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The Glenwood Arts Theatre Closes On Metcalf

A staffer changes the sign for the Glenwood Arts Theater in Overland Park, Kansas.
Julie Denesha
A staffer changes the sign for the Glenwood Arts Theater in Overland Park, Kansas.

When the Glenwood Arts Theatre at the Metcalf South Shopping Center closes on Jan. 25, it marks the end of an era, nearly 50 years of a Glenwood theater on Metcalf. 

The original Glenwood at 91st and Metcalf, first owned by Dickinson Theatres and later by Goodrich Quality Theaters, opened with much fanfare in 1966. The focal point of its elegant lobby was a large crystal chandelier. Local moviegoers have fond memories of the Star Wars premiere in 1977 in the venue's 816-seat auditorium. 

When the Glenwood was demolished in 2000 to make way for a retail strip, Fine Arts Group salvaged some of the artifacts, including red coil spring rocket seats and a 40-foot street marquee. The owners re-designed and retro-fitted the marquee and placed it outside the Glenwood Arts Theatre, which opened in 2002 at Metcalf South. The shopping mall closed in September 2014. 

Fine Arts Group announced Wednesday the Glenwood Arts would re-locate to 95th and Mission Road to merge with an already existing venue, Leawood Arts Theatre. 

"The lease at Metcalf South began in November 2002 and ended in 2009...We went month-to-month after that," said co-owner Brian Mossman in a release. "The new Glenwood Arts at 95th and Mission Road represents a move to a larger flagship with five screens and an even greater presence for both independent film and next October’s 15th Annual Kansas International Film Festival (KIFF)."

The final film to screen at the Glenwood on Jan. 25 is Metcalf South Memories, a mockumentary directed by Kansas City filmmaker W. David Keith. Tickets go on sale on Friday. 

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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