Kansas theater plans to promote its historic roots

A northeast Kansas town wants to use a movie theater that is believed to be among the nation’s oldest to tell the history of early cinema.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that newly discovered photos and newspaper clippings show that films have been shown at what is now The Plaza Grill and Cinema in Ottawa since 1905. Plans for promoting the building’s history include adding interactive exhibits, memorabilia and a documentary.

Plaza owner Peach Madl also envisions a new trolley system transporting people to the theater after they disembark from an excursion train that travels between Baldwin and Ottawa.

Madl has started a fundraising campaign, and an anonymous donor has promised to match up to $50,000. The project also could be eligible for a state tourism destination grant.

Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World