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Colonial / Fox Theatre
409 N. Broadway
Built 1920 - National Historic Register 2008
Colonial Theatre - photo 1940's
Pittsburg Morning Sun, March 21, 2000

"Colonial Theatre is to be Opened Next Week; March 17 the Date set for Throwing Open the Doors. New Playhouse Which has Cost $80,000, Wil1 seat 1,200 Persons--Arranged to be Cool in Summer” Pittsburg Daily Headlight, Tues., March 9, 1920
"The Colonial, The Pittsburg Amusement Company's $80,000 theatre, wi11 open March 17. 'Everywoman, ' an 8-reel feature film wil1 be the opening attraction. A special score for the picture will be played by the orchestra. Two high class vaudeville acts will he presented in addition to the film attraction. A. Messenger, the contractor, is pushing the finishing touches on the new playhouse and will have everything ready in advance of the opening date. The Colonial theatre is constructed along the same lines as the Isis in Kansas City. It has a seating capacity of 1,200. It has no balcony, the floor being sloped from the last now of seats down to the stage. The stage has the width and depth and all the equipment for handling road shows so its bid to the theatre going public will not be confined to the movies and vaudevilles.
To Keep Cool in Summer.
Large domes in the ceiling are removable and big fans in these apertures will keep the interior cool in the summer. An attractive indirect lighting system is used. The theatre is effectively decorated in white and blue tones. The scenery and curtains, which are being painted in the theatre are nearing completion. The general plan of the theatre will be offering big feature films and two vaudeville acts, the Interstate agency’s booking used. The new theatre building houses five business enterprises. W. H. Kelley has leased the basement store and will occupy it with a barbershop and pool hall. There will be four tables and three barber chairs. The floor will be of white tile and the walls will be tiled to a height of eight feet. Furnishings will be of walnut, the equipment of his present barbershop in the room it now occupies in the Commerce building but will not have the shop operated.
Four Shops on Street.
Fronting on the street will be four shops. In one of these W. H. Seleman has his “Smoke Shop,” and attractively arranged tobacconist’s store. In another the Kitchenette, owned by O. M. Richmond will offer lunches to the theatre goers and others. The Consumers Coffee Company, M. L. Probst proprietor, will do a wholesale and retail coffee and peanut roasting business. Complete electrical electricity will be used for all the roasting. A shoe shining parlor stand will occupy the fourth room.”



“Pittsburg’s New Playhouse” Pittsburg Daily Headlight, Tues, March 16, 1920
“You can tell the world that Pittsburg has one of the finest theatres in [the] Southwest, the Colonial theatre. Pittsburg’s new picture house will open its doors on St. Patrick’s Day for its initial production. This structure is the realization of the hopes and ambition of the Pittsburg Amusement Company. It stands as a monument to the ideals of men who desired to give Pittsburg the best in picture displays. Cost was forgotten. Beauty and convenience were the main ideals in planning the theatre. The results are patent
the final consummation of a charming and delightful playhouse. Entering the Colonial from Broadway one is impressed by the dignity of the exterior lobby, and passing through into the
interior lobby the same impression predominates. Then as one enters the theatre proper, he is charmed with the delightful surroundings and appointments. The large seating capacity first greets the eye, the high ceiling impresses one with its feeling of open space, there is no lack of pure fresh air, the harmony of the decoration fills the visitor with appreciation. The structure itself is 50 by 170 feet. The ceiling is a sheer 30 feet above the floor. The stage is 50 by 27 feet, amply large enough for any road show. It is equipped with modern curtains and the mechanical arrangements for handling them is constructed along the latest and most improved inventions. The curtain shaft is 30 feet above the floor level. The theatre will seat 1,200 persons, all of whom will, have a clear and direct vision of the screen or stage, as there are no obstructions, the theatre being built on one floor only and without a balcony. The projecting room is furnished with a motor generator which changes the current from alternating current to a direct current. This produces a far better screen effect and is used in all of the larger and latest theatres in the country. Even during the hottest weather of summer the Colonial will stand out as one of the coolest spots in town. A perfect ventilation system had been installed and by means of air shafts and powerful electric fans the air can be changed in a short time giving an entirely new supply. The Paramount and Artcraft pictures will be shown besides the best of all special productions. Vaudeville sets will be booked out of Chicago through the Interstate Booking Agency. It is also the plan of the management to bring in several legitimate show[s] during the year, the number depending upon the response of the citizens of Pittsburg. To add to the pleasure of theatre goers an orchestra will be installed. The exact number of pieces has not been determined. A high standard of music will be maintained which will be in harmony with the ideals of the Colonial service. The theatre will open Wednesday night, March 17, with a strong production, 'Everywoman' having been selected as the first picture. It is a wonderful picture, full of art and action. There will be no matinee on the opening day. The Pittsburg Amusement Company, builder of the Colonial theatre, was organized April 1, 1917. At that time it was composed of the late W. H. Daly, R. H. Klock and G. E. Klock. Originally the company was operating the Mystic and Klock theatres. In 1918 A. Besse became associated with the company in Picher, Okla., and at that time took over the Main Street theatre in that city. Two other theatres, the Liberty and the Picher are at present being run by the Pittsburg Amusement Company. In April 1919, Mr. Besse became associated with the company in its Pittsburg business. At the present time the Pittsburg Amusement Company consists of the Daly estate, R. H. and G. E. Klock and A. Besse. It is under this ownership that the Colonial theatre will be operated. Pittsburg can be proud of the Colonial. It will give to this city a high class list of screen productions.''

