Starlight Theatre then and now

Take a peek at the renderings for the upcoming renovations on this historic theater.

A rendering of the canopy planned for Starlight Theater

This update should make those starry nights a little brighter.

Photo renderings provided by Starlight Theatre

$40 million. That’s the campaign amount for Starlight Theatre’s upcoming improvements. Recently, the 73-year-old amphitheater announced it would embark upon a capital campaign for the first time in 20 years. Theatergoers can look forward to:

  • A canopy that will cover the front 3,200 seats
  • Mounted screens (so everyone can see better)
  • Renovated restrooms + new health and nursing rooms
  • A larger kitchen for food services
  • A new accessible entry

Plus, $4 million worth of expanded programming. Construction is slated to begin fall of 2024.

Use the slider below to compare the view in 1952 to what we’ll see in the future.

So, that’s where the theater is headed. But let’s see how far Starlight has come.

Starlight Theater was constructed in 1950 in the heart of Swope Park. It was designed by Edward Buehler Delk, who was also largely responsible for the design of the Country Club Plaza.

Discussions of an outdoor stage in KC were in the works for decades. Eventually, overall plans for the venue were rushed in order to put on a show for the city’s 100th birthday.
The cost of the original facility was $1.75 million. By the mid-1990s, that number reached $40 million.

Put in other words, the theater is investing its 1990s cost in upcoming renovations. Does that mean we’re doubling its worth?

Learn more about Starlight’s previous renovations and stats.