Going to the movies as a way to beat the summer heat is a tradition almost as old as films themselves. Willis Carrier installed one of the first commercial air conditioners in the Rivoli Theater in Times Square all the way back in 1925. There are plenty of cinema experiences to choose from in the Kansas City area—and all of them are nicely air conditioned—but we’re sad to say that one of the old favorites is closing for good.
Since 1983, Tivoli Cinemas has shown everything from art house and foreign films to opera performances and showcases of short films nominated for each year’s Academy Awards. It was even, according to its owner, the first theater in Kansas City to show 1999’s Best Picture winner, Shakespeare in Love. But after more than thirty years in business, the Tivoli is due to close its doors this month.
What are KC-area film lovers to do? Luckily, there are still plenty of great small and independent theaters in a city that’s also packed with chain theaters such as AMC. There’s the Cinemark Palace at the Plaza, which shows all the usual first-run movies, not to mention hosting the Kansas City Film Festival International each year.
The Glenwood Arts and the Rio are both part of the Fine Arts Theatres Group. For those of us who grew up in Kansas City, we probably remember the Glenwood on Metcalf as being one of the biggest theaters around and showing some of the biggest films of all time, including Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Today, the Glenwood Arts is not far away, on the corner of 95th and Mission, and while its repertoire is art-house focused, it also shows first-run movies. (At the time of this writing, the new remake of Stephen King’s Pet Sematary is playing alongside Hotel Mumbai and The Mustang.)
A newer addition to the Kansas City cinema landscape is the Alamo Drafthouse, which is one of the best places to go in KC for special-event nights. They also have a strict “no talking or texting” policy, which is great for movie lovers, but isn’t always so great if you want to bring the grandkids. For a grandkid-friendly outing, try the Union Station Extreme Screen, instead. Union Station is an amazing location to visit anyway, and the Extreme Screen shows a combo of documentaries and family-friendly fare.
North of the river, the Screenland Armour provides first-run movies and genre-friendly special programming in a historic theater that was one of the first to open in Kansas City all the way back in 1928! Today, it boasts the first IRIS-enhanced screen in the entire country! There’s also the Screenland Tapcade in the Crossroads, a casual environment with a bar, arcade, and a movie theater that shows a variety of special programming for cinema buffs.
If you’re a movie lover in the Lazy Acres senior living community in Belton, MO, why not reach out to some of your friends and neighbors and beat the heat by visiting some of Kansas City’s local and independent cinemas this summer? That way, maybe KC won’t lose another theater like the Tivoli.
There’s plenty to do for just about everyone in the Kansas City area, from film lovers to those who would rather spend their summers outside fishing or doing yard work, and everyone in between. Whatever you’re doing this summer, there’s no better place to do it than the Lazy Acres senior living community in Belton. To learn more, give us a call at (816) 331-4886 or fill out our online contact form anytime!