The following articles were included in the 8 page special section in the Pittsburg Daily Headlight on March 16, 1920, celebrating the opening of the Colonial Theatre at 409 N. Broadway whose grand-opening was on St. Patrick's Day, March 17, 1920.

Use Acme Plastering Alone
Best of Material Employed for Walls of Colonial

“When the contract for the Colonial theatre was placed and the sub-contracts for the materials were being closed, Acme plaster received the honor of being chosen as the proper plaster for this fine new building. The plaster is sold in Pittsburg by the Nuttman-Lemon Lumber Company and was used in the Colonial exclusively. The Nuttman-Lemon Lumber Company also furnished part of the lumber for the building.”

Made the Big Girders Here
Pittsburg Boiler & Machine Company Helped With Colonial

Pittsburg can do big things. It’s in the spirit of the men who handle the industries of this community. When the Colonial theatre builders demanded steel girders to support the roof on their new building, they did not need to go out of the old home town. They were able to secure them right here at home in Pittsburg. They turned to the Pittsburg Boiler & Machine Company, put their blue prints before the institution and in a short time the huge girders were delivered to the Pittsburg Amusement Company. The work was accomplished by Pittsburg men, men who live here and perhaps pass you on the street every day. They are skilled workmen and have won a reputation for their craft in the fabrication and erection of steel structures. The Pittsburg Boiler & Machine Company has one of the largest  shops of its kind in this section of the country. It has had a remarkable growth and development, starting in a very small way it stands today as one of the leading institutions of Pittsburg. In a short time it will have furnished a new addition to its plant covering a floor space of some 23,000 square feet and equipped with the most modern electrically driven machinery. The furnishings of structural steel for buildings is only a very small part of the various things this firm makes.”

Wheeler Supplied the Paint
Colonial Builders Obtained Material From Him

The paint and decorating materials used in the Colonial theatre were furnished by A. O. Wheeler. Mr. Wheeler is the exclusive dealer for the Sherwin-Williams products. He carries a large line of interior and exterior paints, varnishes and stains. He however does not confine his stock to the above lines but has a large supply of wall paper, brushes and artists supplies. He has one of the finest lines of print pictures of any store in the city. When you just visit the Colonial theatre and note the pleasing decorations, remember that the materials are the products of the Sherwin-Williams Company and that they were secured in Pittsburg at Mr. Wheeler’s store. If you are thinking of painting, decorating your home, office or store it will be a might good idea to call on Mr. Wheeler. His large experience and ample stock will afford you just what you need. Besides he had made a study of his line and has many helpful suggestions. Why not go to one who knows about this particular line and can give you the best in materials and service. That’s what the builders of the Colonial did and they went to A. O. Wheeler.

