Roxy Theater

1104 Main Street,
Kansas City, MO 64106

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dallasmovietheaters on November 20, 2020 at 6:55 pm

AMC Theatres closed the Roxy Theatre on January 9, 1971 with “The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.” An urban re-development plan called 12th and Main (called City Center Square at opening) was announced in 1972 in which AMC closed the former Paramount turned Towne 4 on February 6th. That was followed by auctions of both the Towne and Roxy.

rivest266 on May 5, 2018 at 1:15 pm

and reopened as Roxy on October 10th, 1947. Another ad posted.

DavidZornig on November 2, 2015 at 1:16 am

1957 photo added, courtesy of the AmeriCar The Beautiful Facebook page.

rivest266 on July 31, 2015 at 1:31 am

July 11th, 1918 grand opening ad in photo section.

Chuck Fisher
Chuck Fisher on March 13, 2015 at 5:01 pm

The Roxy Theatre in downtown Kansas City, Mo was located at 1104 Main Street. I worked there in the 1950’s when the theatre hosted Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commadments” that was presented on a reserved seat engagement for over six months! I sold group sales for this epic film and the Roxy Theatre was the perfect theatre that continued for many years after DeMille’s masterpiece! I actually worked for Stan Durwood who was the father of the multiplex theatres. His brother Richard Durwood and his Father Ed Durwood were both actively involved in the operation of the Roxy in Kansas City! THOSE WERE THE DAYS, never to be repeated because they don’t build theatres like that any more! Sadly! Chuck Fisher.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 16, 2014 at 4:32 pm

The Moving Picture World had this announcement about the proposed Liberty Theatre in its issue of November 17, 1917:

“KANSAS CITY, MO. — Overland Amusement Company has plans by Frederick E. McIlvain for fireproof moving picture theater, to be known as the Liberty.”
Frederick E. McIlvain was a partner in Jackson & McIlvain, who designed the Globe Theatre in 1913. Their partnership was dissolved in 1916, so McIlvain designed the Liberty on his own.

Mike Gallagher
Mike Gallagher on August 4, 2014 at 6:57 pm

We certainly lost some beautiful treasures downtown. Many of the theaters were some of the finest in North America.

Infanma on July 7, 2013 at 6:20 pm

Saw Woodstock at The Roxy during its first run. What a great place. Would love to see some interior pictures.

Mike Gallagher
Mike Gallagher on July 1, 2012 at 5:09 pm

Main Street between 11th and 12th Street was beutifully lit up with the Paramount and the Roxy Theater full of Neon Marquee’s. I watched as the Roxy Marquee was ripped down – broken neon everywhere. It was really sad. The replaced marquee was UGLY and I told that to Ralph Burhmaster – the Manager and also to Stan Durwood. Stan Durwood put money into the Roxy and also the redo of the Roxy into the Towne 4 Theaters knowing that they were going to be demolished a few eyars later. He set himself up to get top dollar for those two buildings. I still wish that the Roxy would have been saved and incorporated into the City Center. The CC was supposed to have a 6 screen movie theater in it. Never knew what happened.

Michael R. Rambo Jr.
Michael R. Rambo Jr. on February 23, 2011 at 11:43 am

It was here at the Roxy Theatre that Stanley Durwood (of Durwood Theatres/AMC Theatres) thought up the concwept of the multi-screen theatre.

cpurv69 on February 6, 2011 at 7:08 pm

For photos at KC Library, go to this link: then type in “theater” or whatever in the search box at the upper right corner.

cpurv69 on February 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm

It’s a shame that all the links to pictures at the KC Library are dead. Some can be found, with great difficulty.

Mike Gallagher
Mike Gallagher on January 9, 2011 at 8:52 pm

I reference to one of the above comment, I never did take any pictures and really regret it. I have a piece of Tera Cotta from the beautiful front of the building. There were rumors that Stan Durwood wanted to dismantle the front of the Roxy to have it redone in a multi-plex but that did not happen. It was sad to see it demolished especially when all the drapes were removed and you could see all the beautiful plaster work that was destroyed. It was truely a beautiful theater. When the theater was demolished all of the old theater organ pipes were also destroyed. The organ had been covered and it was also destroyed with no intention of saving it. Not even sure anyone knew it was there since it had been covered over for many years from the 1959 renovation. I do have a few interior display signs that were in the upstairs lounge. Wish we still had this wonderful theater.

ladymjw on August 28, 2010 at 10:11 am

Boots & Jam-Man, if you’re still checking this site, I remember downtown KC very well. I’m 78 and want to see if either of you can confirm my memeories of the WWII years. Didn’t the Roxy become an all night theater? I seem to remember that war plant workers and service men could catch a movie between shifts/trains at the Roxy. I was in high school and also went during the afternoons after school (Paseo), catching the street car downtown to 12th & Main. It was a bustling place then.
Best regards…

billandthebears on January 14, 2010 at 12:56 pm

To Michael “The Jam-Man” Gallagher. So glad to actually hear from someone who “worked” at the Roxy. By any chance, did you ever take any interiors…especially the curtains and perhaps the theater seats? My memory grows foggier with each passing decade…and I would LOVE to have any interiors that you would care to share. Could you send me any jpegs you may possess…even of the exterior as well? I, too, LOVED THE ORIGINAL CURVED MARQUEE! It was thrilling to me as a child and as an adult! My e-mail is

Many thanks for any assistance you can give to me! I also have a few additional exteriors that you might enjoy having as well.

