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*** 1915 City Directory lists 24 Theaters ***





Circa Unknown
List of 22 theater's seating capacities

This is a very old list of theaters in St Joseph
Most likely when the Electric Theater was in the planning stage



DRIVE-IN THEATERS



1 2 3 4 5 6

Circa 1949-1982
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, comedies, 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: submitted by Michael McGaughey
Photo #3,6: submitted by Terry Plumb




1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

Circa 1947-1982
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 Theater 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 & restaurant sat at the base of the hill
The screen was a 60 foot steel structure erected by Missouri Motor Movies Inc.
When the Skylark burned & closed, the Belt's traffic did not increase so it was decided to close it also
All traces of both structures are now long gone
Anderson Ford dealership currently occupies the Belt Drive-in area

Photo #1 - St Joseph News-Press newspaper advertisement
Photo #2 - Highway 71, Cool Crest Mini Golf, Belt Drive-in
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 - Ashland United Methodist Church held services on Sunday
Photos #9 - Advertisement for Ashland United Methodist Church
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
Photo #15 - 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
Photo #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 St Joseph News-Press newspaper article - part 1 of 3
Photo #24 - November St Joseph News-Press newspaper article - part 2 of 3
Photo #25 - November St Joseph News-Press newspaper article - part 3 of 3
Photo #26 - 1955 photo of the theater entrance
Photo #27 - 1953 Belt Drive-in's Kiddie Karnival advertisement
Photo #28 - 1953 Belt Drive-in's Kiddie Karnival
Photo #29 - Belt Drive-In theater entrance




1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Circa 1952-1979
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
Terry Plumb got permission to photograph the Cowtown remains
Terry Plumb submitted most of the photos above & some information

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



SILENT, OPERA & VAUDEVILLE THEATERS



1 2

Circa 1908
AIRDOME SILENT MOVIE THEATER
8th & Felix
Circa 1915
AIRDOME SILENT MOVIE THEATER
1118 Frederick

Grand Opening Sunday May 17,1908 at 8th & Felix
1800 seats
Admission 10c, A Few at 20c
First movie shown: Virginia Goodwin in The Viper On The Hearth
Listed in 1915 at 1118 Frederick Avenue
Photo #1 - 1912 St Joseph News-Press newspaper advertisement
Photo #2 - 1915 St Joseph News-Press newspaper advertisement




Circa 1915
A-MUS-U SILENT MOVIE THEATER
629-631 South 6th







Circa 1913
AVENUE SILENT MOVIE THEATER
1501 Frederick

This was a short lived theater. 1501 Frederick is shown on the 1911 Map as being on the northeast corner of 16th & Frederick. A garage supposedly existed on the lot. The theater must have been built where this garage was and then later torn down. A building with a 1601 address currently occupies the lot




1 2

Circa 1905
BIJOU DREAM
VAUDEVILLE & SILENT
MOVIE THEATER
114-116 South 4th Street

Photo #1 - 1905 photo of Bijou Dream Theater
Photo #2 - 1910 St Joseph News Press advertisement




1 2 3 4

Circa 1914
CASINO SILENT MOVIE THEATER
and CASINO with BOATHOUSE
Lake Contrary

Casino Theater was located inside the Casino on the shore of Lake Contrary
It was located just west of the Amusement Park
See photo #4 for the Casino's location on the map
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




1 2 3

Circa 1913
COLONIAL SILENT MOVIE THEATER
111 North 7th Street
Demolished during Urban Renewal

Currently an empty lot occupies this address
Photo #1 - 1913 St Joseph News-Press newspaper advertisement
Photo #2 - Colonial Silent Movie Theater
Photo #3 - 1924 St Joseph News Press advertisement




1 2

Circa 1910
COMIQUE SILENT MOVIE THEATER
5005 King Hill Avenue
(King Hill & Missouri Avenues)

Listed in the 1912 City Directory as the Comique Theater
It was located at 5005 King Hill Ave (King Hill & MO 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 submitted by Terry Plumb
Terry drives up from KC and researches theater data for me
Photo #2 - 1910 St Joseph News Press advertisement






Circa 1907
CRYSTAL PARK
SILENT MOVIE THEATER
4th & Faraon

Photo - 1907 St Joseph News-Press advertisement




1 2 3

Circa 1905
CURD THEATER
Corner of 5th & Charles
221-225 South 5th Street
Circa 1906
CRYSTAL SILENT MOVIE THEATER
Corner of 5th & Charles
221-225 South 5th Street
Circa 1924
CRYSTAL SILENT MOVIE THEATER
Corner of 5th & Charles
221-225 South 5th Street

