The Jayhawk Theatre’s Future
It is, after all, a historical grand movie palace, and when nothing else is happening at the Jayhawk- we plan to show movies- all kinds of movies,
Art Movies: The kind you now drive to Lawrence to see.
Silent Movies: The Jayhawk Theatre started the local silent movie festival. We’re hoping to regularly bring back the kinds of movies originally shown at the Jayhawk in 1926.
Foreign Films: We have significant Asian and Hispanic communities in the Topeka area and thousands of international students within an hour’s drive. We’re sure there’s an under-served market for films in all kinds of languages.
Film Festivals: We’ve had discussions about starting an annual film festival to host new films which are looking for an audience. If a little town in Utah can do it, so can Topeka.
Annual Film Events: The Jayhawk Theatre cries out for an annual sing-along showing of “The Wizard of Oz”. “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, “Sound of Music” and other films lend themselves to annual events, complete with costumes and a party. And, of course, there are several versions of “Gypsy”, a film with a Jayhawk Theatre connection.
Saturday Morning Serials: Believe it or not, there are copies to be had of the old serials some of us grew up with, along with the fine, vintage cartoons. Kid’s Saturday morning movies once a month is a possibility.
The auditorium, the 100 seat catering hall and the lobby/ gallery area will all be available for rental by anyone in the community. The Jayhawk had a rich history or weddings performed onstage. We hope to see that fine tradition re-established. The catering hall can be used for monthly lunch or dinner meetings or whatever other event someone contemplates.
Our theatre seating is in the process of being designed. We intend to include some sort of table at each seat for refreshments or note-taking at a convention or other business meeting. Plans also include satellite uplink capabilities for use by business meetings and conventions. Our catering hall and lobby space will also provide breakout meeting capabilities.
We anticipate demand to be highest during the legislative session when groups of citizens can convene in the Jayhawk and then walk across the street to lobby their legislators.
Musicians love the acoustics at the Jayhawk. It’s perfect for the acoustic performer but will also accommodate jazz ensembles, stage bands, and rock ‘n roll. We’re starting to document some of the live music performances that have occurred during the theatre’s history and hope to match that rich history with the future.
The theatre will have a wonderful theatre organ much like the original. We’d anticipate that there would be a call for the occasional organ recital or other performance, but we’ve found out there’s a need for a theatre organ available for lessons and practice.
Live Theatre/ Dance / Lectures/ Comedy:
The stage lends itself to stage performers and dance much more than did the original because we’ll have the support areas needed for live performance built into the adjacent Commonwealth Building space. We have no plans to produce any live thatre ourselves but will have the facilities for other groups to do so, dressing rooms, make-up areas, even a set-making space. Comedians and speakers will love the intimacy of the theatre space and the acoustics.
Live Performances from Around the World via Satelite:
The Jayhawk will have he capability to show live theatre from Broadway, ballet from Russia, opera from Milan- you name it! If its’ available via satellite, we’ll be able to secure rights and show it here in Topeka.