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B&B Theatres Leases Former Alamo Location, Will Return Movie Theater To Downtown Kansas City

B&B Seats.png
courtesy B&B Theatres
Look for upgrades this fall, like heated reclining seats, when the historic Mainstreet Theater building at 1400 Main Street in Kansas City, Missouri, reopens as a B&B Theatre.

Liberty-based B&B Theatres will open a new location at the site of the former Alamo Drafthouse in the Kansas City Power & Light District.

The Cordish Companies’ Kansas City Power & Light District announced Friday that B&B Theatres has signed a lease for the historic Mainstreet Theater building at 1400 Main Street.

“We are thrilled that B&B Theatres and the Bagby family are moving into the Power & Light District," said the district's executive director Nick Benjamin in a news release.

Texas-based Alamo Drafthouse filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March, and permanently closed three locations, including one in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The site had been shut down since March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Alamo's announcement left a swath of Kansas City from downtown to Brookside without a stand-alone movie theater.

“We are family-owned and operated. We're headquartered out of the Midwest,” said Paul Farnsworth, director of public relations for B&B Theatres, which opened its first location
in Salisbury, Missouri, in 1924.

“And to see a building that has represented entertainment and theater and spectacle to so many for so long is really in line with our company vision and our mission to bring the magic of the movies to everybody.”

Johnnie's 2.jpeg
courtesy B&B Theatres
B&B Theatres plans to add Johnnie’s Jazz Bar & Grill, also in its flagship location in Liberty, to the new downtown Kansas City, Missouri location.

B&B Theatres is a Liberty-based chain that operates about 50 theaters across nine states. The new Kansas City location at 14th and Main streets is scheduled to re-open as a B&B Theatre in the fall.

Changes and upgrades for the historic venue are in the works. As Farnsworth puts it, "You can see and sort of sense some of the history of the building with a lot of the new modern amenities." This includes heated electric reclining seats.

A new Johnnie’s Jazz Bar & Grill, also in B&B's flagship Liberty location, will open in the space, serving casual food, wine, beer and cocktails, and offering live music and trivia nights.

"We are excited to bring another great local partner downtown," said Benjamin, "and know that B&B Theatres will be a great steward of this historic jewel as we get back to the business of downtown’s renaissance after a challenging year."

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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