Photo #1 - 1905 St Joseph News-Press advertisement
Photo #2 - 1924 St Joseph News-Press advertisement
Photo #3 - March 8,1950 Razing of the Crystal Theater (News-Press photo)






Circa 1912
DIXY SILENT MOVIE THEATER
6213 King Hill Avenue

This was listed in the 1912 City Directory as Dixy Theater
The red brick building appears to be vacant now
All above photo and information was submitted by Terry Plumb
Terry drives up from KC and researches theater data for me




Circa 1915
DUDLEY SILENT MOVIE THEATER
211 North 2nd Street
Circa 1918
DUDLEY SILENT MOVIE THEATER
211 North 2nd Street
Circa 1924
DUDLEY SILENT MOVIE THEATER
211 North 2nd Street

Listed in the 1924 City Directory at this address




1 2 3 Hermans4 Hermans5 6 7 8

Circa 1914
EMPRESS THEATER
VAUDVILLE & SILENT MOVIE THEATER
216 South 7th
Circa 1930
THE NEW & REMODELED EMPRESS
VAUDVILLE & MOVIE THEATER
216 South 7th

The theater was located on the 7th Street side of the Herman Building
There is plaque on the building "1889", evidently when it was built
In the 1914 City Directory, the Empress Theater was located at this address
The theater entrance was on the 7th Street side
It was known to be still in operation on November 1, 1930
Photo #5 is a Novemeber 1, 1930 St Joseph News-Press advertisement
The building sits just north of the old Green Hills store on South 7th
Many of the above photos and information was submitted by Terry Plumb
Terry drives up from KC and researches theater data for me
Photo #6 - 1923 St Joseph News Press Advertisement
Photo #7 - 1924 A message from the Empress management
Photo #8 - 1930 St Joseph Gazette advertisement about the new theater




GRAND SILENT MOVIE THEATER
6104 King Hill Avenue





1 2

Circa 1915
HAPPY HOUR SILENT MOVIE THEATER
1805 Commercial
SOUTH PARK SILENT MOVIE THEATER
1805 Commercial

Known to be in operation in 1915
D E Gordon & Son proprietors
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 like it was 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 submitted by Terry Plumb
Terry drives up from KC and researches theater data for me




Circa 1908
KINODROME SILENT MOVIE THEATER
814 Frederick Avenue

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






Circa 1926
LIBERTY SILENT MOVIE THEATER
2007 St Joseph Avenue
Circa 1930
LIBERTY SILENT MOVIE THEATER
2007 St Joseph Avenue
BOTTOMS UP BAR & GRILL
2007 St Joseph Avenue

Bottoms Up is the blue building in the photo
Photo taken in 2013 by Rodney Keyes




Lyceum Theater1 Lyceum Theater2 Lyceum Theater3 Lyceum Theater4

Circa 1913
LYCEUM THEATER
LYCEUM SILENT MOVIE THEATER
214 North 5th Street
5th & Jules Street

The theater was located on the southwest corner of 5th & Jules Street
The theater was known to be in operation in 1913 and also in 1920
Photo #3 - 1920 St Joseph Gazette advertisement for a play
Photo #4 - 1921-1922 Lyceum Program brochure
No further information available






Circa 1906
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 submitted by Terry Plumb
Photo - 1906 St Joseph News Press advertisement




1 2 3 4

Circa 1910
MAJESTIC THEATER
SILENT MOVIES & VAUDEVILLE
712 Edmond
Circa 1915
ELECTRIC THEATER
SILENT MOVIES & VAUDEVILLE
712 Edmond
Circa 1926
NEW ELECTRIC THEATER
SILENT MOVIES & VAUDEVILLE
712 Edmond

The Majestic Theater opened in 1910 playing silent movies and vaudeville
In September, 1915, the Majestic was renamed the Electric Theater
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
Photo #1
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
In 1926, the Majestic Theater building was torn down
A new Electric Movie Theater was constructed in it's place
Photo #2
St Joseph News-Press photo of the new Electric Theater & article
The article states at one time a skating rink was inside
However I believe it was inside of the original Majestic Theater

MAJESTIC THEATER INFORMATION

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
Photo #3 - 1917 St Joseph News Press advertisement
Photo #4 - 1913 St Joseph News Press advertisement






Circa 1910
NICKEL SILENT MOVIE THEATER
206 West Missouri Avenue
Circa 1929
NICKEL SILENT MOVIE THEATER
206 West Missouri Avenue
Circa 1930
VACANT
206 West Missouri Avenue
Circa 1933
HUMMER CIGAR SHOP
206 West Missouri Avenue
Circa 1940
CASA LOMA TAVERN
206 West Missouri Avenue
Circa 1958
CASA LOMA TAVERN
206 West Missouri Avenue

