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Newman Theater

1966 Photo from the William Hamilton collection.
1114-18 Main St
Kansas City MO

Demolished 1972
Record #10551  
 Opened: 1919
 Closed: 1972
 Demolished: 1972
Capacity: 2000 seats
Architect(s): Alexander Drake
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Paramount, Towne
 Previously operated by: Publix Theatres, Kansas City Operating Co, Tri-States Theatres, Durwood Theatres, AMC Theatres

Information for this tour was contributed by Kansas City Public Library.

The "old gold, old rose, old blue and brown" interior of the Newman Theater is shown on this 1919 post card. It was the third and finest of Frank L. Newman's movie houses in Kansas City.

The site of the Newman Theater was that of the old Brady Building, which had been gutted by fire in 1918. It was the largest motion picture theater to be built in the downtown district and the most costly theater of any sort to be erected here. It was built on a 100-foot frontage at 1114-18 Main just 25 feet north of 12th. Newman's other downtown theaters were the Royal, one-half block north, and the Regent, 109 E. 12th.

The architect for the Newman was Alexander Drake and the steel and concrete fire-proof building cost nearly $400,000. Seating capacity was 2,000. The orchestra pit accommodated a 35-piece orchestra and on special occasions 50 musicians would be employed.

A large mezzanine floor promenade was located between the first floor and balcony. Off this area was a nursery for children and various lounges.

Each year on the anniversary of the date of the opening, a week's celebration was held with special acts on stage, most of them from out of town. A local group, the Marie Kelly dancers, appeared one year.

Frank L. Newman left Kansas City in June, 1925, after 11 profitable years operating his theaters. He left to manage theaters in Los Angeles for the Famous Players-Lasky Film Corporation. They paid Newman $900,000 for the Newman and Royal Theaters. Many of Newman's employees followed him to California.

In later years the Newman was called the Paramount and still later the Towne. Today "closed" signs are posted on the theater, which will be torn down for an urban renewal project.

Kansas City Star
March 25, 1972

The Newman name changed to Paramount in 1947; the Paramount closed in 1967. The theatre renovated to a 4-plex and reopened as the Towne 4 in 1969 and closed for good and demolished in 1972.

 Photos remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

1966 photos from the William Hamilton collection.

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The Paramount and Ro...

 Images remain the property of the Member and may not be reproduced without the written consent of the Member.

Postcards from the Darren Snow collection.

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Postcards from the Kansas City Public Library collection.

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Last featured 3/8/2005. Last edited 12/25/2021.

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