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Grand Opera House
Grand Opera House
TitleGrand Opera House
DescriptionPostcard of Grand Opera House
Historical ArticleThe 1912 post card, published in black and white by Paul Eskerasy, pictures the west side of Walnut Street between 7th and 8th. It is titled Grand Opera House, Kansas City, Mo.

The Grand Opera House, with an elaborate marquee and topped by a water tower, was one of the best theaters here in the early days. Its site was that of the old Midland Theater, formerly the Panorama House, famous for the spectacle, The Battle of Gettysburg. (Later the Midland name was taken by the theater at 1228 Main).

A saloon with sidewalk awnings occupies the space next door south of the theater, and large signs of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer are prominently displayed.

Only horse and buggy traffic appears on the quiet street, but street car tracks are visible, indicating trolley car service.

Today this block between 7th and 8th on Walnut appears quite different. Water tower, marquee and some ornamentation have been removed from the 90-year-old theater and the exterior. Large front openings for entrance and exit are used by the patrons of Sam's 7th & Walnut Garage, which occupies the building. A long ramp leads to 11 floors of parking space.

Only an old wooden wheel, used to raise and lower the stage curtain, remains on a wall, reminding one of the days when celebrities such as Maud Adams, John Drew, Otis Skinner, Ethel Barrymore, Billie Burke, Weber & Fields and Will Rogers stepped before the footlights.

The remainder of the block south of the old theater and all the way to 8th Street is occupied by the Walnut Towers Apartments, built in 1962-63, a 13-story building.

Mae Thompson, who mailed the post card to her husband, Ward Thompson April 7, 1912, wrote: This is where we saw 'The White Sister' just one week ago tonight. Mae.

Kansas City Times
November 20, 1981

AuthorRay, Mrs. Sam (Mildred)
Item TypePostcard
CollectionMrs. Sam Ray Postcard Collection (SC58)
See finding aid: http://localhistory.kclibrary.org/u?/Local,36981
LocationSC58
Local SubjectTheaters
Grand Opera House
Digital FormatJPEG
Barcode20000536
RepositoryMissouri Valley Special Collections, Kansas City Public Library, Kansas City, Missouri
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