Uptown Theatre

104 N. Kansas Avenue,
Marceline, MO 64658

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: H.J. Griffith Theaters Inc.

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Uptown Theatre

A.B. Canwell purchased the Uptown Theatre property in 1927. Built into the Canwell Apartments, the Uptown Theatre was opened on August 29, 1936 with Lionel Barrymore in “The Voice of Bugle Ann”.

Walt Disney came back to his boyhood home in 1946 to make plans for his Disneyland. He took movies of his old school and the entire length of Main Street. In 1956, Walt and Roy Disney held the premiere of their feature film, “The Great Locomotive Chase”. Disney told the attentive audience, “I lived in Marceline. My best memories are the years that I spent here. You children are lucky to live here”.

On July 14, 1998, the Disney Corporation again came and premiered “The Spirit of Mickey” there. Each child was given a commemorative ticket and saw the premiere for free. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, Goofy and Chip and Dale were also in attendance taking time out for pictures for the entire viewing audience.

The Uptown Theatre was closed by 2014. It was taken over by a non-profit group in 2016 with plans to fundraise, renovate and reopen.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on July 18, 2005 at 1:09 pm

The Film Daily Yearbook, 1943 edition gives a seating capacity of 500 and in the 1950 edition of F.D.Y. it is 502.

Michael Furlinger
Michael Furlinger on May 29, 2007 at 7:26 pm


Chris1982 on September 4, 2014 at 10:03 pm

The Uptown is closed. This is what they say on their website, Thank you for your patronage. No more shows until further notice. Their website

MarcelineTheater on April 1, 2016 at 4:30 pm

To let everyone know, the theater has been playing movies for a long time. It is not selling tickets to the public, it is only doing free showings to the public. The theater is under new ownership. The goal going forward is to renovate this beautiful historic theater and the Bed & Breakfast attached. The website has been taken down and will open shortly under a different URL. Not certain but it may be: www.WaltDisneyHometownHistoricTheater.org or com. THANK YOU!

Chris1982 on April 1, 2016 at 9:59 pm

Marceline Theatre, that is a dead URL

MarcelineTheater on October 17, 2016 at 11:54 pm

Chris1982, we have recently transferred the Historic Theater into a non-profit foundation. The URL recently purchased is www.waltdisneyhometowntheater.org The site will be up this week. Crowd funding campaign to start shortly. Have plans to upgrade theater and make more like Walt’s dream.

50sSNIPES on February 9, 2024 at 1:41 pm

The Uptown Theatre opened its doors on August 29, 1936 with a one-day showing of Lionel Barrymore in “The Voice Of Bugle Ann” along with a special performance by the city’s high school band, comedian Edgar Jones appearing in-person, and special addresses by then-Mayor B.J. Thomas. Otherwise, no extra short subjects were added.

  • NOTE: The theater never opened in 1930. That info belongs to the Dickinson (later Chief) Theatre.
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