Photo from the Kansas City Public Library collection
E Ninth St & Holmes St|
Kansas City MO
|Record #10545 |
Closed: Yes (date unknown)
Capacity: 1800 seats|
Current Organ: none
| Also Known As: Warder Grand|
Information for this tour was contributed by Kansas City Public Library.
During the boom years of 1886-87 Col. W. Warder, lawyer and poet, gave his name and fortune to a 1,800-seat theater at the northeast corner of Ninth & Holmes streets. Called Warder Grand, it later became known as the Auditorium theater.
The theater opened October 26, 1887, with a tarpaulin for a roof, and only pot-bellied iron stove to break the chill. An audience of 300 huddled in blankets and robes to see Edwin Booth and Lawrence Barrett in "Othello." Warder lost the theater in 1890, but it continued to be a major showhouse.
The stage was one of the largest in the country, spacious enough for a horse and rig to turn around on.
In later years the theater was used for stock companies and movies. A distinguished amateur group calling itself the Kansas City Theater, used the building in its closing years.
The DeSoto hotel is shown at the right side of picture.
Now the entire block is razed and only a sign reading, "Sam's All Day Parking, 35 cents," marks the spot where once trod a galaxy of bright stars such as Ellen Terry, Richard Mansfield, Julia Marlowe, Sarah Bernhardt, Harry Lauder and Adeline Patti.
Kansas City Star
November 30, 1968
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Postcards from the Kansas City Public Library collection.
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Last featured 3/8/2005. Last edited 10/19/2008.