The 1900 theater when brand new.


Carved in stone above the front doors is AUDITORIUM 1900.

The building, completed in 1901, became known as the Strong City Opera House.

In the 1920s, the structure was converted into a movie house and named the RIALTO.

In 1931 came another name change: UPTOWN.

Around 1940, the front doors were replaced, and glass block sidelights added. These elements are extant. A neon sign was also added: UPTOWN Theater. The sign is also extant, and plans are underway to have it restored to working condition in 2018.

Few changes were made to the building after the 1940s update.

The theater later closed.

One night in 2000, the entire roof dramatically caved in, destroying most of the interior.

The city acquired the structure.

A grant application was successfully made to the Kansas Heritage Trust Fund and a new roof was installed.

In 2002, the Strong City Preservation Alliance was formed, in part, to oversee the restoration of the building.