Photo from the Kansas City Public Library collection
1120-24 McGee St|
Kansas City MO
|Record #10547 |
Architect(s): Lee DeCamp
Current Organ: none
| Also Known As: |
Information for this tour was contributed by Kansas City Public Library.
The Empress Theater, at the northwest corner of twelfth and McGee streets, with its handsome front and marquee on McGee, was built by the Sullivan and Considine Vaudeville circuit. At the time it was considered on of the most modern vaudeville houses in America.
The $180,000 fireproof building of concrete, steel, marble and tile opened in May, 1910, with three vaudeville and motion picture shows daily, 2:30, 7:30 and 9:30 o’clock.
An electric lighted sign hangs over Twelfth street on 1911 postcard. A motor car and one horse and buggy are parked near the entrance.
Controversy over a movie called “Ecstasy” threatened to close the theater for a time, but the film played on in spite of critics.
With the decline of vaudeville, the theater became a burlesque house. It closed in the fall of 1936 after a proposed 40-week burlesque season lasted only 12 weeks. The building was then converted for use by shops.
The entire structure was razed in 1956 to make way for an 8-level parking garage for the Traders National bank. The basement of the old building was reinforced and is used for bank storage purposes.
Kansas City Star
January 10, 1969
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Postcards from the Kansas City Public Library collection.
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Last featured 3/8/2005. Last edited 9/6/2014.