#89 – Uptown Theater Kansas City
3700 Broadway Blvd. Kansas City, MO 64111
Good for: Singing along to your favorite band.
Pro tip: Check out the balcony if it’s open for great views of the architecture.
The Uptown Theater is an ornate, historic theater in Midtown Kansas City. Similar to the Midland, the Uptown Theater has amazingly unique décor, paint, light fixtures and more.
About Uptown Theater Kansas City
The Uptown Theater opened in 1928, as the first theater outside of downtown Kansas City to show first-run films. Its architectural style was Italian Renaissance, replicating an outdoor Mediterranean courtyard, with a nighttime sky ceiling, twinkling stars, clouds and even mechanical flying birds.
In its prime, the Uptown Theater featured a Fragratone system, which funneled fragrances into the auditorium via ventilation ducts during fills. The theater even copyrighted the system. The theater was successful through the 1970s, hosting movies, theater productions and vaudeville acts. In 1989, the venue closed because the owned failed to pay taxes.
After a $15 million renovation, the theater was restored to its original colors and architecture. It remains one of the few remaining atmospheric theaters still in operation.
Shows at Uptown Theater Kansas City
Before a show at Uptown Theater, there are a few great spots to grab food or drinks. It’s not quite as centrally located as the CrossroadsKC space, but still has plenty of great options like:
- 39th Street District – Dive bars and quick eats.
- Hamburger Mary’s – Renowned drag bar with plenty of drink specials.
- Q39 – Some of the best BBQ in KC.
Before we saw the Decemberists, Q and I stopped by one of our favorite spots on 39th Street – High-Dive – a great spot for a quick, cheap drink just five minutes from the venue.
Parking can be an issue at the Uptown. It’s mostly in a residential area, so street parking a few blocks away is your best bet. There are a few available lots directly across from the venue, but they fill up fast.
The Uptown Theater is usually pretty packed because of its size. It’s probably one of the smallest venues in KC. While you’ll never see big names here (you’ll need Providence Medical Center Amphitheater and the Sprint Center for those), the Uptown is great for small to medium-sized bands and other acts.
Enjoy the beautiful, historic architecture and your favorite bands at the Uptown Theater Kansas City. xx, Libbie.