Forum Theatre

1400 South West Boulevard,
Columbia, MO 65203

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Dickinson Theatres

Functions: Furniture Showroom

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The Forum Theatre opened on April 5, 1967 with Rock Hudson in “Tobruk”. The single screen auditorium had 816-seats. Opening admission prices were $1.50 for adults and .50 cents for children. The theatre was the first business opened in the new Forum Shopping Center.

The decor was rather unique as there were Roman statues all around the lobby and the carpeting featured Roman columns in its pattern to coincide with the columns that adorn the entrance to the University of Missouri there in Columbia.

The Forum Theatre was part of the Dickinson Theatre chain. It was closed in June 1992 when Dickinson Theatres opened their new 8-screen Forum 8 Theatre (it has its own page on Cinema Treasures).

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

paudnl on March 24, 2005 at 5:21 pm

I had the honor to be the first person admitted to the Forum Theatre when it opened in 1967. It’s inaugural feature was “Tobruk.” I was given a personal tour of the facilities by the theatre manager and shown the projection booth, which had the capacity to run 70mm films. The Forum had an excellent screen, which captured the ratio of Panavision and Cinemascope almost perfectly. The six-track stereo sound system was also marvelous, notable especially when larger roadshow films premiered or were rereleased. When it first opened, the Forum was the only Dickinson theatre in Columbia and the theatre chain used to promote their flagship theatre, The Glenwood, in Overland Park, KS at the Forum! I remember for years the soda cups at the Forum’s concession stand had the Dickinson logo and the Glenwood Theatre’s name and address on them. Most of the films shown at the Forum were from MGM, Universal and 20th Century-Fox.

jdey on September 4, 2007 at 6:55 pm

A correction: The Forum was actually in the Forum Mall and is currently the home of the Sleep Rite Mattress Store. The alcoves on either side of the entrance are still there though the statues have been replaced by something more suited to a garden. The auditorium entrances have been walled off and the beautiful curved ticket desk that was located in the center of the lobby has been replaced by a cheap-looking center sales island. The old roller skating rink behind the mall was torn out to make room for the Forum 8.
The Forum was nice for a ‘new’ theatre, flocked brocade wallpaper and the statues. But IMO the best thing about it was the fact that they retained the tradition of a theatre cat. The lovely longhair (Dutchess, if I remember correctly) had a palatial kitty house in the lobby near the auditorium entrances.

FangsFirst on July 30, 2013 at 7:56 pm

jdey is correct—the Forum 8 was not built on top of the Forum, as it was not a free-standing building. Both existed simultaneously for a while, in fact.

My dad was the manager of the Forum in the early 80s, and I’ve got a slew of posters from those rather halcyon days of cinema, as does he, of course.

Some were actually relatively (or intensely) obscure, distributor-wise—The Groove Tube, A Boy and His Dog, The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat, and so on. But of course plenty were the expected fare, as evinced by my Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark posters.

WriterDianna on May 6, 2021 at 11:14 am

FangsFirst and other commenters, I am writing a book about Columbia’s movie theaters and wonder if you’d be willing to talk to me or lend me any images you have of the Forum. I have a nonprofit website and my email is . Thanks!

rivest266 on December 16, 2023 at 12:01 pm

The Forum opened on April 5th, 1967. Grand opening ad posted.

rivest266 on December 20, 2023 at 2:48 pm

Closed 1992 when the new 8-plex opened.

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