Opened in 1910 and closed in 1929
Manager in 1912 was William D Spurlock
It was called the Nickel Theater because admission was a nickel (5 cents)
In later years it became the Casa Loma lounge
The building no longer exists, only a vacant lot occupies the site




Circa 1915
ODEON SILENT MOVIE THEATER
1110 South 26th

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




Circa 1915
OLYMPIC SILENT MOVIE THEATER
502 South 16th

Now an empty lot
Information submitted by Terry Plumb




1 2 3

Circa 1905
SAXE'S ORPHEUM SILENT MOVIE THEATER
501 Felix

The Orpheum moved in later years to 4th & Edmond
This building later became the Buffalo Bar according to the 1921 city directory
Information submitted by Terry Plumb
Photo #2 - 1905 St Joseph News Press advertisement
Photo #3 - 1913 St Joseph News Press advertisement




1 2 3

Circa 1908
PALACE SILENT MOVIE THEATER
707 Edmond
Circa 1915
PALACE SILENT MOVIE THEATER
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 submitted by Terry Plumb
Terry drives up from KC and researches theater data for me





1 2 3

Circa 1915
PARK THEATER
SILENT MOVIE THEATER
1218-1220 South 10th Street
10th & Mitchell

Known to be in operation in 1915-1930
The theater was located 2 buildings north of Phillips Ice Cream on South 10th Street
The building no longer exists, only an empty field
Photo #1 - 1924 Park Theater News Press advertisement
Photo #2 - 1925 Park Theater News Press advertisement
Photo #3 - 1924 Park Theater News Press advertisement






Circa 1924
PENN SILENT MOVIE THEATER
20th & Penn

Photo - 1924 St Joseph News Pess advertisement




1 2 3

Circa 1909
PANTAGES SILENT MOVIE
& VAUDEVILLE THEATER
219 South 5th

Photo #1 - Period photo of Pantages Silent Theater
Photo #2 - St Joseph Gazette Advertisement
Photo #3 - 1909 St Joseph Gazette Advertisement
The building no longer exists, currently an empty lot






Circa 1907
PEOPLE'S VAUDVILLE THEATER
4th & Edmond Streets

Photo - 1907 St Joseph News Press advertisement
The building no longer exists






Circa 1910
PRINCESS SILENT MOVIE THEATER
217 South 5th

Was located next to the Pantages Theater on South 5th St
Photo - 1910 St Joseph News Press advertisement
The building no longer exists, currently an empty lot




1 2 3 4 5

Circa 1909
ROYAL SILENT MOVIE THEATER
614-616 Edmond Street

Known to be in operation October 5, 1909
Seating capacity was 800
The building no longer exists
Photo #3 - 1925 newspaper article showing theater inside
Photo #4 - 1924 St Joseph News Press advertisement
Photo #5 - 1909 Royal Theater News Press advertisement
Photo #3 submitted by Carol Stephens




1 2 3 4

Circa 1915
SAVOY SILENT MOVIE THEATER
302 Illinois

Known to be in operation in 1915-1926
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 submitted by Terry Plumb




1 2

Circa 1913
STAR SILENT MOVIE THEATER
413 Edmond

Known to be in operation April 3, 1913
Photo #1 - 1923 St Joseph News Press advertisement
Photo #2 - 1913 St Joseph News Press advertisement
The building no longer exists




1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Circa 1871
TOOTLE'S OPERA HOUSE
504 Francis Street

Circa 1906
ORPHEUM VAUDEVILLE THEATER
504 Francis Street

Circa Mid 1920's
DUBINSKY BROTHERS
504 Francis Street

Circa 1931
LITTLE THEATER
504 Francis Street

Circa 1939
PIONEER BUILDING
504 Francis Street

Circa 1972
MORRIS PLAN & CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
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 1906, it was the Orpheum Vaudeville Theater (see photos #1, 2 & 13)
In 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 became 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
Photo #9 - Francis street view
Photo #10 - Tootle Theater Auditorium
Photo #11 - Tootle Theater entrance hall
Photo #12 - Tootle Theater stage
Photo #13 - Newspaper ad, Orpheum Silent Theater opened in the Tootle Theater
Photo #1 submitted by Brooke Hickman




MOVIE THEATERS (TALKIES)



1 2

Circa 1964
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 August 19, 1965 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 East Hills renovations
Photo #2 - 1970 St Joseph News Press advertisement




