Hippodrome Sign
Old Projector


July 1919
AE Lanning opens $10,000 Hippodrome Theatre with two separate street-side rooms for rent to merchants.
December 1922
Lanning is forced to close theatre due to financial losses.
March 1923
PJ Zorn purchases theatre at a sheriff's sale.
March 1924
Zorn personally takes over operation of the theatre and it remains under the management of Zorn/Lowery family members until 1973.
April 1973
Chad and Kay DeCastro purchase the theatre at an estate auction and initiate extensive remodeling, changing the name to "Chaka."
June 1982
DeCastro's daughter Mary and her husband Bill Collins buy the Chaka and continue operations until 1996.
June 1996
The Chaka is placed up for sale. Concerned citizens launch a fund-raising campaign to purchase and reopen the facility.
October 1996
The Hippodrome Arts Centre organization is officially established and the Hippodrome is reborn. Plans are made for the facility to be used as a multi-curtural centre in addition to movies.
April 1997
The Hippodrome incorporated the help of over 100 volunteers—manning the ticket booth, selling concessions and helping with general cleanup. To date they have willingly given over 3000 hours of volunteer time.
April 1997
The first major annual fundraiser, “The Gala”, was scheduled and the community invited. Food, fun, and entertainment as well as an auction helped raise funding for ongoing projects. This Hippodrome event became the spring social event of the year and continues to be the highlight of the community calendar.
The Hippodrome Arts Centre was listed as the first building in Sedgwick County on the Historical State Register of Historical Places.
Building reconstruction included renovating the building, adding a ballroom and adding a commercial grade kitchen. The roof was completely rehabilitated as well.
New seating was added as the old Naugahyde vinyl was traded for much more comfortable Greystone seats.
The lobby and concession stand took on a whole new appearance as both were completely remodeled.
The digital age arrived as the Hippodrome made the conversion from the carbon arc to the new projector system. This new digital operating system allowed the Hippodrome to utilize the projector in many ways: hooking up to gaming systems so guests may play on the big screen, and showing Blu-Ray movies too.
Hippodrome in the early 1900s
Hippodrome in the early 1900s
Hippodrome in mid 1990s
Construction of the Ballroom
New Seats
New Digital Projector