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La Crosse Theatre

707-17 Main St
La Crosse KS

Record #21725  
 Opened: 1950
 Closed: Yes (date unknown)
 Demolished: Yes (date unknown)
Capacity: 300 seats
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As:

Information for this tour was contributed by Brad Penka.

Early in 1950, Ralph Larned decided that the community could support a second theatre. Unable to secure a suitable lot or building to house the theatre, Larned chose to use the building at 707 Main Street where his wife Jewell had been operating Larned's Dress Shop. The Larneds liquidated the store and began renovations on the building. A partial second story was added and the building was extended in length to nearly double its original size.

Workers had completed work on the new theatre by December of 1950. The main level of the twenty-four-feet-wide building contained two restrooms, a foyer, lobby, concession area, and a main room with a seating capacity of 300 patrons. Although a projection booth and storage area were located on the second floor, there was no balcony. The foyer area was painted in chartreuse and had red and chartreuse carpeting. The first feature to be shown in the new theatre was "Three Came Home," a first-run war story starring Claudette Colbert.

The theatre never seemed to gain the popularity of its sister theatre, the Paramount. After only a few weeks of operation, newspaper advertisements for the theatre no longer appeared. In February 1957, Ralph Larned sold the building so that it could be converted into a dry-cleaning shop operated by Carl Juvenal. For many years, the red and white marquee hung above the entrance of the cleaning shop. The U-Needa Cleaners, as it was called, was the last business to operate in the building and it was permanently closed in the mid to late 1970s. Sometime around 1980, following a heavy snow, the roof collapsed rendering the building unusable. A few years later, the building was dismantled.

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Last featured 10/20/2002. Last edited 7/12/2009.

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