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Missouri Theater
Photo of the Missouri Theater exteriorGrand Opening
The time was 6:30 p.m., June 25, 1927. St. Joseph, Missouri citizens, factory workers, packing plant employees, professionals, arrived in Model T Fords, Stanley Steamers, Pierce Arrows, or hurried on foot up the sidewalk to the seventh block of Edmond Street for the gala opening of the city's $1 million, 1,200 seat movie palace. The air was electric with excitement...

Over 85 years have passed since the historic Missouri Theater lifted the curtain on its premier movie Rough House Rosie. Citizens from every walk of life lined Edmond Street to see one of the city's most glorious pieces of architecture.

After paying their $.25 admission, guests were astounded at the theater's intricate beauty. The silent film showing that evening must have paled in comparison to the theater's plush seats, ornate chandelier, and exquisite plaster work. Though silent films are long past for the theater, this sense of awe returns each time a local theater group, national performer, or arts program takes its stage.

History of the Theater
Designed by Boller Brothers, the Missouri Theater's unique structure was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. While movie palaces across the country were being torn down to make room for contemporary structures, the citizens of St. Joseph refused to allow destruction of one of the country's few examples of Hollywood-Oriental style.

A $1.9 million renovation project, designed by St. Joseph based Ellison-Auxier Architects, Inc., began in September 2001 and was completed in March 2002. Fresh carpet, repaired plaster, cleaned seat upholstery, and remodeled dressing rooms were among the scheduled projects. Upgraded lighting and sound systems also contribute to visitors' enjoyment.

Funding for the restorations came from the 1998 Capital Improvement Sales Tax, a five year, half cent sales tax.

The Missouri Theater is ADA compliant with accommodations.

To view more information and purchase tickets to events, please visit the Allied Arts Council Missouri Theater website. View the theater's seating chart.

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