Then and Now: Midland Theatre Box Office

Another entry to our Then and Now series.

Today’s entry focuses on a a long-time entertainment landmark in the heart of Kansas City. The six-story Midland Theatre was opened in 1927 as a Loew’s movie theater. With 4,000 seats, it was the third largest theater in the United States; the largest two theaters were both in NYC.

In 1961, the theater temporarily became a bowling stadium. Yes, a stadium, with four bowling lanes. Multiple sources from the time call it a “bowling stadium”, and it was home to the Kansas City Stars, a National Bowling League team. In 1962, as AMC Theaters was having its name changed from Durwood Theatres, they took over the theater and renamed it the Saxon. The switch also involved turning a lounge area into a smaller arts theater. The new name did not last and the theater’s name was changed back to Midland by 1966. The movies continued until 1981, when the Midland became a live entertainment venue, which is still its use today.

midland-bo-final

More information:

NRHP nomination form

Photos showing theater shortly after taking on Saxon name

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