My best…Bill Hamilton

Mike Gallagher
Mike Gallagher on October 7, 2009 at 9:39 pm

I worked at the Roxy Theater in the mid to late 60’s when it was owned by Durwood Theaters. It was always a classy 1st run house. We hated when the beautiful Neon Lit Marquee was ripped down and a very plan and boring marquee replaced. It was always maintained in very fine condition and was that way when it was demolished. I was in shock when I was dischared from the Air Forse after spending a year in Korea and driving thru downtown to see the Roxy and Paramount Theater (Towne lV Cinema) being readied for demolition. Much of the facade of both theaters should have been salvaged. Actually, the Roxy would have been the pefect “playhouse” for live theater if it would have been incorporated into the plans for that block renovation and a stage and back stage area built. Today, that would have happened for sure. Much of its interior beauty was hidden by drapes on the side walls and the ceiling painted black. If was a very beautiful and intimate movie theater. Some of the best films were shown there exclusively. I recall the Carpetbeggers having very long run with Carol Baker and that was Alan Ladd’s last film. It starred George Peppard in his best film role.
Wish we could have the Orpheum, Paramount, Roxy, Esquire, Tower, Palace, Empress and even the Regent back today. Kansas City with its live theater activity, opera, dance and art film interested could have found many uses for those once beautiful downtown venues.
Does anyone have any demolition pics of those theaters?

RobbKCity on September 8, 2007 at 3:54 pm

Street scene showing the Liberty during the holidays.

View link

RobbKCity on June 17, 2007 at 8:05 pm

The Kansas City Public Library local history database lists Kansas City architect Frederick E. McIlvain, 1873-1927, as the designer of the Liberty.

View link

kencmcintyre on December 23, 2006 at 6:06 pm

This article is dated 11/12/58:

Motive Is Sought In Major’s Crime

KANSAS CITY â€" The Army is seeking a motive for the crime that cost twice-decorated Maj. Russell E. Parker, 40, his life. Parker was shot to death by John E. Duggan, manager of the downtown Roxy theater as he tried to flee with a metal cash box containing $508. Sprawled on a sidewalk, Parker died under the garish lights of the theater marquee.

The combat-wounded veteran reported in August to the Army’s Command and General Staff College at nearby Ft. Leavenworth. Col.Jerry Sage, his class supervisor, said the major’s widow reported Parker’s parents had incurred large bills in recent months and Parker may have wanted help them.

mlind on February 15, 2005 at 6:41 pm

Information from KC Public Library View link

RobbKCity on December 28, 2004 at 6:52 am

Jim Rankin: I’ve seen that book, and it is indeed wonderful.

Ryan Caviglia: I think downtown Kansas City is on the rise again. So much is happening lately. It appears the Empire Theater on Main will be restored soon. Old office buildings are being converted to residential so quickly that it’s hard to keep up. The Cordish Co. is going to be building 4-5 new apartment buildings in the Power & Light entertainment district. The new downtown library in the renovated former First National Bank building has added a lot of new activity to that area. Go to < > if you want to see all that’s going on downtown.

William Hamilton: That is a great photo. It really shows the bustling activity that once existed in downtown Kansas City. You should send a digital copy to the Kansas City Public Library for their online local history section.

JimRankin on May 27, 2004 at 5:29 am

It is amazing how many theatres are named ROXY in imitation of the once famous name of the New York City panjandrum of the movie palace: Samual Lionel Rothapfel = “Roxy”. His namesake was the famous ROXY THEATRE in NYC, which outlasted him by only 25 years when it was demolished in 1960. The whole story is in that landmark book “The Best Remaining Seats: The Story of the Golden Age of the Movie Palace” by the late Ben M. Hall in 1961. Various editions of it are sometimes available from, but only the first edition contains the color plates.

ryan123 on January 3, 2004 at 8:24 pm

Mr Hamilton,

Again, an amazing color photo of Main Street in the 60s! I would be interested in copies of anything like this you have if you’d be willing! FOr someone that prays downtown KC will someday be something great again, I was elated to see these photos – there are so few one sees that are in color!

boots on October 2, 2002 at 5:58 pm

Just wondering if anyone else out there has any memories they would like to share about having attended the Roxy Theatre in their lifetime? I’d love to read your comments!