Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts

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Columbia, MO, United States

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The opening of the Missouri Theatre on October 5, 1928, was an exciting event for the citizens of Columbia. A full-page ad in the Columbia Tribune on October 4, 1928, exclaimed: “Formal Opening of your new Missouri Theatre-Friday Evening… A $400,000 Showhouse of Unrivaled Beauty and Extravagant Setting in Central Missouri. The Magnificent Splendor of This Palace of Amusement Will Dazzle and Thrill You.”

The Columbia Missourian reported the next day that almost three hundred invited guests occupied the special seating. The public followed and was hushed by the magnificence of the lobby, with its thick red carpets-into which were woven the Great Seal of Missouri and the letter M along with red and gold tapestries and baskets of flowers. The theater management received telegrams of congratulation from United Artists in Hollywood, from stars such as John Barrymore, Charles Chaplin, Gloria Swanson, Buster Keaton, Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford, and from film-makers such as Carl Laemmle and Samuel Goldwyn.

On opening night, the crowd applauded the music of Bob Crowley at the Robert Morton organ console and master of ceremonies Jack Keith at the piano with his Missouri Orchestra. The evening of enchantment was completed by a newsreel, a cartoon, dancing during the stage show and the feature picture, “Steamboat Bill Jr.,” a United Artists film with Buster Keaton and Ernest Torrence. The Missouri Rockets, later to become the core of the Radio City Rockettes, were the dancers for the evening.

Contact Information

203 South 9th Street
Columbia, MO 65201
United States
Show on Map
(573) 882-3781

Upcoming Events

Monday 30 March 2015
Willie NelsonConcert Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts
Columbia, MO, United States
38.949349 -92.327621

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