Starlight Theatre Eligible for Medicare? (05-21-15)
If Starlight Theatre were a person, she would be applying for Medicare this year just like everyone else celebrating their 65th birthday.
As hard as it may be for some to believe, the still-unfinished Starlight Theatre opened in 1950 for the Kansas City’s 100th birthday celebration performance of “Thrills of a Century.” The first season of self-producing Broadway plays began in 1951 and even President Harry S. Truman briefly took the stage in the 1960’s performance of “Mr. President.”
Things were definitely different back then - just talk to any of the seasoned patrons you encounter at the iconic outdoor venue under the stars. Those patrons remember the days of men wearing suits and women in dresses, hats and gloves as they attended the elaborate performances. And if you were a child in attendance, well, that was a special grown-up treat you never forgot.
The idea for the almost 8000-seat venue came many years earlier...twenty-five to be exact before Queen Marie of Romania visited Kansas City to help dedicate the opening of the Liberty Memorial.
Over the years, many have contributed to the evolution of the Starlight Theatre, including Jerry Lewis who personally funded stage modifications for his show. Further improvements to the stage area as well as the most recent update to the sound system are a sure sign that Kansas City residents love this unique treasure. Dedicated volunteers enhance patrons’ experience come rain or shine because as everyone knows “the show must go on.” There isn’t, or at least there shouldn’t be, an article posted about outdoor venues that doesn’t mention Starlight Theatre.
Self-produced comedies, dramas and musicals, touring shows, and concerts ranging from country to hip hop to hard rock have all graced the stage of this staple of Kansas City summers. While suits and dresses are no longer the standard attire, attending a performance at Starlight Theatre with family and friends is just as much a magical evening now as it was sixty-five years ago.
Happy Birthday to a Grand Lady! Thanks for the memories!