and had a 40' x 60' stage
It was regarded as the finest theatre west of Chicago
By 1920, the building was vacant due to overwhelming competition and movie theaters
The Dubinsky Brothers purchased the building in the mid 1920's, having road shows and movies
In 1931, it was the Little Theater
In 1939, the Tootle Opera House was converted into commercial office space and the building was then renamed as the Pioneer Building
In 1939, while the main post office was being built, the post office occupied the bottom floor
Additional alterations to the building were made in 1963
The Morris Plan and St Joseph Chamber of Commerce occupied the building in 1972

Photo #1 - Circa:1906, titled as being Tootle Opera House
Photo #2 - Circa:1906, the marque in both photos shows Orpheum
Photo #3 - 1874 lithograph
Photo #4 - Chandelier from the Tootle Opera House
Photo #5 - Current view of the building
Photo #6 - 1972 newspaper photo, celebrating 100 years of the Tootle Opera House
Photo #7 - 1873 Tootle Opera ticket - currently on display at Patee Museum
Photo #8 - 1925 photo of Tootle Opera House - note the billboard for Tootle-Lacy National Bank
Photo #1 donated by Brooke Hickman



MOVIE THEATERS (TALKIES)





FOX EAST HILLS THEATER
East Hills Shopping Center

This Dickinson owned 712 seat theater was located inside of the shopping center
It was located between the restrooms and the A & W Hot Dog stand
The theater opened in 1964 when East Hills first opened
The theater closed on Sunday, November 11, 1990 when their lease was due for renewal
The first movie shown was John Wayne, Dean Martin and Jeremy Slate in The Sons Of Katie Elder
At the opening, Jeremy Slate appeared in person at the Fox Theater
Included was a movie of Eugene V Klein, the President of National General Corporation, welcoming people to the new Theatre
They had a search light outside pointing to the sky
The last show was James Belushi and Michael Caine in Mr Destiny
Multi screen theaters were said to be the cause of it's demise
The theater no longer exists, it was removed during one of the first renovations




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HICKORY THEATER
11th & Hickory


Hickory Theater was located on northeast corner of 11th & Hickory
Hickory Theater opened Saturday September 15, 1923
Movie playing: William Farnum in Without Compromise
Last date open: Monday, May 5, 1958
Last shows played:
Audie Murphy In The Quiet American
Pamela Duncan in Gun Battle at Monterey



HILLCREST 4 THEATERS
HILLCREST PLAZA
605 North Belt Highway

(605 North Belt Highway)
Opened on Thursday, December 25, 1969
Adults $1.75, Students with AMC Cards $1.25, under 12 $.75
4 In 1 Fun Grand Opening
1. James Garner in Marlowe
2. Paul Newman and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
3. Steve McQueen in The Reivers (Rated M)
4. This Is My Alaska (Rated G)




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JO THEATER
124 North 3rd Street


This was previously the Charwood Theater and the Louis Theater
The Jo Theatre was located at 124 North 3rd Street
In 1942 admission was 15 cents (see photo #4)
In 1954, admission price was higher (see photo #3)
The Jo Theater opened on June 26, 1942
Last date open: Saturday Feb 12,1955
Last shows played:
Dragnet with Jack Webb
Bait with Cleo Moore
The hotel's large parking lot now consumes the location

Photo #1 - frontal view
Photo #2 - Jo Theater visible on the left
Photo #3 - 1954 advertisement for the JO Theater
Photo #4 - 1942 grand opening advertisement
Information provided by Terry Plumb







GREAT PLAINS GRAND THEATER
KING THEATER
6115 King Hill Ave

GREAT PLAINS THEATER:
Gala Opening 2 major features
Fred MacMurray, Madeleine Carroll, Allan Jones in Honeymoon in Bali
Hit no 2 Scandall Sheet , Extra Paramount news
Adults 15c children 10c
The last day open was Tuesday April 23, 1940
Last show: Bob Hope & Pauletie Goddard in Cat and the Canary
Reopened at a later date as the King Theater

The KING THEATER:
William A Leucht manager
Last date open: Sunday, May 10,1953
Last shows played:
Stage to Tucson with Rod Cameron & Wayne Morris
Home in San Antone with Roy Acuff & Bill Edwards
Data provided by Terry Plumb




LOUIS MOVIE THEATER
124 North 3rd Street


Known to be in operation 1939-1941
Information donated by Terry Plumb



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MAJESTIC THEATER
ELECTRIC THEATER
712 Edmond

