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A information to Kansas Metropolis’s appearances in films and TV | KCUR 89.3

The oldest current movement image movie is a two-second scene filmed in England in 1888. Lower than a decade later in 1897, George Curtiss captured the hustle and bustle of Kansas Metropolis streets and fairly presumably made the primary movement image within the Midwest. A few of Curtiss’ movies are viewable on the Kansas Metropolis Google Arts and Tradition web page, courtesy of the Kansas Metropolis Museum.

Ever since, Kansas Metropolis has proven up in films, tv and brief movies as each backdrop and star. The streets and skyline stability the massive metropolis vibe inside simple attain of suburban and rural settings, with a gentle crop of gifted actors out there.

Throughout his Cinema and Kansas Metropolis discuss for the Kansas Metropolis Public Library, UMKC professor Mitch Brian highlighted a few of the essential movies made proper right here in KC. The Kansas Metropolis Movie Workplace additionally has a complete listing of works filmed within the Kansas Metropolis area.

This is a behind-the-scenes take a look at a few of these iconic cinema settings.

Lights! Digicam! Cowtown!

Libby Hansen


KCUR 89.3

You possibly can nonetheless see a film facade, leftover from the filming of Robert Altman’s “Kansas Metropolis,” on Boone Theater at 1701 E. 18th Road.

Director Robert Altman made his directorial debut proper right here in Kansas Metropolis with “The Delinquents,” a 1957 cautionary story. A lot of the solid had been native actors and scenes are set within the Free Park Rose Backyard and Kansas Metropolis Missouri Police Headquarters.

Bonus: You possibly can see Kansas Metropolis legend Julia Lee & Her Boyfriends carry out within the opening scene. Be taught extra about Lee in A Individuals’s Historical past of Kansas Metropolis.

Almost 40 years later, Altman returned to Kansas Metropolis to movie, effectively, “Kansas Metropolis.” Set in 1934, this thriller is an unglamorous depiction of the Jazz Age, filled with crime, violence and political corruption. Scenes happen across the metropolis, together with Union Station (which was in main disrepair on the time) and within the 18th and Vine District. Most of the buildings got film facades and neon marquees to copy the 24-hour nightlife of the period.

In 2011, KCUR’s Laura Spencer visited the world with one of many movie’s set designers, the place many facades had been nonetheless seen and awaiting improvement within the district. You possibly can nonetheless see a film façade on Boone Theater at 1701 E. 18th Road.

Charlie Parker, one in every of Kansas Metropolis’s most well-known sons, is the main target of the 1988 movie “fowl,” starring Forest Whitaker and directed by Clint Eastwood, with a number of scenes filmed in Kansas Metropolis.

Launched in 1990, the movie “Mr. and Mrs. Bridge,” starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, reveals one other spectrum of Kansas Metropolis’s racial divide. It is set throughout the Thirties and Nineteen Forties, throughout the stifled society life centered across the Nation Membership Plaza.

The movie is predicated on books by Evan S. Connell, who grew up in Kansas Metropolis and modeled the character of Mrs. Bridge after his mom. Many landmarks nonetheless stay, together with the Nation Membership Plaza, Drexel Corridor, Liberty Memorial and the inside of the Midland Theater. (Additionally they go to the vault of the First Nationwide Financial institution, which has now been transformed right into a movie show by the Kansas Metropolis Public Library.)

If dramas aren’t your factor, cozy up with a cute romance. The Lifetime filmmy candy vacation” was filmed in Annedore’s High-quality Goodies at State Line Highway and fiftieth Road in Westwood, Kansas, and within the foyer of the historic Muehlebach Lodge at Baltimore Avenue and twelfth Road. Filmmaker Isaac Alongi and author/director Sandra Martin speak about how they filmed a Christmas film throughout the summer season of 2020 with KC Media Collective’s Flatland.

KC collection

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The Netflix reboot of “Queer Eye” filmed its third and fourth seasons in Kansas Metropolis, with the Fab 5 serving to Kansas Residents “zhuzh” their seems, lives and companies.

On the small display, Kansas Metropolis and its environments typically function a present’s setting, although these are normally filmed in Los Angeles or some related place.

So, how will you see a extra “genuine” KC on display? Actuality tv.

The Netflix reboot of “queer eye” filmed its third and fourth seasons in Kansas Metropolis. The Fab 5 traveled everywhere in the space, serving to Kansas Residents “zhuzh” their seems, lives and companies. Whereas taking pictures, they lived in a loft at 2001 Grand Blvd., the outdated Firestone constructing that now bears the long-lasting Abdiana signal within the Crossroads Arts District.

Go to KC has Queer Eye self-guided excursions that promote the native companies and organizations featured in every episode, together with the Kansas Metropolis Buddies of Alvin Ailey, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Artwork and the Johnny Hammil bass studio.