Wright’s Flowers Downtown
Products of Greenhouse Will be on Sale in Theatre Building

“The Wright greenhouse located on the corner of Kansas and Walnut will place its flowers on sale through the Consumers Coffee Company in the new Colonial theatre. Cut flowers and blooming plants will be carried in stock. Orders for all kinds of flowers or plants will be taken here also. This will be very convenient for down town customers and is in line with Mr. Wright’s idea of enlarged service. The Wright greenhouse has been established about twenty years. Mr. Wright was formerly engaged in the dry goods business and founded the Wright Brothers Dry Goods Company which was located where the new Colonial theatre now stands. His health failing him he sold out his interests and then went into the greenhouse business. Mrs. Wright already had established a floral house in a small way. They have built up a splendid business during the ensuing years. At present Mr. Wright is wintering in California. His son, James B. Wright, is conducting the business at the present time. “Jim” took over the management as soon as he returned form France and is expecting to continue to expand and develop the business.”

Furnishes Big Stone Work
White & Sons Firm Prepares to Expand Business

“Few people realize that right here in the city of Pittsburg there is as large institution as the Hance White & son marble works. It was this firm which furnished all of the beautiful stone work for the Colonial theatre. Some other buildings where this same company has furnished the cut stone work are: Christian church, Masonic Temple, Kettler building, macaroni factory, Long-Bell plant, Deruy’s garage, Super garage, C. & A. garage and Nash garage. The new Carney Hall at the Normal perhaps is one of the finest examples of this firm’s work in fact it represents one of the most elaborate pieces of cut stone work of any place in this part of the country. At present the White marble works had contract for Pittsburg new high school building and the 7 stories Wheeler bank building and Smiley building at Wichita. These two latter contracts are larger even than the local high school contract. The firm has laid the cornerstone for number of the largest and finest structures in Pittsburg. It is perfectly capable of taking care of any monument or cut stone work which may be desired any place in the section of the country. A new building is under construction on the firm’s property at Second and Elm. It will be 100 by 170 feet and when completed it will be one of the best equipped granite and stone plants west of the Mississippi river. All of the granite will be shipped to Pittsburg gin slabs and the firm will do allot the cutting instead of having part of it done at the quarries. A diamond saw, a large planer, washer, rubbing bed, surfacing machine, and polisher are to be installed. This new addition means one more industry employing more men in Pittsburg. Five new families have already been brought here to live through the activities of this firm. Paul W. White says: “Our stock of monuments is finer and more complete at the present time than at any during our 35 years of business in Pittsburg. We have the highest grade of monuments including Barte, Minnesota, Colorado and Massachusetts granite. Our prices are very economical as we made our contracts before the big advances in materials. We are therefore able to give you the most efficient service and can produce any priced monument desired. We are very grateful to our friends and patrons who have made it possible for us to enlarge our business and increase or plant.”

Kelley Will Be Down Below
Barber Shop and Pool Hall in Theatre Basement

“See Kelley, he’s down below,” is going to be a popular phrase around Pittsburg. And when you “go down below” there will be a genial Kelley to greet you. Perhaps, you haven’t heard about it but the Kelly referred to is W. H. Kelley, who operates a barber shop in the Commerce building on West Fourth Street. And this same Kelley is going to conduct an up to date barber shop and pool room in the basement of the Colonial Theatre. His new shop will be modern in every respect. Three Koch’s Pattern chairs, tile flooring and walls nicely decorated will make this shop a popular place. His pool room will be excellent too, tables the finest and appointments the best. Mr. Kelley will spare no expense to have a place you will enjoy visiting. Mr. Kelley will retain his present shop in the Commerce building. Roy Honya will act as manager. When you hear the kids saying  “See Kelley, he’s down below,” remember its down below the Colonial theatre.”

Home Cooking Will Be Offered
O. M. Richmond Has Plan to Catch the Hungry

Who doesn’t like home cooking? Few, very few. That’s just the idea of O. M. Richmond and so Mr. Richmond has established “The Little Kitchenette” in the Colonial theatre where those who want home cooked food can secure it. It’s going to be a dainty place, with the best foods prepared in the manner you prefer to have them. Neat fixtures and all the latest in modern equipment. After you have had some of the Kitchenette’s best offering you will be a regular visitor. You can’t escape the longing for home cooked food and that’s where the Kitchenette will strike you right in your weakest spot.  When the Kitchenette is all set for business, drop in and get one of those meals. You will get a regular meal too, and say boy it will be the home cooked dope.”

