Chalk Beeson Theatre

115-119 Gunsmoke Street,
Dodge City, KS 67801

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Additional Info

Architects: R.A. Curtis

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Chalk Beeson - Dodge City, KS

Built as a memorial to Dodge City pioneer Chalkley Beeson by his sons, the Chalk Beeson Theatre opened on December 15, 1915. The boxy, rather plain building housed only the theater, with its entrance at the corner of Gunsmoke Street and First Avenue.

The house prospered with vaudeville and movies until competition from newer theaters, and then the depression, sent it into decline. The building was converted to commercial use in 1935.

Show windows have been installed on the ground floor of the Gunsmoke Street side of the building, but the upper part of the structure remains un-fenestrated, so it might serve only as storage space, or it might be vacant. The fly tower has been removed.

Contributed by Joe Vogel

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 21, 2014 at 1:34 am

The February 13, 1915, issue of The American Contractor had this item about the Chalk Beeson Theatre:

“Dodge City, Kans.—Theater: 2 sty. & has. 70x75. $30M. Archt. R. A. Curtis, Reserve Bank bldg., Kansas City, Mo. Owner Merritt Beeson, Dodge City. Plans finished; owner will take bids on sub-contracts.”
Merritt L. Beeson operated this theater himself. On the occasion of his visit to Kansas City in 1916, the September 9 issue of The Moving Picture World called his house “…one of the most beautiful and picturesque moving picture theaters in the West….”

robboehm on August 1, 2022 at 3:59 pm

Uploaded an image from the May 15, 1924 Dodge City Journal in which an ad for the Beeson (and the Crown) appears.

herethisisyou on October 26, 2022 at 6:48 pm

This was my great-grandfather’s theater. I have begun a list of all programming at the theater beginning in December of 1915. It’s definitely a work in progress but here’s a link:

I also wrote a bit about the history of the building and that post can be found here:

The building has a new owner who reroofed and painted it and he also removed that horrible, rickety fire escape.

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