In 1910, the Majestic Theater opened playing silent movies and vaudeville acts
In 1926, the theater was totally remodeled and considered the new Electric Theater
The theater continued playing silent movies and vaudeville acts
The Electric & Missouri Theaters were owned by Durwood. What grand memories!
In the 1950's, when exiting the theater, you would smell Wakely's orange drink & hot dogs
Wakely's was a small snack bar just west of the Electric Theater
Wakely's was torn down and replaced by the Victory Restaurant
Later, the LaFonda restaurant replaced the Victory Restaurant
Does anyone remember the shoe shop to the east of the Electric?
How about the shoe shine stand on the sidewalk?
I remember buying my first Buttercup Popcorn at the Electric Theater. A box of plain popcorn was 15 cents and the Buttercup was 25 cents. That was a lot of money for a kid back then who only had 50 cents to spend for snacks
I remember coming to the Electric on certain Saturdays for a cartoon/serial matinee
On a regular basis, they always had a cartoon, a newsreel, a 3 stooges movie short, (or a serial like Rocket Man,Flash Gordan, etc) plus 2 full length B Class movies
The Electric theater closed down after the last shows on Saturday, October 28, 1961
The Electric theater was razed in 1977

Majestic Theater Grand Opening: Thurs Oct 13,1910
Renamed to the Electric Theater, Grand Opening:Thurs September 23,1915 showing silent movies
The Grand Opening show was Wilton Lackaye and Clara Kimball Young in TRILBY
Admission was 10 cents
Last date open: Saturday, October 28, 1961
The building was destroyed in 1977
Last shows played:
Susan Travers in The Snake Woman
Kieron Moore in Doctor Blood's Coffin
Theater data donated by Terry Plumb

Photo #1 - 1925 photo of the Majestic Theater, the alley can still be seen from Sylvanie street
Photo #2 - 1926 new Electric Theater
Photo #3 - 1926 new Electric Theater
Photo #4 - Looking east on edmond from 7th Street, the original post office is in the far background
Photo #5 - 1911 Map of Edmond & Charles between 7th & 8th
Photo #6 - Where the Electric once stood
Photo #7 - Most of the block is now one big parking lot
Photo #8 - The Buttercup Popcorn girls introducing the new product
Photo #9 - A Wakley advertisement
Photo #10 - St Joseph & Power installed this 550 bulb sign on the new Electric Theater in 1926
Photo #11 - 1926 photo - a much larger and better photo of the new Electric
Photo #12 - December 1962 LaFonda newspaper advertisement
Photo #13 - March 1959 Victory Restaurant newspaper advertisement
Photo #14 - Destruction of the Electric Theater in 1977
Photo #15 - 1966 LaFonda newspaper article
Photo #16 - Recent photo of the parking lot where the Electric Theater & LaFonda once stood
Photo #17 - Buttercup Popcorn





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MISSOURI THEATER
717 Edmond

The Missouri Theater used to be owned by Durwood Theaters
Durwood also owned the Electric Theater, Skylark and Belt Drive-in theaters
It is located on Edmond Street, between 7th & 8th
It was and is still St Joseph's most elegant theater
In 1927, 2 Seaman & Schuske workmen spent 2 months building the box office
The box office was constructed of ornamental steel and grille work, the upper and lower parts were covered with mosaic tiles of many colors
This box office has since been replaced with a more modern one
The colored photos show the remodeled Missouri Theater
There's quite a bit of facial difference between what it looked like in the 1930's and today
The Missouri usually only played a cartoon and one A Class movie
Some of the above photos show the remodeled Missouri Theater
In 2011, the theater suffered some smoke damage from a fire in an adjacent building
The Missouri Theater is now primarily an Arts Theater; dancing, singing, & misc acts
Last date movies were shown: Tuesday September 8, 1970
The last movie shown was: Elliott Gould and Candice Bergen "In Getting Straight"

Photo #1 - Box office built in 1927 by S&S
Photo #2 - Modern box office replaced the 1927 one
Photo #3 - 1927 Photo of the Missouri Theater
Photo #4 - As it looked in the 1920-1930's
Photo #5 - As it looked in the 1920-1930's
Photo #6 - As it looked in the 1920-1930's
Photo #7 - Lobby and stairs leading to the Mezzanine
Photo #8 - The Messanine
Photo #9 - The ceiling
Photo #10 - Modern day photo of front entrance
Photo #11 - Modern color photo
Photo #12 - Modern photo & restored Model A's
Photo #13 - Interior view
Photo #14 - Interior side wall
Photo #15 - The magnificent ceiling
Photo #16 - View from balcony
Photo #17 - The ceiling and balcony
Photo #18 - interior side wall and seating
Photo #19 - Side wall in lobby
Photo #20 - As it looked in the 1950's
Photo #21 - Side wall scultpture (1961 photo)
Photo #22 - color photo of the Mezzanine
Photo #23 - Recent front view of the theater
Photo #24 - Theater stage curtains
Photo #25 - B&W of the theater





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OLIVE THEATER
PLAZA THEATER
1830 Olive Street