Smoke Shop Is Operating
W. H. Seleman Has Tobacco, Candy and Magazines

The next time you pass the new Colonial theatre, note the gold sign “Smoke Shop.” Step into this compacted shop and you will be surprised to see the extensive line of cigars, tobaccos, candies and magazines which Mr. Seleman has selected for his patrons. Very shortly Mr. Seleman will add a fountain and if thirsty when entering the Colonial, step into the Smoke Shop and satisfy your thirst, or when going out of the theatre on your right will be the cozy Smoke Shop ready to serve you with a delicate and delicious menu. Mr. Seleman says that he is going to have an excellent line of magazines for his trade. He expects to cater to the ladies especially in the magazine business and has selected those publications which appeal strongly to feminine tastes.

Hot Cakes Are In Demand
Pittsburg Candy Company Is Kept Busy Making Them

“Mexican Hot Cakes—the sweetest of the “sweets” – that’s what they all say who have tried them. You will agree with this statement too if, you try one of these popular cakes. It is a wholesome place of confectionary goods. It has flavor and food value, two real essentials in a popular candy. Many people purchase these cakes by the half dozen and keep them in their homes for the children. They prefer this dainty and delicious candy to the inferior brands which are upon the market. Mexican Hot Cakes are being sold in a large number of stores in Pittsburg. The sales are increasing every day. It is keeping the Pittsburg Candy Company busy to fill their orders. When attending the Colonial always purchase a Mexican Hot Cake or two. They add to the evening’s pleasure.”

Miller Wrote the Insurance
Colonial Risks Were Handled by Veteran Risk Man

“Who writes your fire insurance, C. A. Miller was the man chosen to write the insurance on the Colonial theatre. Mr. Miller’s long experience in the insurance business makes him competent to handle any insurance problem which may present itself. No matter whether the building is a business block or a 5-room cottage, Mr. Miller will give you the same individual attention. Have you ever considered increasing your insurance? What if you should burn out today? Is your insurance sufficient to rebuild on the present market prices of building material? Think it over and then have a talk with C. A. Miller."

Messenger Adds One More Big Building
Colonial Theatre Will Stand As Monument to Contractor
While He Was Erecting New Playhouse, He Also Put up Deruy Garage and Several Other Structures

“With the completion of the Colonial theatre, Pittsburg adds one more structure of which it can be justly proud. In a like manner Asa Messenger, contractor, builder and one of the owners of the Colonial may likewise be congratulated upon the results of his personal efforts. Mr. Messenger has had much to do with the construction of some of Pittsburg’s largest buildings. The Masonic Temple, the remodeling of the National Bank, the wrecking of Russ Hall at the Normal after the fire and the rebuilding of that beautiful structure were all constructed under the direction of Mr. Messenger. For the last eighteen years he had lived in Pittsburg and during that period he has built homes on every street in the city. To get an idea of the extent of Mr. Messenger’s operations it is interesting to learn that during the construction of the Colonial he has also built the following buildings; the Deruy garage, the macaroni factory, Joe Maranto’s store, remodeled the Kelso Grain Company building and built a home for M. D. Miller. All of the woodwork for the Colonial was turned out at Mr. Messenger’s mill at 201 East Eighth Street. The theatre will cost about $80,000. It has been under construction since June 1919. During that period the weekly pay roll has averaged from $500 to $1,800 per week. Broadway has been greatly improved by the addition of this splendid structure. The Colonial is sure to stand as a monument to the building genius of Mr. Messenger.”

