Blue Ridge Cinema East

11910 East Highway 40,
Independence, MO 64055

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ebhaynz on February 4, 2020 at 11:55 pm

I’d say from 78-92 I probably saw more movies at this theater than any other in the KC area. This includes Independence Center 2, Midland, Independence Square, Brywood 6, Bannister Mall(both of them),Blue Ridge Cinema West, and 40 Hiway Drive In. Some of the movies I saw here were Tootsie, The Shining, Empire Strikes Back, Blade Runner(small theater as you entered on the left), The Thing(probably my greatest movie experience), Platoon, Richard Pryor on the Sunset Strip, Star Trek TMP, The Black Hole, The Electric Horseman, A Few Good Men, Return of the Jedi, High Anxiety, Indiana Jones, Superman II, The Right Stuff, 2010 Odyssey 2. So many good times RIP Blue Ridge Cinema East!

rivest266 on July 30, 2015 at 3:33 pm

December 25th, 1971 grand opening ad with picture in photo section.

RobTomlin on March 1, 2011 at 7:21 pm

I used to work at Blue Ridge East from December ‘87 to July '89 and I loved that place. The crew got along great. We had the prettiest concession girls in town and the best nachos. I especially remember changing the marquee on Thursday nights. The back marquee was a good 30 feet in the air and always scared the crap out of me.

ticketgurl on October 26, 2009 at 12:29 pm

I cannot believe the old BRC is no more. I spent many years working there doing everything from popping popcorn, selling tickets, and so much more. Those of us who worked there were like a family. It didn’t matter if you went to Truman, Chrisman, or VanHorn. It was so much fun and I will never forget nor regret the experiences I had from 1976 to 1981!.

BarrySpillman on September 8, 2009 at 2:01 pm

I spent four years of my high school and college years (1978-1982) running the projectors for BRC-East. Wow what a blast and the memories! How about the one where the ushers all picked up a fellow usher’s MG car and placed it between two of the columns while the poor guy was on a date in the theatre… When he got out of the show he went as red as the blazers we all wore! He couldn’t go forward or backwards more than two inches – Man we all fell about the place!

I went into the old building in November of 2006 one rainy Saturday afternoon with my son in tow. The front door was unlocked and we walked right in. The copper thieves had already hit it HARD! – it was in sad shape. I showed my son where I used to sit while the machines were all running. He took a look around and exclaimed that “his” initials were carved in to that workbench leg… I HAD to laugh! Its a shame, my grade-school has been torn down – now this. Though, the memories will only leave when I do.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 7, 2009 at 9:34 pm

The December 20, 1971, issue of Boxoffice gave the total seating capacity of the Blue Ridge Cinemas as 1,250. The house opened as a four-screener, and was owned by the Mid-America Cinema Corporation. An invitational premier was set for December 23, prior to the public opening.

A December 11, 1972, Boxoffice article about Mid-America Cinema said that the Blue Ridge quad had been the company’s first indoor theater. Mid-America had operated a number of drive-ins in the Kansas City area previously.

The 1971 Boxoffice item also names Fullerton, Carey, Kaster & Oman as the architects. Later the firm was just Fullerton, Carey & Oman, and also Fullerton, Carey, Oman & Alexander for a while. I’ve found a few references to this firm being one of two that designed a number of early AMC multiplexes.

klebrun on August 5, 2009 at 12:18 am

Well, they started tearing her down Monday, August 3rd, 2009. Another old hangout gone. :(

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Coorsman on October 23, 2008 at 5:23 am

I saw in the paper the theater is going to be demolished within the next 60 days. I was really hoping they would open up a dollar theater in there or atleast use that building for something. It was really a neat place. It’s a shame that it has just sat there and rotted the last 12 or so years. I’ll be sad to see it torn down.

Aparofan on September 2, 2008 at 4:02 pm

Here are some ads from the theater’s opening in December, 1971.

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Aparofan on July 3, 2007 at 5:34 pm

Here are a couple of pictures of the marquee from the early 80’s.

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Aparofan on June 20, 2007 at 9:26 am

This was one of my favorite theaters growing up. I saw a lot of movies there because it was about 10 minutes from my house. The big auditorium always had good presentation and sound. It’s still standing today although it’s been empty for about ten years. It’s really sad to see the building falling apart. I’ll always have fond memories of the place especially in the late ‘70’s/early '80’s when it had the original paint job and before the Blue Ridge West theaters opened in the mall. It was one of the best places in Kansas City to see a movie. There aren’t any theaters like it around here any more.

blueshadow on August 24, 2006 at 11:07 am

I remember when it was built. It was a very beautiful design. The light blue body with the white fluted pillars all the way around made it quite striking. Some years ago, it was painted a ruddy brown as it still is this very day. Saw many a movie there as a teen. The only negative note on it, was, that it was hard to get out of if you were making a left turn onto 40 Hwy. The Blue Ridge Mall is gone now, and who knows what will happen to the cinema.

KingBiscuits on December 30, 2005 at 7:28 pm

This theatre still sits today, empty and rotting, the vacant parking lot sprouting lots of grass (I was born in 1990, so I never visited the theatre, I just always see the empty old theatre every time my family visits Kansas City).