Created By: Wichita History Walk
In 1910, the only business at Douglas and Hillside was Charley Andrews Drug Store and the neighborhood population was about 500. By 1928, the neighborhood had grown to 5,000 and was very trendy.The Uptown Theater opened to great acclaim on July 16, 1928. It seated 1,500 and was designed by Boller Bros. architects from Kansas City in the "atmospheric theater" style popularized in the 1920s. "The theater gives the illusion of a huge garden and a star-sprinkled sky across which float wispy, silver clouds," according to an Eagle-Beacon article. The opening night feature was the first major "talkie" movie from Hollywood, The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson. Movies with their own soundtrack were a novelty at the time but quickly caught on as audio equipment improved. The Uptown Theater featured the most modern theater equipment until the 1960s and 1970s. It was sold in 1977, but not before many of its distinguishing architectural features were removed. Ted Morris refurbished the theater for re-opening in 1978. It functioned as a dinner theater for many years until his death, and several owners since then have operated it as a dinner theater.
Source: Wichita Eagle-Beacon
This point of interest is part of the tour: East Douglas Heritage