Smith Did The Decorating
A Pittsburger Showed Skill as an Artist

“It isn’t every one who can select colors that will harmonize. Most people can appreciate harmonious coloring but to make the selection that is a different thing. The selection of colors which will blend is the work of an artist. Artists are born, not made, that’s why there are so few real artists. When you are attending the Colonial theatre on your initial visit, you will say that an artist, a real artist selected and perfected the decorating of this new playhouse. And right then you will be paying a high tribute to H. A. Smith of Pittsburg, for Mr. Smith was entrusted with this most important task. How well he has accomplished his work can safely be left to the judgment of Pittsburg citizens. Those who have been fortunate enough to get b the “Keep Out” sign on the doorway of the theatre and have had a look inside are filled with admiration of the delightful decorative effect.”

Wilson Handled Metal Work
And It Was Some Job For The Cornice Man

In building a theatre as large as the Colonial no one has any idea of the vast amount of work involved, there are so many different lines called upon to complete the structure. W. C. Wilson, the cornice man, put across all the metal work in this building. You would be surprised if you knew the exact number of square feet and the weigh of all the metal in this building, Mr. Wilson said this morning. The Colonial is certainly going to be an excellent show house. One part of the building that strikes me as being unique and interested is the ventilating and heating system. Naturally I am interested in this part of the theatre for I installed the air furnace which in conjunction with the steam heating plant will furnish the heat for the building. We put in a 33 inch hot air furnace with an over head draft system. This over head draft system takes the cold  air off from the floor, passes it down around the furnace where it is heated and then is driven back into theatre as warm air by powerful electric fans. This insures a constant and even temperature at the same degree in all parts of the building. With the ventilating system which is installed a complete change of air is affected very easily. Mr. Wilson had charge of the metal on the fire doors, foot lights, ventilators gutters and down spouts and in fact every thing of a metal nature was up to Mr. Wilson. In the operators booth, Mr. Wilson designed a plan known as the “split air plan.” This gives to the operator plenty of fresh air and stops all odors from the film from getting into the theatre for I installed the hot air the theatre proper. Mr. Wilson can perhaps help you in your metal work. It isn’t every one who builds a theatre but most everyone has more or less metal work done. Call Mr. Wilson he’s the man for the job.

Eight Miles of Electric Wires
Borden-Brisben Company Had Intricate Task

Here is a problem – not as difficult as “who put the salt in the sea,” but nevertheless a problem. This is the problem: How many feet of electrical wiring are there in the Colonial theatre? It will surprise you. Taking the figures of the Borden-Brisben Electric Company, which had the wiring contract, it is found that there were eight and one-half miles of wiring and more than 20,000 feet of conduits used in carrying these wires. The wiring of a theatre is an intricate and delicate proposition. The greatest care and study must be given to the plans and the working out of details. There must be not only the proper lighting but the problem of safety to the public from fire hazard enters into the plan. The Borden-Brisben Electric Company furnished all supplies, fixtures and labor pertaining to the electrical equipment in the Colonial. One of the special features of the lighting system is an arrangement whereby the lights can be started on very low and gradually turned into the blaze."

Most Modern Heating System
Harry A. Clark Did Fine Work on Theatre Plumbing

Harry A. Clark who had the plumbing contract on the Colonial Theatre had some job. Plumbing a theatre is not a very spectacular piece of work. It does not show off to the eye as does the work of the decorator. But the work of the plumber is felt in the comfort of the building. The steam heating system for the Colonial is known as the Bishop Babcock Vacuum Overhead System. The materials used are the products of the American Radiator Company. The plant is divided into three separate and distinct units. One unit for the main part of the theatre, one for the shops in the building and one unit for Kelly’s barber shop and pool room in the basement. All fixtures are put in on the latest and most sanitary plans, approved by the foremost ideas in plumbing. The cost for this work alone will be about $7,000. It is one of the largest plumbing jobs ever put in the city. One can get somewhat of an idea of the hard work evolved in this department of the theatre’s construction, when one learns that to get the proper sewage drainage the sewer pipe was laid sixteen feet beneath the surface of the ground. These many problems were solved by Mr. Clark. The plumbing of the Colonial stands n the same high grade of efficiency as every other department of the building.

