Monday, February 28, 2011

So Long to the Gladstone Theatre

UPDATE: The Kansas City Fire Department has ruled the fire accidental. Started on the first floor and probably electrical in nature.Yes, I know it was a Mosque, but I will always remember last nights loss to fire as the Gladstone Theatre. It was originally called the Gladstone Hall and was used for live performances. Later it went to moves. It opened in 1913 and seated 602 in orchestra and balcony seating. I went to movies there many, many times as a kid and my Grandfather was the ticket taker there for a few years in the 50s. After the buildings used as a theatre it was first a roller rink, then a Christian church, then a beauty school and lastly a Mosque. A Kimball organ was installed in the Theatre in 1916 and, in 1927, a Wurlitzer organ Opus 1693 Style B replaced the Kimball. (Facts from onlines' Cinema Treasures)
Looking southeast from the back of the building.

The view of the back looking east.
The front. The building sits at 4608 St. John Avenue in between Elmwood and Lawn Avenues. The fire was reported about 3am and eventually became 3 alarms. The ATF and Fire Inspectors were on scene this morning as the fire is considered of suspicious origin.

Karen's Kozy Cabin (known as the Log Cabin over here for years ) was spared.


  1. Just a shame...

    Scott W.

  2. Tough fire for everyone. A difficult loss for the current tenants and a loss of history for the city.

  3. In a progressive city, they would fortify the front facade and leave it in place to shield parking (which is what will probably happen to the site. They have even done this in Topeka of all places, and it looks great. There is some of the best terra cotta in the city on this building. I've also seen completely new buildings built behind historic facades. I won't hold my breath. Too bad it wasn't a mini mart.
    Thanks for showing this tragedy.

  4. Thank you for sharing!