Spring break is right around the corner. If your wallet is a not full enough to allow you to go to the beach, why not try a weekend getaway to a historical theater? Detour has the details how to take a trip back through performing arts history. Depending on where you are in the Midwest, there are several different theaters you can tour and attend shows.
The Folly theater, located in downtown Kansas City, opened September 23, 1900. It was placed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1974. According to the theater’s website, the Folly Theater’s mission is: “To preserve Kansas City’s oldest historic theater as a premier performance venue, we commit to maintain our building’s heritage, diversify our program and entertainment offerings, and be an enthusiastic participant in the continuing revitalization of downtown Kansas City.
The Gillioz Theatre
If you are heading towards Springfield, you might want to stop by the Gillioz Theatre. First opened in 1926, the theater’s renovation took eighty years from the opening date to complete. The auditorium seats over 1000 seats, with performances ranging from Broadway productions to seminars. The theater was originally designed for Vaudeville, but was shut down as the performance style became dated. A dedicated committee worked together to restore and reopen the theater.
The Gateway Arch isn’t the only thing you can visit while in St. Louis. The Tivoli Theatre opened in The Loop in 1924. The four-story building is known for its featurettes in foreign language and independent films. In 1994, Joe and Linda Edwards bought the theater after it had been opened and closed numerous times. The couple renovated the theater to its current glory. The theater reopened in 1995. It was awarded “Best Movie Theater” in 2016 by The GO! List, St. Louis Post Dispatch. The theater also resides on the National Register of Historical Places list.
Another Kansas City location, the Main Street Theater opened in 1924. Commonly referenced as the Empire Theater, it was the largest theater in KC until the Midland opened. The seating capacity held 3,200 in 1924. With the up and coming entertainment district in Kansas City called Power and Light , the theater was scheduled into the plan of renovation. Reopened in 2009, the theater now has six auditoriums on the two floors. The ground floor auditoriums have standard seating. The upper floor is more luxurious, featuring recliner seats and food trays. In 2012, Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas took ownership the theater.