The Plaza Theater was located at 1830 Olive Street in the heart of Goosetown
Originally, it was called the Olive Theater
In 1940, the name was changed to the Plaza Theater
R.L."Bob" Dyson purchased the theater sometime in the mid to late 40's
Josephine Hager was the cashier at the Plaza Theater for many years
Mr Dyson ran the theater until it closed in the mid 1970's

According to Bob's daughter Candace, there was a dance hall upstairs
The building was sold to a church sometime around 1979
On Feb. 6, 1983, the building caught fire and burned down

The theater had 432 seats and was one of my favorite theaters
After the fire, the building was razed and it is currently an empty lot

Many thanks to R. L. "Bob" Dyson and Candace Dyson for contributing
2 of the photos and historical information

Photo #1 - The Plaza Theater
Photo #2 - A newspaper article about Josephine Hager meeting George Gobel
Photo #3 - Plaza interior after the fire
Photo #4 - As it looked in 2013, just an empty lot
Photos #1 & 2 donated by Candace Dyson





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Original Orpheum Theater Photos
Orpheum Theater1 Orpheum Theater2 Orpheum Theater3 4 5

Rebuilt Orpheum Theater Photos
1-R 2-R 3-R 4-R 5-R 6-R

ORPHEUM THEATER
ST JOSEPH SHOE REPAIR
MAC'S JEWELRY SHOP
501-505 Edmond


The beautiful Saxes Orpheum Theater was once one of the gems of downtown

It was built in 1912 on the site where the Schlitz Cafe and a lot used for sideshows once stood

The theater was brightly lit at night

The Orpheum Theater was located on the northeast corner of 5th & Edmond

In photo #1, the original Townsend, Wyatt and Wall department store at 5th & Felix can be seen in the background
On January 23, 1933 a $35,000 fire severely damaged the theater along with St Joseph Shoe Repair, 505 Edmond, which also shared the structure.
The fire was believed to have been vandalism by disgruntled employees
The theater was rebuilt and reopened in October 1933

The new theater was not as extravagant as the original theater

Mac's Jewelry Shop was located adjacent to the theater

On April 4, 1958, the theater was sold to the Mechanics Bank

On May 15, 1958, it was announced that the theater would be razed

The building is now gone and is currently a parking lot

I only went there a couple times as a small child in the 1950's before they tore it down
It smelled very badly of stale cigar & cigarette smoke
Back then, people were allowed to smoke in the theaters
ORIGINAL PHOTOS BEFORE FIRE
Photo #1 - Circa 1912 - Outside view from 5th & Edmond
Photo #2 - Circa 1912 - Inside view
Photo #3 - Circa 1912 - Outside night view
Photo #4 - Circa 1912 - Edmond Street looking West towards 5th St
Photo #5 - Circa 1912 - Brightly lit Orpheum at night
AFTER FIRE REBUILD PHOTOS
Photo #1-R - 1948 newspaper advertisement
Photo #2-R - October 13, 1933 announcing reopening after fire
Photo #3-R - Circa 1933 - Interior after reopening in 1933 after fire
Photo #4-R - Circa 1958 - As it looked in April 1958
Photo #5-R - May 15, 1958 sold to Mechanics Bank
Photo #6-R - Adv of Orpheum movie showing at reopening on October 14, 1933 after fire





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PLAZA 8 THEATERS
2219 North Belt





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REGAL THEATER
2010 St Joseph Avenue

Pallace Theater opened on Thursday, December 21,1922
Movie Shown: Song of Life
Last date the Regal was open: Saturday, June 7, 1961
Last shows played:
William Holden in The World of Suzie Wong
Virgilio Teixeira in The Boy Who Stole A Million
Regal Theater on St Joseph Avenue
across from the Bottoms Up Bar & Grill
They had the best candy selection in town




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RIALTO THEATER
DEX THEATER
CAMEO THEATER
ASTRO THEATER
239 Illinois Avenue

RIALTO THEATER opened on October 21, 1926
Last date the Rialto was open: Saturday, April 26, 1958
Last shows played at the Rialto was Pat Boone & Shirley Jones In April Love and Sal Mineo in Dino
Photo #1 - 1926 Rialto Theater
Photo #2 - Before and after views of the front of Frank Cassil's Rialto Theater remodeled

DEX THEATER opened on Friday, December 31, 1965
Showing 3 movies - Jerry Lewis in Dont Give Up The Ship,
Rock-A-Bye Baby and John Wayne in Donovans Reef
The last date the Dex was open, Sunday May 10,1970
The last movies showing was Elvis Presley in Live a Little, Love a Little and Hank Williams in A Time To Sing

>CAMEO THEATER opened on Monday September 28, 1970
Live Telecast from the Eden Theatre stage in New York
Oh Calcutta, a 2 Hour Broadway Musical Comedy
For mature Audiences only,18 and over,must have prove of age
Last date Cameo was open was Thursday July 1, 1971
Last shows was Hothouse + My Swedish Cousin, both X rated

