124 W. 9th Street,
Hays, KS 67601

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

Additional Info

Functions: Bar, Retail

Nearby Theaters

The Mini-Theatre arrived as the porno chic trend of motion picture exhibition was gaining traction. It was a haven for X-rated film goers from its launch in 1970 to 1973 in downtown Hays, Kansas. Created within an existing downtown building which had most recently held Walter’s Tap Room bar and grill, the Mini-Theatre appealed to the local Fort Hays University students and faculty.

The requests drew the attention of the local police and protesting church groups. As a result, Sterling Bagby’s theatre was raided in May of 1973 while showing the film, “Sleazy Rider”. Sheriff Clarence Werth not only confiscated the film but the court ordered that the film be destroyed. Bagby mused that the only reason this title was confiscated and not any of the previous three years' titles was because in the end, the sheriff in the film was killed.

The raid was part of country attorney Simon Roth Jr.’s attempt to rid the county of all questionable books, magazines, and movies. Interestingly, the charge of obscenity carried a $1,000 fine while the film distributor’s contract required a $1,500 fine for failure to return a print. Obviously, the venue could not sustain such penalties and Roth’s campaign succeeded in this case.

Bagby’s Mini-Theatre tried switching to a policy of booking “R”-rated films including “Ride the Hot Wind” in August of 1973 in which co-stars Duke Kelly and Tommy Kirk appeared in person. But that did not work out given the competition from the mall’s superior cinema and the downtown Fox Theatre. Further, Roth said he was willing to impound “R”-rated films if the local church requested it. So the Mini-Theatre was history. Bagby would move on to the Plaza Theatre for a brief time in Lindsborg. A Western Auto franchised store replaced the Hays Mini-Theater followed by a long running audio-video store.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters
You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater.