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Uptown Theatre

Photo from the Darren Snow collection.
1010 E Broadway
Columbia MO

Record #8242  
 Opened: 1907
 Closed: February 26, 1986
 Current Use: Retail
Capacity: 1100 seats
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Bijou Dream, Broadway Odeon, Cozy
 Previously operated by: Commonwealth Theatres

Information for this tour was contributed by Darren Snow.

This theatre operated as the Bijou Dream, Broadway Odeon, and Cozt from 1907 to 1927.

Commonwealth Theatres, which was formed in 1930 by the merger of two companies, went into partnership with Columbia's Rex P. Barrett to open the Uptown. The "Formal Opening" on May 18, 1935, was for invited guests only, and the accompanying Columbia Tribune ad included a "creed" offered in the first person by the theatre itself(!). A small front-page article on opening day advised that "stage shows will be added when the high type of show is available."

The first manager was Rex Barrett. George Willhoite managed the Uptown in 1942-43 and again in 1965-66. He replaced Bob Birch, who then took over the Broadway Drive-In when its manager moved to the Sky-Hi--but not before several months of caretaking by Bob Douglass, who had been managing the Hall. When Willhoite left to manage the new Cinema, he was replaced by Sgt. P.G. Neff, who had run the theatres at Ft. Leonard Wood for the last three years.

The theater was refurbished several times under the direction of Commonwealth's Roy Tucker.

The Uptown closed the day the Mall 4 opened. Businessman Tom Mendenhall and his partners announced their intention of remodeling the building into office space.

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

March 2016 photos from the Adam Martin collection.

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1986 photos from the Columbia Tribune collection.

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Photos from the Darren Snow collection.

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Last featured 2/25/2005. Last edited 8/29/2016.

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