Real Coffee You’ll Find Here
Consumers Company Will Roast Berry in New Store

“Do you like real coffee? The coffee with the distinct coffee flavor and the delightful aroma? Well, Pittsburgers are going to be given an opportunity to get just such a grade of coffee. The Consumers Coffee Company just opened in the Colonial theatre building will sell real coffee. It is going to take the coffee berry and roast it before your eyes in the same manner as coffee is roasted in the largest coffee houses in this country. But here is one difference. You will be able to get jus the degree of roasting you desire. This will insure you of perfect coffee. No more grumbling about poor coffee will be heard at the breakfast table. The house wife will hum a son as she performs her daily tasks if the house holder purchases his coffee at the Consumers Coffee Company’s new store.”

Make The Old Shoes Glisten
Pittsburg Shining Parlors Use Lots of Elbow Grease

Almost every need is being catered to in the Colonial Theatre building. Eats, smokes, shaves and even shoe shines are at your command. The Pittsburg Shoe Shining Parlors have opened for business in one of the small shops in the Colonial theatre building. These boys sure put the glitter on your footwear and make an old run down pair of shoes buck up and look like a million dollars. They claim it’s all in the elbow grease. But whatever the cause, the effect is plain. When you are passing the Colonial take a glimpse at your shoes and if they look rocky just mount the seat in the Pittsburg Shoe Shining Parlor and tell the boys to hop to it. You will get glowing results."


"Colonial Packed for Premier; More Than 2,000 Persons Saw First Show in New Theatre" - PDH, Thurs, May 18, 1920
"The Colonial theatre entertained more than 2,000 persons at its premier last night, and hundreds, perhaps 1000 who wanted to attend, were unable to get in. The theatre was packed for the first show. The performance was so long that many of those who tried unsuccessfully to get in for the first show could not wait for the second one. The theatre impressed the great crowds, which visited it last night with its beauty. At that the playhouse was not seen at its best as the floor lights and ceiling lights both require some adjustment and there are other finishing touches to be made.''


"Amusement Co. Takes Charge of Colonial Theater. Will Remodel Both This Playhouse and Klock--Plans Under Way. Klock Front Changed. Following First Modernization Program, Colonial Will Undergo Series of Elaborate Changes" - Pittsburg Sun, Feb. 7, 1926
When the Colonial theater closed its doors after last night's show, its management passed from S. H. Harvey, who has had it leased the past four years, to the Pittsburg Amusement company, which owns the property. The amusement company, which now operates the New Grand theater and the Klock theater, plans extensive improvements at the Klock to be started within the next six or eight weeks, E. E. Frazier, a stockholder in the company, said yesterday.
Klock Will Move
"When work of remodeling the Klock is started it is planned to move the show into the Colonial building until the job is completed. The Colonial will be closed during the next few days, while some renovating is done, Mr. Frazier said. Improvements at the Klock will entail as expenditure of approximately $25,000 and later there will be a reconstruction expenditure at the Colonial of about $35,000. Remodeling of the Klock, first on the program, is to be done by Bollers Brothers, theater architects of Kansas City and Los Angeles. Plans and specifications already have been submitted and are being considered. Most of the change will occur on the front, which is be made modern in every respect. The old front will be torn out and a new front of terra cotta, dull glazed cream pulsichrome will be constructed. A marquise front is to be constructed the full width of the building. Floors in the lobby and vestibule will be of tile. Present plans also call for new seats and a new pipe organ likely will be installed.
Colonial Changes Elaborate
"Plans for the Colonial call for an elaborate balcony arrangement, with smoking and lounging rooms and other features on the mezzanine floor. There will also be a complete rearrangement of the interior. Final plans will be discussed upon the return of A. Besse, president of the Amusement company, who is in California. Mr. Besse likely will return about Feb. 15, Mr. Frazier said. Mr. Harvey said yesterday he has not yet made plans for the future.''


"Colonial Will Re-Open Today, Pittsburg Amusement Will Go Ahead With Plans for Remodeling Klock" - Pittsburg Sun, Feb. 12, 1926
"The Colonial theater will re-open this afternoon after being closed since last Saturday night, during which time it has been given a new interior dress. Today's show will include two acts of Western circuit vaudeville, a feature picture and a comedy. Vaudeville will form a part of the daily attractions at the Colonial, E. E. Frazier said. The Colonial will be operated for some time by the Pittsburg Amusement Company, until plans for remodeling the Klock are complete. The Klock will then be removed to the Colonial house, until remodeling work is completed, Mr. Frazier said.''


