Center Theatre

3504 Center Street,
Omaha, NE 68105

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Additional Info

Architects: Henry A. Raapke

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Omaha Junior Theatre, Emmy Gifford Children's Theatre

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News About This Theater

Center Theater, Omaha, NE

The Center Theatre was opened on March 15, 1951. From 1972 it operated as a children’s theatre named Omaha Junior Theatre. In 1981 it was renamed Emmy Gifford Children’s Theatre and in 1993, they changed their name to the Omaha Theatre Company and moved to the former Astro Theatre, which is now known as The Rose Blumkin Performing Arts Center.

The Gifford installed reclining seats in this theatre. The crenulation ornamentation appears to have been added by the company.

Following closure it housed Collector’s Choice, an estate/consignment sales service. By 2022 it was vacant.

Contributed by Torsten Adair

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Sirdrummer007 on November 21, 2012 at 4:43 am

Just passed this theatre the other day. Told my wife that has to be a theatre at one time.Came here and found out i was right.

rivest266 on August 13, 2013 at 2:56 pm

This opened on March 14th, 1951 and the listings in the paper stopped in 1981. Grand opening ad in the photo section.

histrebuff on September 14, 2013 at 6:18 am

Lots of memories of this theater from the 70’s. The Poseidon Adventure, American Graffiti, etc. I believe the owner was the man who took the tickets. He wore a red blazer, white shirt, & black bow tie. He was the nicest man, treated customers like royalty. Something no one does these days.

DavidZornig on June 21, 2020 at 4:44 pm

In 1976, the closed Center Theater was expanded on its west side, and it was renamed the Omaha Junior Theater. This organization which produced stage plays by young people was founded 1949, by Emmy Gifford who was a patroness of the arts. In 1981, the Omaha Junior Theater was renamed the Emmy Gifford Children’s Theater. The children’s theater program moved to the Astro (today, The Rose) Theater in 1993. (Image added)

Jake Bottero
Jake Bottero on September 15, 2022 at 9:15 am

Currently vacant, boarded up.

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