Harry Miller wanted to put a movie theater in the middle of Aggieville in 1925, so he purchased a lot on the west side of North Manhattan Avenue at the far west end of Moro Street. There were already two theaters in downtown Manhattan, the Wareham and the Marshall, so Miller’s theater would have to be special in every way.
He invested close to $100,000 in the effort, including the purchase of 257,000 bricks, 5 carloads of cement, two railroad carloads of steel, a carload of terra cotta trim for the outside, and a carload of ornamental plaster for the inside.
His 784-seat theater featured an Egyptian motif, with floors tiled in an Egyptian pattern, along with huge murals depicting scenes from Egypt hand-painted by W.J. Moody of the Kansas City Scenic Company.
The Miller Theatre opened on May 1, 1926, with the silent film “Paris at Midnight,” a Felix the Cat cartoon, “Kinogram” newsreels, and, of course, the live “Miller Superb Orchestra.”
Over the years, the Miller Theatre became the Varsity, the Varsity became the Sosna, and the Sosna became the Campus. For 72 years the theater doors were open to movie-goers of all ages. That’s a lot of films. That’s a lot of popcorn.