ASTRO THEATER opened on Friday July 2,1971
New Hours: 9am to Midnight Every Day
The Most Adult Movies In St Joseph
New Double Feature Every Friday
Showing The Art of Marriage + Precious Jewels, both rated X
Last X Rated movie was shown on Thursday December 16,1971
Movie shown that day was He and She - Rated X
On Friday December 17, 1971 the Astro began
showing non-X rated movies
Astro Theatre last date open Thursday January 20,1972
Last showing was Doctor Zhivago - Rated GP
On Thursday December 9,1971 the St Joseph Newspress front page headlines read:
Trial Of Obscene Movie Charged Delayed Again
Projectionist Clearance Wilson arrested on September 17,1971

Thanks goes to Terry Plumb for researching the above data
The last movie I saw at the Rialto was RODAN in 1957
Since the last closing, it has been occupied by a tavern




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RIVOLI THEATER
UPTOWN THEATER
2115 Frederick Avenue

Last date open: Tuesday March 1,1955
Last shows played:
Humphrey Bogart in The Caine Mutiny
Alan Ladd in The Black Night
In 1934 this was the Rivoli Theater. It was later known as the Uptown Theater and it was located at 2115 Frederick Avenue, it had 700 seats. The theater was rebuilt and opened as the Uptown on January 22, 1941
The Uptown closed in 1955
Durwood Theaters owned it from 1951-1952
This is currently the home of Lehr Construction Company
The last movie I saw here was Stalag 17 back in 1954 or 1955
When Lehr workers have the big door open in the summer, you can see parts of the old theater walls inside
Rick Boyd recently took some interior photos while Lehr workers were in the building
Thanks to Rick Boyd, we are able to see some of the old theater interior now
The far right photo is a 1955 photo of David O. Williams, the theater owner selling tickets in the box office. He did everything in the theater except rolling the film
On the wall behind him is a poster announcing the weekly free drawing for everything from a turkey to a TV set
Photo #6 - 1934 Rivoli Theater advertisement
Photo #9 - January 22, 1941 Uptown Theater Grand Opening advertisement



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TRAIL THEATER
111 North 9th Street

Grand Opening was Friday May 2,1951

Grand Opening Newspaper Advertisement:
Adults 65c Children 14c
First movie shown: Fathers Little Dividend
Starring Spencer Tracy, Joan Bennett , Elizabeth Taylor
Free flowers for the ladies
Radio Broadcst announcing the Grand Opening
Dedication by Mayor Stanley I Dale
Exciting new features of design,safety,comfort and convenience
Plan Now, Be A First Nighter


The Trail Theater was the only remaining old theater in full operation downtown showing movies until at least 2007, but it has now been closed down permanently. It is located on North 9th Street, between Felix & Francis
Photo 3 shows the side exit which led to Mannings Grocery Store parking lot on the north side of the building
People used to use Mannings Parking lot during Manning's store hours and this would cause problems
The following information about the Trail Theater was located on the Internet, posted by Chuck1231 on Jul 13, 2005 at 4:48pm
The Trail Theater is more than just a small town theater, it is a colorful part of the City
It is a combination of art deco and modern architecture and has been a St. Joseph landmark since it opened in 1951
The neon sign with the colorful art deco lines extends across the front of the theater
It is something to see at night
The Trail is much smaller than most movie palaces but both it and the Missouri have the same color scheme for the front facade and feature some art deco in their designs
The Trail has a partial glass block facade with chrome and a light, milk green glass front
Glass blocks also edge the ticket booth which has neon lighting above below and behind it
The lobby is lined with red English tile
Beyond the doors to the auditorium the Jade green velvet seats are surrounded with yards and yards of velour cloth on the walls
The stage curtain is lit by a rainbow of colors and is the same fabric as the walls
The sidewalls give a sunburst effect from the special lighting
The Trial opened its doors with the feature "Father's Little Dividend" starring Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracey
When it opened in 1951 it was considered on of the most modern theaters in St. Joseph
The Trail was remodeled in 1960 and many of the special lighting effects were altered
The red sidewalk was removed as well as the quarry tile but the beauty of the facade remained including the colorful neon
When the Trial opened in 1951 it was owned by the Dickinson Theaters of Kansas City as they also owned the Plaza in Kansas City and also operated the Joe, King and Rialto Theaters in St. Joseph
The Trail was sold 04/15/2011 to a local businessman
He plans on restoring the theater for multi-purpose use such as movies, plays, etc.
Seating will be cut down and the screen will be saved for movies

Photos #12-24 were taken on June 30, 2014 by Terry Plumb




VALLEY THEATER
6121 King Hill Avenue




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