The Uptown was designed by Kansas City architect Robert Gornall. The office and retail portion was completed in November 1926. The interior design is in Italian Renaissance style. It was the only one of its kind in Kansas City as well as the State of Missouri. The inside of the theater replicated an outdoor Mediterranean courtyard, complete with a nighttime sky ceiling with twinkling stars, clouds, and mechanical flying birds.It opened on January 6, 1928 to a film showing of "The Irresistible Lover". The Uptown was the first theater in Kansas City outside of downtown to show first-run films.
In the summer of 1939, the Uptown copyrighted a Fragratone system, which funneled fragrances into the auditorium via the ventilation ducts at appropriate moments during films.
The Uptown hosted movies as well as live vaudeville and stage productions through the 1970s. By the late 1970s, the theater began to function primarily as a concert venue, and it remained that way until it closed its doors in 1989. During its later years, the interior fell into disrepair, and all of the original details were whitewashed. In 1979 it was placed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
In 1994, it was purchased for $7,500, and underwent a $15 million renovation. The original splendor was restored.It has hosted figures from all sides of the political spectrum, including Barack Obama, Al Franken, Bill Maher, and even a Cesar Chavez group some years ago #The_Uptown_Theater #Theater #Uptown_Theater