NORTH KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One of the few independent movie theaters in town is looking to expand, and they need your help.
Screenland Armour Theater first opened its doors in 1928 as a silent movie theater. It’s evolved quite a bit, and changed owners several times over the years. But the independent theater is hoping to make a bit of a transformation once again.
41 Action News caught up with one of the owners, Adam Roberts, to explain.
“We’ve outgrown these theaters,” Roberts said. “In a time when many theaters are shrinking, we’re growing. Kind of a Spielbergian dream. A kid running his own movie theater and being able to expand that and offer more selections.”
The goal is to add additional screens, a larger lobby, more food options, more beer and less congestion.
“You can see how small this place is, so imaging 300 people being in here waiting for their movie and 200 people in there already coming out and that convergence of people. It’s a nightmare,” Roberts said.
The independent theater is on an independent budget. This expansion is estimated to cost $250,000.
The theater has set up a Kickstarter campaign, asking for $25,000. Roberts calls it a small fraction that will have a big impact.
“Seeing a movie like Lawrence of Arabia on the big screen like it was meant to be seen is kind of a life changing experience. And might really make some kid who’s never seen that movie want to be a filmmaker,” Roberts said. “Want to tell his own stories and I think as a kid those are why my feelings were. Seeing Jurassic Park in 1993 on the big screen, where there was nothing else like it blew me away and that’s the experience we want to give people.”
The Kickstarter fundraiser is an all or nothing campaign. If the theater fails to reach $25,000, they get nothing. The goal is to have the two additional theaters up and running by May 2018.
Kevin Holmes is an anchor for The Now KC. See his full report on The Now KC at 4 p.m. and check back for updates.