120 SE 8th Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Dickinson Theatres
Firms: Boller Brothers
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Novelty Theatre
Starting out as the Novelty Theatre in 1908, the Dickinson Theatre was smaller compared to its sisters the Jayhawk Theatre and the Grand Theatre. It would start out with vaudeville performers and comedy until the 1920’s, when it became a cinema.
Not much is known or remembered about the inside of the theatre, but there was a curtain, the “Dickinson” crest hung from the proscenium, and it had a balcony.
It would remain a popular movie theatre until the 1980’s, when it would suffer from competition by newer multi-plexes being built around the city. This would turn the Dickinson Theatre into a discount, or “dollar movie” joint before its permanent closure in 1988. It would remain vacant until 1993, when it was demolished to create a parking lot.
The Dickinson Theatre was located on the corner of SE 8th Avenue and SE Quincy Street, across from the Topeka Performing Arts center (west of it). It has been said the original crest that adorned the Dickinson’s sign is stored in the Jayhawk State Theatre.
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