1 2 3

HICKORY HALL
Circa 1923
HICKORY THEATER
2235 South 11th Street
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




1 2 3 4 5

Circa 1969
HILLCREST 4 THEATERS
HILLCREST PLAZA
605 North Belt Highway

This theater was located on the south side of the Hillcrest Plaza shopping center
The theater contained 4 separate theaters
The structure no longer exists, a new Chinese Restaurant occupies the location
The theater first opened on Thursday, December 25, 1969
Adults $1.75, Students with AMC Cards $1.25, under 12 $.75
4 In 1 Fun Grand Opening
The 4 movies playing on opening day
  • 1. James Garner in Marlowe
  • 2. Paul Newman/Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy & Sundance Kid
  • 3. Steve McQueen in The Reivers (Rated M)
  • 4. This Is My Alaska (Rated G)
    Photo #1 - Hillcrest 4 consession stand
    Photo #2 - Looking towards the doors from inside the theater
    Photo #3 - Hillcrest 4 entranceway & box office
    Photo #4 - The theater as viewed from parking lot
    Photo #5 - 1971 St Joseph News Press advertisement




  • 1 2 3 4

    Circa 1930
    CHARWOOD MOVIE THEATER
    124 North 3rd Street
    Circa 1939
    LOUIS MOVIE THEATER
    124 North 3rd Street
    Circa 1942
    JO THEATER
    124 North 3rd Street
    Circa 1955
    JO THEATER
    124 North 3rd Street

    This was previously the Charwood Theater
    The Louis Theater was in operation here from 1939-1941
    The Jo Theater opened on June 26, 1942
    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)
    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




    1 2 3 4

    Circa 1940
    GREAT PLAINS GRAND THEATER
    6115 King Hill Avenue
    Circa 1944
    KING THEATER
    6115 King Hill Avenue
    Circa 1950
    KING THEATER
    6115 King Hill Avenue
    Circa 1953
    KING THEATER
    6115 King Hill Avenue

    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
    Photo #1 - 1940 St Joseph News Press advertisement
    Photo #2 - 1944St Joseph News Press advertisement
    Photo #3 - 1950 St Joseph News Press advertisement




    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22

    Circa 1926
    ELECTRIC THEATER
    712 Edmond
    Circa 1961
    ELECTRIC THEATER
    712 Edmond

    Closed on October 28, 1961 - razed in 1977

    In 1910, the Majestic Theater opened playing silent movies and vaudeville acts
    In 1915, the theater was renamed to the Electric Theater
    In 1926, the theater was remodeled and a new Electric Theater was born
    The theater continued playing silent movies and vaudeville acts
    The Electric & Missouri Theaters were owned by Durwood. What grand memories!
    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
    In 1977, the Electric theater was razed
    A parking lot has existed here ever since 1977

    BRIEF HISTORY OF THE ELECTRIC THEATER
    Majestic Theater Grand Opening - Oct 13,1910
    Renamed to the Electric Theater & showed silent movies - September 23,1915
    New Electric Theater was built at this location - 1926
    Last date open: Saturday, October 28, 1961
    The building was destroyed in 1977
    Last shows played at the Electric Theater:
    Susan Travers in The Snake Woman
    Kieron Moore in Doctor Blood's Coffin
    Theater data submitted by Terry Plumb

    Photo #1 - 1925 photo of the Majestic Theater
    Photo #2 - 1926 new Electric Theater
    Photo #3 - 1926 new Electric Theater
    Photo #4 - Looking east on edmond from 7th Street
    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 - 1926 St Joseph Light & Power installed this 550 bulb sign
    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 - the parking lot where the Electric Theater & LaFonda once stood
    Photo #17 - Buttercup Popcorn
    Photo #18 - Dec 23,1933 people waiting in line for the Children's Christmas Party
    Photo #19 - Dec 24,1936 people waiting in line for the Children's Christmas Party
    Photo #20 - Interior view
    Photo #21 - Messanie view
    Photo #22 - Outside view




    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 28 29 30 31 32 33 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30 30

    Circa 1927
    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 Mezzanine
    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
    Photo #26 - Old box office & special event
    Photo #27 - Great photo of the theater
    Photo #28 - color photo of the Mezzanine
    Photo #29 - Dec 23, 1933 children's Christmas party in the Missouri Theater
    Photo #30 - Dec 24, 1936 6000 children attend Christmas party at Missouri & Electric
    Photo #31 - Feb 5, 1927 Workers putting finishing touched on roof
    Photo #32 - 1935 MGM Talent Scouts interview 32 women & 23 children
    Photo #33 - 1935 MGM Talent Scouts interview 32 women & 23 children




