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Silver Screen Whispers: Wichita Theaters


I was trying to come up with some stories for the website and I was looking at the Wichita Eagle from the day of my birth.  It was Saturday March 16th, 1974.

Front page of the March 16, 1974
Courtesy: Wichita Eagle and the Beacon

Nothing really jumped out, Nixon was wrapping up his time in the White House.  Vern Miller announced his run for Governor of Kansas.  Del’s TV-Appliance and Furniture was selling a 25-inch RCA television, “priced too low to advertise.” 

The editorials had an opinion piece written by Marshall Uncapher, the State Chairman of the Kansas Prohibition Party asking for support.  Another editorial said, “Hooray for the Streakers!”  Joe Wolf wrote, “In these turbulent times of trials and tribulations… it is absolutely fantastic and beautiful that along came the ‘streakers’.  They can at least make us forget all the foregoing if for only a few minutes.”  Wolf added,” The only reason I don’t ‘streak’ is because at my age (66) I could only be ‘creaking’.” 

The sports page’s headline was “Trickey Arrested, Quits on Eve of KU Tilt.”  Oral Roberts University basketball coach steps down after he was arrested for driving while intoxicated.

Towards the very end of the paper, I took a special interest in the movie ads.  You may or may not know, but I am a product of the theater business, the movie theater was practically my second home growing up.

Mann Theater movie ad, 3/16/1974
Courtesy: The Wichita Eagle and The Beacon

My dad worked for Mann Theaters at that time, so I was checking out their ad, I was surprised, all but one of the five theaters still stands. None of them are active movie theaters, but one still shows the occasional movie. Here is a list of the five theaters and a little history about each of them. I hope you enjoy…

Thanks to the support for this page I am going to try to eventually do the history on all of Wichita’s theaters.

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