News from City Hall
City Communications Office
City of Kansas City, Mo.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 26, 2011
City to celebrate Municipal Auditorium’s 75th anniversary
The City of Kansas City, Mo., invites residents to enjoy a fun-filled afternoon at the Municipal Auditorium’s 75th Anniversary Celebration on Thursday, Oct. 13 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Municipal Arena, 301 W. 13th St. The event will commemorate the auditorium’s legacy as one of America’s most historic buildings.
“In this difficult economic time our Municipal Auditorium is a monument and reminder to what civic pride can do to reinvigorate an economy,” said Mayor Sly James. “As Kansas City struggled to lift itself from the Great Depression, we engaged in a program known as the ‘Ten year Plan’. The idea was simple, as a community we embarked on an aggressive civic building program that left a lasting legacy for our city. The artisanship of the local craftsman, local builders, tradesman and artists is as beautiful today as it was 75 years ago. Municipal Auditoriumstands as a testament to the talent, energy, determination and pride of the people of Kansas City.”
The event will feature circus clowns, a singing Elvis, the Shriner’s band, displayed vintage automobiles, historic photos, pipe organ concert, photo booths, prizes, entertainment and more. Food and beverages will also be available.
A trolley, free of charge, will loop from the 11st Street side of City Hall, 414 E. 12th St., to the Municipal Auditorium to bring downtown employees over to the event and back for their lunch hour.
When the Municipal Auditorium opened to the public in 1935, the Architectural Record named it one of the 10 best buildings in the world. The formal dedication was on Oct. 13, 1936 by Franklin D. Roosevelt. The auditorium features Streamline Moderne and Art Deco architecture and consists of three halls: – the Arena (7,316 permanent seats +3,405 temporary seats); the Music Hall (2,400 seats); and the Little Theatre (400 seats).
Over the past 75 years, Municipal Arena has hosted nine NCAA Final Four Tournaments, the most of any venue nationwide. Arena guests include most U.S. presidents and countless entertainers, including Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Hendrix. The Ararat Shrine Temple Circus and the Greater Kansas City Auto Show are both long-established yearly traditions at the Municipal Arena.
The Music Hall houses the 1927 Robert Morton Theatre Pipe Organ, occasionally presenting concerts. In addition, a variety of Broadway shows, orchestras, operas and ballets consistently perform here. The Little Theatre is an ornate ballroom ideal for wedding receptions and catered events.
For more information or media inquiries about the Municipal Auditorium’s 75th Anniversary Celebration, please contact Janet O’Hagan, marketing manager for Kansas City Convention and Entertainment Facilities, at 816-513-5015.