The Folly Theater, built in 1900, took home the 2023 Outstanding Historic Theatre Award the League's 47th National Conferencee; attended by over three hundred historic theatre operators and service providers from across North America and the United Kingdom. In addition to receiving the award, the staff and volunteers from The Folly hosted a tour and conference closing party featuring local BBQ and libations. Other theatres toured during the conference included Kansas City's Uptown and Midland theatres as well as the Aztec, Liberty Hall, and Jayhawk in Kansas as well as the Missouri Theatre in St. Joseph.
"The 1900 Folly Theater stood out among an impressive list of nominations to claim the award this year,"said Ken Stein, LHAT President and CEO, as he presented the award to Folly's Executive Director, Rick Truman "While there were many reasons The Folly was worthy of the award, our judges were particularly impressed with how well the theatre incorporated members from Kansas City's diverse community. It was apparent that everyone is welcome and celebrated at The Folly," Stein continued.
The Outstanding Historic Theatre Award is given each year by LHAT to a historic theatre that has demonstrated excellence in community impact, quality of programs and services, and quality of physical restoration."It was apparent to the League that the Folly has remained true to its architectural history while remaining relevant to its changing audiences."
The nominating committee consisted of former LHAT Board Presidents and leaders in the industry. Nominations were accepted from across the nation, representing some of America's finest performing arts venues and film houses. Past winners include New York's City Center, The Fox Theatre in Atlanta, The Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor, and Cleveland's Playhouse Square. The award has been given annually since 2003.