Main Street Theatre

1222 Main Street,
Lexington, MO 64067

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Fox Midwest Theatres

Nearby Theaters

Main Street Theatre 1937, Lexington, MO

The Main Street Theatre was opened on April 24, 1924. It was operated by Fox Midwest Amusement Co. The theatre seated 823 and was listed as closed in 1957. It was demolished in the 1980’s and a McDonald’s restaurant is now on the site.

Contributed by Chris1982

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 2, 2014 at 8:59 pm

This weblog post has an ad for the Main Street Theatre plus a photo of the front dating from around 1937. The text says that there is a McDonald’s where the theater used to stand, but the McDonald’s in Lexington is in the 1200 block of Main Street.

I tried checking Historic Aerials to see if they had a view that would show where the theater was, but the site isn’t loading anything for me. Nothing in the 1000 block now resembles the theater in the photo, though, so either way the Main Street Theatre must have been demolished.

Chris1982 on September 2, 2014 at 10:27 pm

Joe, there was another blog that talked about the two Lexington Theatres and also had the same photo as your weblog. The motion picture yearbook lists the address that is in the header. In the blog the lady said that the Main Street was across the street from the court house and that the Eagle was a block away from the court house. In the blog it also said that Lexington was east of Kansas City (which is correct) on the Mississippi (which is incorrect, It is on the Missouri).

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 3, 2014 at 12:25 am

This rather large PDF has an inventory of Lexington’s historic buildings. At the time it was prepared (I can’t find a date on it, but it most likely dates from the 1980s) the Main Street Theatre was still standing. The inventory says that the Main Street Theatre opened around 1925 as the Winkler Theatre, and was located at 1222-1224 Main Street.

The inventory describes the theater interior as “…nearly intact, with four dressing rooms, a chorus room, a large stage, and an orchestra pit. Seating capacity of 750. Original entry has been altered. Building is in deteriorated condition.”

An appendix notes that sometime after the report was prepared the Main Street Theatre was demolished and replaced by a fast-food restaurant.

The inventory also includes the Eagle Building.

Chris1982 on September 3, 2014 at 1:15 am

Joe, from 1926 on it is listed as the Main Street Theatre. What did they do submit the entire town to the National Register of Historic Places?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 3, 2014 at 1:40 am

The entire town was submitted as a Multiple Resource Area, with three specific Historical Districts within it. Originally, 479 buildings were included in the MRA, with 460 of them in the three specific districts. 344 of the buildings were residential. Lexington still has a large number of Greek Revival houses dating from its early days (the town was founded in 1822) as well as numerous Victorian houses of various styles. There were also some non-structural elements, such as a park and a cemetary. Unfortunately, the Main Street Theatre and several other buildings were demolished before the Historic Districts were finally established.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 29, 2018 at 3:09 pm

The Main Street Theatre was definitely at 1222-1224 Main Street, at the northwest corner of 13th (John Shea Drive on the Google map.) The theater and adjacent buildings were demolished and a McDonald’s restaurant is now on the site.

The theater was built around 1925, and was listed as the Main Street Theatre in the 1926 yearbook, though local sources say that it was originally known as the Winkler Theater. The building was still standing in 1980, but was gone by 1991.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 6, 2021 at 6:16 pm

It seems likely now that the local legend saying that this house opened as the Winkler Theatre might be only a legend. Here is an item mentioning the opening of the house, from the June 14, 1924 issue of The Reel Journal:

“Miss Hazel Brinkley, formerly of Moran, Kans., was seen at the Universal offices this week. Miss Brinkley has opened a new theatre, the Mainstreet, at Lexington, Mo.”
It’s easy to imagine someone’s faulty memory many years later corrupting the name Brinkley into Winkler and someone else mistaking the corrupted version of the original owner’s name for the original theater name.

DavidZornig on September 13, 2021 at 11:31 am

Opened April 24, 1924 according to a newspaper article I just posted to the gallery. Confirmed in the May 1, 1924 The Lexington News.

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