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    Circa 1925
    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 suffered extreme fire damage

    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
    Photo #5 - Plaza Theater fire
    Photo #6 - Circa 1950's audience
    Photo #7 - 1925 News Press advertisement
    Photos #1 & 2 submitted by Candace Dyson




    Original Orpheum Theater Photos
    Orpheum Theater1 Orpheum Theater2 Orpheum Theater3 4 5 6 7

    After Rebuild Orpheum Theater Photos
    1-R 2-R 3-R 4-R 5-R 6-R 7-R

    Circa 1912
    SAXES ORPHEUM THEATER
    Original Building
    501-505 Edmond
    Circa 1933
    SAXES ORPHEUM THEATER
    Front Rebuilt after 1933 fire
    501-505 Edmond
    Circa 1933
    ST JOSEPH SHOE REPAIR
    501-505 Edmond
    Circa 1933
    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 once stood
    There was also a lot that was used for sideshows
    The theater was brightly lit at night
    The Orpheum Theater was located on the northeast corner of 5th & Edmond
    Photo #7 is a November 1, 1930 St Joseph News Press advertisement telling about the Orpheum being totally remodeled with new screens, sound, seating etc.
    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
    After the January fire, 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 child in the 1950's before the razing
    It smelled very badly of stale cigar & cigarette smoke
    Back then, people were allowed to smoke in the theaters

    ORIGINAL PHOTOS BEFORE THE 1933 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
    Photo #6 - The Orpheum Theater in it's prime
    Photo #7 - November 1, 1930 - remodeled & reopening advertisement
    AFTER THE 1933 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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    Circa 1991
    PLAZA 8 THEATER
    2219 North Belt

    Plaza 8 opened in August of 1991
    Plaza 8 became a subrun in 2005 when the new Regal Hollywood Stadium 10 located at 5405 North Belt Highway opened
    This theater closed on Sunday March 2, 2014
    On March 4, 2014 it was discovered that it had been vandalized by employees
    The property has been sold to Price Chopper
    Price Chopper is planning on building a new grocery store at this location
    Photo #9, circa 2015, theater destruction has begun
    As of April 2016, the entire lot is flat and the store construction has begun




    1 2 3 4 5

    Circa 1922
    REGAL THEATER
    2010 St Joseph Avenue

    The Regal Theater was located on St Joseph Avenue across from the Bottoms Up Bar & Grill
    It has been closed since 1961 and is in dire conditon
    The 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
    They had the best candy selection in town






    Circa 1927
    REVERE THEATER
    1110 South 26th
    (26th & Penn)

    Photo - 1927 St Joseph News Press advertisement



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    Circa 1926
    CASSIL'S RIALTO THEATER
    Circa 1965
    DEX THEATER
    Circa 1970
    CAMEO THEATER
    Circa 1971
    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
    Photo #8 - 1927 St Joseph News Press advertisement

    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




    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

    Circa 1927
    RIVOLI THEATER
    2115 Frederick Avenue
    Circa 1941
    UPTOWN THEATER
    2115 Frederick Avenue

    In 1934 this was the Rivoli Theater
    It was located at 2115 Frederick Avenue, it had 700 seats
    The theater was remodeled 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
    Last date open: Tuesday March 1,1955
    Last shows played:
    Humphrey Bogart in The Caine Mutiny
    Alan Ladd in The Black Night
    Photo #6 - 1934 Rivoli Theater advertisement
    Photo #9 - January 22, 1941 Uptown Theater Grand Opening advertisement
    Photo #10 - 1927 St Joseph News Press advertisement






    Circa 1873
    TEMPLE THEATER
    Located on Francis Street
    Between Main & 2nd Streets





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    Circa 1951
    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 1st theater built in St Joseph since 1928
    The Trail Theater is located on North 9th Street, between Felix & Francis
    The Trail Theater was the last remaining old theater in full operation
    It has since closed it's doors
    It had a side exit which led to Mannings Grocery Store parking lot
    People parking in Mannings Parking lot during the store's hours caused problems
    When it opened in 1951 it was considered one of St Joseph's most modern theaters

    The Trail was remodeled in 1960, many of the special lighting effects were altered
    The red sidewalk was removed as well as the quarry tile
    The Trail was owned by the Dickinson Theaters of Kansas City
    The Trail was sold on April 15, 2011 to a local businessman
    He is in the process of restoring the theater for multi-purposes
    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
    Photo #25 - 1951 St Joseph News Press photograph




    1 2

    Circa 1935
    VALLEY THEATER
    6121 King Hill Avenue





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    Rick Drozd rickdrozd@gmail.com


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