Courtesy of The Folly
Built in 1900, The Folly Theater in Kansas City continues to offer strong music and stage performances today.
This historic theater still puts on a good show.
Kansas City's oldest theater, The Folly, opened in 1900 as The Standard, a burlesque house on vaudeville's Empire Circuit. A grand showpiece, it rose nearly seven stories with majestic columns and Palladian windows and was extravagantly lit with electric light bulbs–a novelty that had been introduced to Kansas City the year before. Her price tag: $250,000.
The theater went through several name changes over the next century—Century, Shubert, Folly Burlesque—reinventing itself to keep pace with the times as entertainment shifted from vaudeville to motion pictures to striptease to adult art films. Following a close call with a wrecking ball in the mid-1970s, The Grand Old Lady of Twelfth Street became known simply as The Folly. She underwent a much needed multi-million-dollar face-life that stretched over seven years and reopened in 1981, her respectability again intact.
As a community cornerstone with world-class entertainment, The Folly is home to the Harriman Arts Program and the Friends of Chamber Music, along with the Folly Jazz Series and Folly Kids Series. Pearl Baily and Phyllis Diller have played the boards here, as have Ben Vereen, Dizzy Gillespie, Rosemary Clooney, Leslie Nielson, and Gregory Peck, among many, many others.
Call 816-842-5500 or visit www.follytheater.com for more information.