Broadway Auto Theater
2900 S. Broadway,
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Veteran Kansas theatre operator Lee Sproule and partner Ted Williams made news when they opened the State of Kansas' first drive-in venue with the Broadway Auto Theatre just a half mile from the Arkansas River and the John Mack Bridge. One of the benefits of the operation was that it would allow second-shift workers to attend a show right after work.
The Broadway Auto Theater launched on June 1, 1942 with Jean Arthur in “Too Many Husbands” supported by a cartoon and a short subject comedy. Unfortunately, drive-in design was not a strong suit as the theater’s sound came from a single loudspeaker and superior ramp designs would occur in Wichita after World War II and eased when materials were more readily available. But somebody has to be first to the trough and Sproule and Williams could make that claim. It had closed by 1948.
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