"Frazier to Manaqe Theatres, Retained by Universal to Look After Pittsburg Interests" Pittsburg sun, Sat. Feb. 20, 1926
"E. E. Frazier, for several years proprietor of the Grand theatre, today was retained by the Universal Chain Theatres Corporation to manage its Pittsburg interests recently taken over from the Pittsburg Amusement Company, including the Klock, Colonial and Grand theatres. R. T. Newton of Chicago, J. 0. Hostetler of Omaha, and Charles T. Sears, the Kansas- Missouri manager for the chain, were here today and completed arrangements for taking over the theatres March 1. They announced that remodeling of the Klock will proceed as soon as the contract can be let and the material arrives. The Colonial will be completely remodeled, as previously announced, as soon as work on the Klock is completed. Some work also will be done on the Grand during the summer and it will be reseated. All the Universal theatre programs are handled much after the manner of a chain stores system. Mr. Frazier said, all the film bookings being made at the Kansas City and New York offices for each theatre. Western Vaudeville Association entertainers will furnish vaudeville for the chain, Mr. Frazier said. It has bookings in the larger cities of this section, including Kansas City and Joplin."


"Colonial to Close Saturday. Remodeling and Redecorating Will Require Two Weeks" - PDH, Apr. 29, 1926
"The Colonial Theatre will be closed following Saturday night's show for a period of about two weeks during which time the interior of the show house will be renovated and redecorated and the front part of the theatre remodeled. It was reported this morning by H. E. Ulrich, manager of the Midland Theatre and Realty Company of Kansas City, which company takes charge and control of Klock and Colonial theatres under lease from the owners and present operators, the Pittsburg Amusement Company, starting next Monday. Remodeling at the Colonial will include extending the theatre foyer out to the street, doing away with the present large dome entrance and erecting a large illuminated marquise, which will extend about ten feet out over Broadway. The marquise will provide illuminated display space for advertising the attractions showing at the theatre.
Lounge Room for Women.
"Other changes to be made in the theatre include the elimination of the stairway leading from the street to the basement, the installation of a spacious lounge room for women, carpeting the floor and putting in crossover aisles. The entire interior of the theatre will be repainted and redecorated and new draperies will be installed on the stage, Mr. Ulrich said. The marquise which will be installed at the front of the theatre will be an exact duplicate of illuminated front extensions of modern show houses being built in the larger cities and will provide a means of properly advertising the show from the street. The Midland company will assume operation of the Klock Monday. A new half-ton screen and two simplex projectors, which Mr. Ulrich described as the best in the world, will be installed in the Klock over Sunday and will be ready for, use starting Monday.  A 6--piece orchestra also will be an added attractions at the Klock commencing Monday.
Rename Klock Midland.
"As soon as the of remodeling and renovating the Colonial is completed the Klock Theatre will pass out existence. It will be closed for extensive remodeling as planned by the Pittsburg Amusement Company. When the theatre is reopened it will be known as the Midland Theatre. A Hope-Jones pipe organ is to be installed in the new Midland, and the orchestra which will play as the Klock during the remodeling of the Colonial will be transferred to the Colonial,when that house is reopened. The Midland company now operates theatres in Wichita, Hutchinson and Salina in Kansas, and is building the new Midland Theatre in Kansas City at Thirteenth and Main streets. Mr. Ulrich stated that the company specialized on showings of Paramount, First National and Metro-Goldwyn films, and that it is the aim of the company to conduct high class shows in Pittsburg.''