Beginning this previous summer season, a brand new tv present is being filmed round city. “The Light Artwork of Swedish Demise Cleansing,” primarily based on the guide by Margareta Magnusson, helps Kansas Residents shed undesirable bodily and emotional baggage in a sure-to-inspire collection. KCUR reported on the filming announcement in July 2022.

However actuality TV is not nearly makeovers and internal energy — typically it is about outer energy, too. In 2015 and 2017, “american ninja warrior” arrange its impediment course proper in entrance of Union Station.

In one thing of a reversal, the brand new TV present “Bel Air” is ready in Los Angeles, however represents a broad spectrum of Kansas Metropolis expertise. The present is directed by Kansas Metropolis-native Morgan Cooper, who introduced in a good quantity of Kansas Metropolis crew to assist with the behind-the-scenes manufacturing, together with paintings and costumes seen within the present.

straight to music video

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courtesy of Megan Mantia


Launched in 2022, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs filmed “Spitting Off the Fringe of the World” within the Energy & Mild District, a defunct punk membership and within the county roads north of town.

When the Irish band U2 got here to play at Arrowhead Stadium in 1997, they determined that Kansas Metropolis was the right locale for a music video. They filmed the dystopian “Final Night time on Earth” on the Jay B. Dillingham Freeway and a desolate downtown, shutting down town for just a few hours.

Launched in 2022, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs filmed “Spitting Off the Fringe of the World” within the Energy & Mild District, a defunct punk membership and within the county roads north of town. KCUR reported on how two Kansas Metropolis Artwork Institute graduates met the band and introduced them right here.

rapper Tech N9ne hypes KC’s well-known Gates Bar-BQ in “OG,” an ode to Ollie Gates and this Kansas Metropolis establishment. Not solely is a part of the video filmed in a Gates restaurant, however an animated “Struttin’ Man” practically breakdances off the tray.

For native teams, it is simply good sense to make use of the backdrop of town. Throughout 2020, The Black Creatures filmed their “Wretched (It Goes)” music video in entrance of Metropolis Corridor, the Robert Grahams’ Hen Lives statue, and up and down the principle streets and again streets of Kansas Metropolis.

Theaters reframed

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Missouri Valley Particular Collections


Kansas Metropolis Public Library

Kansas Metropolis is residence to one of many largest remaining Movie Row Districts within the nation. Alongside 18th Road between Baltimore and Broadway, most of these outdated buildings nonetheless stand, now an integral a part of the Crossroads Arts District.

A major a part of Kansas Metropolis’s movie historical past resides in its film theaters. Solely a handful of outdated film homes nonetheless stand in Kansas Metropolis, however those who stay have both been refurbished or have plans to be.

Within the 18th and Vine District, Boone Theater at 1701 E. 18th Road is slated for renovation and can home the Black Film Corridor of Fame, which named its inaugural inductees this 12 months. In-built 1924 and renamed in honor of piano virtuoso John W. “Blind” Boone, the theater can also be a cease on the African-American Heritage Path. Hopefully, the constructing will open again as much as the general public in 2023.

Simply down the block is Gem Theater, initially a silent film palace, which has lengthy been an area for the performing arts. All that continues to be of the Eblon Theaterinbuilt 1922 as “a venue for vaudeville and movement photos,” is the facade of the constructing — which was additionally fastened up for Altman’s movie.

Kansas Metropolis is residence to one of many largest remaining Movie Row Districts within the nation. From the Nineteen Twenties by the Nineteen Sixties, main manufacturing studios saved distribution homes in cities world wide.

Alongside 18th Road between Baltimore and Broadway, most of these outdated buildings nonetheless stand, now an integral a part of the Crossroads Arts District. In entrance of the Movie Row Skilled Constructing at 215 W. 18th St., the Kansas Metropolis Stroll of Stars contains plaques for Jean Harlow, Ginger Rogers, Robert Altman, Joan Crawford and Walt Disney.

Talking of Disney: he and pal Ub Iwerks began Snort-O-Gram Studios in 1921 on the second flooring of 1127 E. thirty first St. The corporate solely lasted a pair years, however the eventual influence of Disney & Co. is unquestionable. Organizers with Thank You, Walt Disney are presently elevating funds to revive the constructing and create a museum devoted to preserving the legacy of Snort-O-Gram Studios. Hearken to A Individuals’s Historical past of Kansas Metropolis for extra on this piece of Kansas Metropolis movie historical past.

Although lots of the remaining theaters have been renovated into workplace or occasion areas, just a few have stayed true to their silver display origins, comparable to Screenland Armor in North Kansas Metropolis. The Rio in Overland Park shut down throughout the pandemic, however as of August 2022 its homeowners had been nonetheless hoping to reopen it will definitely.

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