West Theatre

903 W. Douglas Avenue,
Wichita, KS 67213

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Sulivan Independent Theatres

Architects: U.G. Charles

Nearby Theaters

West Theatre

A conversion of a retail space, the West Theatre was opened on August 22, 1924 with Dorothy Mackaill in “Mighty-Lak-A-Rose” & Gilbert Holmes in “Hello Pardner”. It was closed on December 13, 1953 with Charles Starrett in “Texas Stampede” & Dick Sands in “Phantom from Space”. It reverted back to retail use and has since been demolished.

Contributed by Jeff Chapman

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

seymourcox on May 26, 2009 at 5:20 pm

This fun link mentions the West, along with many other classic Kansas theatres –
View link

Keith Wondra
Keith Wondra on August 5, 2012 at 8:59 pm

Now in the old West Theater building is a cycle parts store and TJ’s Burger House.

Keith Wondra
Keith Wondra on January 24, 2013 at 12:49 pm

O.F. Sullivan opened the West Theater in 1925. He also built the Civic Theater, 81 Drive-In Theater, 54 Drive-In Theater and the Crest Theater. Sullivan also owned the Crawford and Palace Theaters.

Lyndon on November 9, 2014 at 10:00 am

The Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum posted a photo of the West Theatre

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on December 14, 2020 at 2:10 pm

The West Theatre building was built in 1922 for Fred Farmer, and was designed by a well-known local architect, U. G. Charles. The project was noted in the July 15, 1922 issue of The American Contractor. Although designed as a theater, in early 1924 the building was occupied by a business called the West Side Racket Store. The April 29, 1924 issue of the Wichita Beacon said that B. R. Gundy, of Oklahoma, had leased the building from Farmer and would open it as a movie house called the West Theatre in July.

dallasmovietheaters on November 7, 2022 at 6:26 am

R.R. Gunby and C.L. Hannon opened the West Theater on August 22, 1924 with Dorothy Mackaill in “Mighty Lak-A-Rose” supported by Gilbert Holmes in “Hello Pardner.” They operated on a five year lease from building owner and local real estate person, Fred Farmer. O.F. Sullivan took on the venue, likely on a 25-year leasing agreement with Farmer, closing it throughout May of 1928 to reverse the seating and give the house a needed refresh. That refresh was, in the eyes of a local critic, “as pretty as a little red wagon.” A year later, in June of 1929, Sullivan equipped the theater for sound for the venue to remain viable.

Sullivan and his wife would acquire other local theaters under his Sullivan Independent Theatres Circuit nameplate. Sullivan downgraded the West to a third-tier discount house with all seats just a quarter in its final stage of operation. Sullivan closed the West Theatre (nicknamed “The Little Dreamhouse”) on December 13, 1953 with “Texas Stampede” with Charles Starrett and Dick Sands in “Phantom From Space” supported by a cartoon and a newsreel. The space had been a retail location prior to becoming a theater and transitioned back to retail location following its nearly 30-year run as a theater.

Jake Bottero
Jake Bottero on January 1, 2023 at 4:16 am

Long gone. Demolished.

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