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80 Years at the Historic Anthony Theatre, Anthony, Kansas

By: Barbara Wright

Nestled down on the southern border of Kansas lays the mile long city of Anthony, Kansas, founded in 1878, population 2250.    This community has held this fixed population since the beginning.  A number of locally owned manufacturing companies allow local residents to be employed and reside in the community where they live.  This small city, which is also the county seat, is fortunate to have a large number of retail establishments, great schools and a very efficient hospital and an attractive retirement center, a lake situated a mile from town which allows for various recreational activities.  Among our prided treasures you will find the art deco style Historic Anthony Theatre established in 1936 and to this day holds its original appearance inside and out.  The Grand Opening of this theatre was held November 23, 1936.  From the time a car garage was removed to allow for the theatre to be built, until it’s Grand Opening, only 5 months were involved in drawing up the plans and building this efficient and luxurious 600 seating capacity facility. Many dignitaries from the movie industry attended the grand opening and were quoted as saying, “the Anthony Theatre was one of the finest and most modern picture houses of the Midwest”. In 2016 the 80th anniversary was celebrated with another large crowd attending.   There was a short time between owners, the theatre was closed and that is when the present day committee took on the task of multiple fundraisers to raise enough money to buy the theatre, and also the adjacent lot for future building plans.  In March of 2008 the money was raised.  Quickly the reality of once again holding movies in the Anthony Theatre became a reality.  A large amount of restoration had to take place immediately to update the building.  The theatre received the Heritage Trust Fund Grant and numerous other grants, tax credits and generous community donations which has allowed much of this work to be done.   Two years  ago a large sum of money was donated to the theatre by the County and City which permitted  the dated heating and air-conditioning to be replaced with modern and updated Geothermal  heating and air-conditioning. 
The theatre is fortunate to have most all of their bi-weekly movies presented by local business.   The movies are well attended by local and surrounding residents.   The theatre committee is comprised of 18-20 individuals coming from all walks of life such as retail owners, locally employed, and retired residents.  The committee has met monthly since the theatre was purchased, and are always planning  unique events such as a Cruise Night, Talent Shows,  business meetings, Easter Church service, creative fundraisers and many other community events.   The latest event to be planned by the committee is

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