A local theater chain last week announced its plans to build a luxury entertainment center in the Twin Creeks area.
B&B Theatres plans to build the center on the northeast corner of Highway 152 and N. Platte Purchase Road in Kansas City. B&B, founded and headquartered in Missouri, is the sixth largest theater chain in America and moved operations into the Kansas City area in 2014 with its purchase of Dickinson Theaters.
The Platte Purchase luxury entertainment center will serve as an entertainment destination for surrounding communities, according to a statement by B&B. The property will echo many of the groundbreaking entertainment concepts found at the company’s flagship location in Ankeny, Iowa and will parallel that location’s upscale and luxurious atmosphere. This center will boast 12 lanes of bowling, each complemented by massive downlane video walls and plush couches flanking tables for casual eating and drinks during games. A full redemption arcade will sit adjacent to the lanes, featuring both the latest arcade attractions and some favorite arcade classics of yesteryear. Players can earn points during gameplay that can be redeemed for prizes at the in-arcade redemption store.
B&B plans to incorporate its signature Marquee Bar and Grille into the mix, providing guests made-to-order food options and beer, wine and cocktails. The bar will be fronted by high- and low-top tables for casual dining. The center will also include an eight-screen theater.
B&B stands for Bills and Bagby, two families that both launched movie theaters and joined forces — for business and love — in 1980. In 1924 Elmer Bills Sr. bought the Lyric Theatre in Salisbury, Mo., and founded Bills Theatres. It was there that he met his future wife, Johnnie, while she played the piano along with the silent movies. Years later, their son Elmer Bills, Jr., was born into the business.
In 1936, the elder Elmer hired 10-year-old Sterling Bagby as a concession clerk. Sterling grew up, fought in World War II and came home to marry his Higbee, Mo. ticket seller, Pauline. Together, they started the Bagby Traveling Picture Show and roamed rural Missouri with their films, projection equipment, seats and snack bar. The Bagby Traveling Picture Show screened movies in barns, schools and parks. Eventually, Sterling and Pauline’s company evolved into a Kansas circuit of drive-in theaters and indoor theaters. On Jan. 1, 1980, the Bills and Bagby families cemented decades of friendship by formally joining their two theatre companies into B&B Theatres. At the same time, Sterling and Pauline’s son Bob married Elmer and Amy’s daughter Bridget truly wedding the families together. The fourth generation of the Bills and Bagby families still operate B&B Theatres.