Giles Theatre

1714 W. 39th Street,
Kansas City, MO 64111

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Commonwealth Theaters Corp., Fox Midwest Theatres

Functions: Community Center, Laundromat

Styles: Streamline Moderne

Previous Names: Neptune Theatre, Mokan Theatre, New Mokan Theatre

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The Giles Theater

The Neptune Theatre opened August 30, 1926. On June 19, 1930 it was renamed Mokan Theatre, named for its location a block east of the Missouri-Kansas state line. It was redecorated and a Western Electric sound system was fitted and it reopened as the New Mokan Theatre on June 19, 1930 with William Haines in “The Girl Said No”. It was remodeled reopening September 1, 1939 in the Streamline Modern style and renamed the Giles Theatre. It was closed in 1958.

Although the front section of the Giles Theatre has been demolished, the auditorium is still standing and has been adapted to house a laundromat and the Sahara Sheeha Lounge.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

CSWalczak on September 22, 2012 at 2:06 pm

A picture of the Giles Theater c. 1940 can be seen here.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 22, 2012 at 4:27 pm

One of the businesses currently occupying the surviving part of the Giles Theatre is a hookah bar called the Sahara Sheesha Lounge. This might be the only former theater in the United States that has a hookah bar in it. The space is not recognizable as a former theater.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 22, 2012 at 4:44 pm

An article about the remodeling of the Mokan Theatre into the Giles Theatre appears on this page of Boxoffice, December 9, 1939. Unfortunately, it is not illustrated. The remodeling was designed by architect Joseph B. Shaughnessy, Sr., best known for the churches and parochial schools he designed in the Kansas City area.

rivest266 on April 30, 2018 at 1:59 pm

Full timeline

•August 30th, 1926 opens as Neptune

•June 19th, 1930 renamed Mokan, which means MissOuri and KANsas. Owned by Fox and Commonwealth.

•1932 closes (or did not bother to place ads in the paper)

•September 1st, 1939 reopens as Giles

•1958 closes for the last time.

1926, 1930 and 1939 grand opening ads in the photo section.

dallasmovietheaters on November 28, 2020 at 6:01 am

The Giles closed at end of lease in November 30, 1958 with Susan Hayward in “I’d Climb the Highest Mountain” and Martin and Lewis’ “Jumping Jacks.”

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