This theater opened in June of nineteen-thirty and at the time was called the Dickinson Theater. It was specifically planned and built for “talking” movies and had the latest sound technology available. The interior was designed to be visually elegant and have excellent acoustics Newspaper accounts wrote about the fine new cooling system installed at the Dickinson and that the “huge fans make it plenty cool for all theater-goers.” It was called one of the best theaters in Missouri.
The gala opening of the theater was June twentieth, nineteen-thirty. The feature movie was “The Benson Murder Case” starring William Powell and Philo Vance. There was also a comedy short called “The Home Edition” and a Paramount newsreel. The shows ran that Friday continuous from two-thirty in the afternoon till eleven o’clock at night. It was said that over one-thousand people attended the opening day.
Five years later, this theater became the Uptown Theater. It’s grand opening was on August twenty-ninth, nineteen-thirty.
Walt and Roy Disney held the Midwest premier of their feature film “The Great Locomotive Chase”, in the Uptown theater In nineteen-fifty-six. They personally greeted each child at the door. When Walt and Roy took to the stage before the movie started, the children sang the “Mickey Mouse Song” to them. Because the Mickey Mouse Club was not broadcast in Marceline at the time, the children learned the song especially for this occasion. Walt then lead the excited, admiring group of youngsters in singing the “Davey Crockett” song.
The movie ran from one-thirty in the afternoon until one-thirty the next morning, so that everyone who wanted to see the movie could attend.
In nineteen-ninety-eight, the world premier of “The Spirit of Mickey” was held in this same theater. Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Pluto, Goofy, and Chip-n-Dale were in attendance. About nineteen-thousand Disney fans came to Marceline for this event.
After over seventy-five years of continuous operation, the Uptown Theater closed its door in twenty-fourteen.