Landing 4 Theatres
225 Delaware Street,
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Landing 4 Theatres (Official)
Previously operated by: Crown Cinema Corporation
Architects: Herman A. Scharhag
Functions: Movies (First Run)
The Landing 4 Theatres opened February 17, 1977 and was operated by Crown Cinemas of Kansas City, MO. The theatre has four screens seating 1,000. The architect for the theatre was Herman A. Scharbag. Today the theatre is independently operated showing first run attractions and has converted to digital projection.
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Urban renewal projects were the death of many classic movie palaces in the 1960s and early 1970s. But the Landing 4 Theaters is actually an urban renewal addition to the cinematic world. It dates back to an August 1, 1972 agreement to revitalize downtown and this theater just a bowling ball’s throw from the former Orpheum would be a new-build, fully automated twin screen cinema. The project was part of the Ramada Inn Hotel project when automated theaters were sometimes built inside or adjacent to hotels. However, the project foundered until October 6, 1974 when Samuel Cohen contracted to build the theater. But, again, there was no action.
By the end of 1975, the city issued an ultimatum either to see action on the theater – which could either now be a 2-screen or a 4-screen operation — or else face a $50,000 non-performance penalty. Working with architectural plans of Herman A. Scharhag of Kansas City, the theaters looked to become reality. Though the deadline was Dec. 31, 1976 which came and went, the developers got an extension avoiding the penalty as the project was steaming toward completion.
Crown Cinema Corporation and Stan Durwood would be the operation and the circuit had a first-night party on February 15, 1977 to inaugurate the very-delayed Landing 4. Crown also operated the Skylark Drive-In and the nearby Hollywood Theatre which it would close a week prior to the opening of the Landing. Durwood would also turn over the keys to the Hollywood which he would donate to the city for live theatrical performances. The Landing 4 launched Feb. 16, 1977 with “The Pink Panther Strikes Again,” “The Enforcer,” “The Shaggy D.A.” and “The Sentinel.” As the theater approached its 40th anniversary now under independent operation, it had made the transition to digital projection in hopes of remaining viable into the near future.
Herman A. Scharhag (not Scharbag) of Kansas City is the architect.