Admiral I & II Theatre

142 S. 40th Street,
Omaha, NE 68131

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Additional Info

Architects: Frank Latenser

Styles: Atmospheric, Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Admiral Theatre

Nearby Theaters

News About This Theater

Admiral I & II Theatre

The Admiral Theatre sat at the corner of S. 40th Street and Farnam Street in Omaha, Nebraska. It was a conversion of a sheet metal factory. Originally a single screen house when it opened on February 4, 1942 with Joan Blondell in “Lady for a Night”. The interior was an odd style of architecture. It was designed to look and feel like a boat, with an Atmospheric Art Moderne style that feature ships hulls on the side-walls and a moon, twinkling stars and cloud effects at the screen end. It was equipped with a Hammond Electric organ which was opened by organist George Johnson. It was twinned on November 16, 1976, renamed Admiral I & II Theatre. On April 10, 1983 it was ‘temporary’ closed for remodeling. It never reopened. The final movies had been Bo Hopkins in “Sweet Sixteen” & Sandra Peabody in “The Last House on the Left”.

The building remained vacant and deteriorating and it was demolished in early-1997.

Contributed by Ivan Steinke

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

hopewell on March 18, 2008 at 12:44 pm

I saw “Monster Zero” and “War of the Gargantuas” there back in 1970.

cgifford on June 12, 2009 at 5:44 pm

The really grand conceit of the Admiral was that the decor amounted to a ship turned inside out. The sidewall were white and hull-like to a height of about twelve feet, then a railing, then lifeboats hanging inward. The night sky was the background and house right near the proscenium there was a full moon with clouds constantly passing by.

This was a great place to divert one’s gaze when things got too scary on screen.

There was a “crying room house left at the rear.

Also the drinking fountain in the lobby was activated by an electric eyeâ€"both mysterious and high tech in the 50’s.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 4, 2009 at 1:03 am

The February 27, 1943, issue of Boxoffice has photos of the Admiral Theatre. The house got its nautical Moderne design courtesy of Omaha architect Frank Latenser.

Sandman1968 on January 18, 2011 at 4:28 pm

My fondest memory of this theater, other than all of the great horror and B-movies I saw there in the 70’s and early 80’s like “Dawn of the Dead”, was the bathroom. Remember those stairs?? When I was 11, having to go down there to pee was usually scarier than anything I came to see on the screen.

rivest266 on December 4, 2011 at 1:11 pm

February 4th, 1942 grand opening ad has been posted here.

rivest266 on December 6, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Crossroads Twin and Admiral Twin grand opening ad from November 16th, 1976 I enclosed the joint grand opening ad here in the photo section.

TorstenAdair on January 30, 2012 at 9:28 am

If memory serves, during it’s later days in the early 1980s, it screened “Popeye” for some forty weeks. Can someone check the newspaper microfiche?

MSC77 on December 31, 2021 at 11:47 am

TorstenAdair: According to the movie ads published in the Omaha World-Herald, “Popeye” played the Admiral from December 12th, 1980 through February 4th, 1981 for a run of eight weeks.

MSC77 on December 31, 2021 at 11:49 am

Here’s a new 4-page 50th anniversary FIDDLER ON THE ROOF retrospective featuring a roadshow playdate chronology and historian Q&A. The Admiral’s year-long run is mentioned in the piece.

dallasmovietheaters on December 1, 2022 at 7:06 am

Opened on February 4th, 1942 with Joan Blondell and John Wayne in “Lady for a Night,” the Admiral was a $175,000 project from Walter Green and Ralph Blank. The atmospheric theater conjured up its nautically-themed name by giving one the impression that they were on a ship in the evening. Portholes were on the wall along with the ship’s hull above and blue waves below. It was a great transformation of the Julius Wessel & Co. sheet metal factory (also pictured in photos).

The Admiral was altered from a single ship to two schooners upon its twinning on November 16, 1976 becoming the Admiral 2 Theatre. Its last heyday was showing “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Dick Blank of the Skyview and the Crossroads 2 announced a temporary closure on April 10, 1983 following showings of “Sweet Sixteen” and “The Last House on the Left” for remodeling. That decommissioning turned out to be permanent and the Admiral structure decayed with a bad roof over the next decade. The Admiral 2 Theatre was demolished in late 1996 into early 1997.

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.