"Colonial Remodeling Now On. Entire New Entrance Will be Built by Asa Messenger" - PDH, May 8, 1926
"Extensive remodeling work is being done at the Colonial theatre, which when completed, will be one of the finest theatres in southeastern Kansas. This show house together with the Klock was taken over Monday under an operating agreement by the Midland theatre circuit of Kansas City from the Pittsburg Amusement Company. The Colonial was closed following the show last Saturday night and Monday morning Asa Messengeri local building contractor started  work on a remodeling contract providing for an expenditure of $10,000. The remodeling work as progressing rapidly. The old lobby is being torn out completely and will be replaced with an extension of the theatre to the sidewalk with commodious foyer inside the building. A ladies rest room, is being installed. The ticket office will be at the edge of the sidewalk and will be fronted with an attractive illuminated marquis. A new 25-foot electric sign to be suspended over the sidewalk will be installed. The entire interior of the theatre will be renovated and repainted and new drapes and decorations will be installed along with an entire installation of a new lighting system. As soon as work on the Colonial is completed, the show will be reopened and he Klock will by closed for much more extensive remodeling than the Colonial. Permit has been issued by the City to Mr. Messenger to make building improvements at the Klock at a cost of $20,000.”


"Open Colonial on May, 31. Remodeling of Theatre Soon Will Be Completed" - PDH, May 22, 1926
"Remodeling of the colonial theatre is progressing rapidly and announcement has been made of the opening date, Monday, May 31. The last coat of paint is being applied on the interior, the new box office is nearing completion and the new lighting system has been installed. New projection machines have arrived and the electric display sign wll be here soon,"


"Colonial is Reopened Today. Remodeling Converts Theatre to a Pleasing Show House" - PDH, Mon., May 31,1926
"Brilliance radiates inside as well as outside the new Colonial theatre, opened this afternoon, after undergoing extensive exterior remodeling and complete redecorating inside. The beautiful and attractive marquise extending over the sidewalk, above which towers a huge Colonial sign, presents a metropolitan theatrical aspect along Broadway. The exterior effect of the remodeled show house is a creditable attraction not alone to the theatre but also to Broadway and Pittsburg. The large entrance of the old theatre has, been altered into an attractive interior foyer, while the ticket office, which was at the rear of the entrance has been moved out to the front on the sidewalk. The change has produced a very pleasing attractiveness and has converted the show house into a theatre of modern appearance. Interior of the theatre has been improved largely through repainting and installation of new lighting fixtures. New stage draperies further enhance the interior attractiveness. A restroom for women has been installed with inside entrance in the basement of the building. In connection with the reopening of the Colonial, M. B. Shanberg, manager of publicity for the Midland here, received the following telegram of congratulations from the Famous Players--Lasky Corporation. 'Congratulations on the reopening of the Colonial. Feel sure that the people of Pittsburg appreciate your efforts to date and will reward you by unbounded patronage. Accept our sincere good wishes for luck-and success.' W. W. Bell wired from Chicago his congratulations and best wishes.''


"Fox Interests Buy Midland Theatre Chain" - Pittsburg Sun, Thurs. May, 8, 1930
"Announcement was made yesterday by Harold B. Franklin, president of the Fox West Coast Theatres, that the concern had purchased the Midland circuit of theatres in Kansas, Missouri and Iowa. The circuit comprises 60 theatres, including the Midland, Colonial and Grand. The circuit will be controlled by a division office of the large Fox interests in Kansas City. The purchase is effective May 10. W. C. Robertson, resident manager, stated last night that he had not been officially notified of the deal but had known that such a project was pending. The Fox concern obtained an option on the circuit last fall. The change is not expected to result in any changes in the personnel of the three Pittsburg theatres, Mr. Robertson said. Other theatres in the section that were in the Midland chain are at Chanute, Coffeyville, Ottawa and Carthage."


"Unusual Features In Movie Field Today" - Pittsburg Sun, June 1, 1930
"Today marks two unusual events in the local theatre field--the opening of Sunday shows in Pittsburg, and the birthday of Ward C. Robertson, resident manager for the Fox circuit, operating the Midland, Colonial and Grand. In announcing the Sunday shows, Mr. Robertson stated that if the Sunday movie were wanted in Pittsburg, the Fox circuit would accommodate. The schedule as followed during the week, will be in force Sunday. Doors will open at 1:30 o-'clock, and the shows will begin at 2 o'clock. Mr. Robertson announced that the outstanding hits of the year would be shown in Pittsburg before being shown at any other house in the district. A contract now in force cares for this, he said.”


updated May 19, 2008
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