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Saturday, March 3, 2012

History of the Pla-Mor in Kansas City: Ballroom, Bowling Alley, Swimming Pool!

Located at Linwood and Main in Kansas City, Missouri, the Pla-Mor Ballroom was part of an entertainment complex which included a hockey arena, swimming pool, bowling alleys, a roller skating rink and a baseball diamond. Known as the "million dollar ballroom," the Pla-Mor opened Thanksgiving, November 23, 1927, to the music of the 16-piece Jean Goldkette Orchestra.

The Pla-Mor was lushly appointed with carpets and velour drapes. It boasted a 14,000-square-foot, spring-loaded dance floor that could accommodate 3,000 dancers.

The Pla-Mor featured legendary artists such as Django Rhinehardt (left) and the best known radio and recording bands including Glen Gray, Jan Garber, Jimmie Lunceford, George E. Lee, Count Basie and Andy Kirk. Legend has it that Hoagy Carmichael introduced "Stardust" while a member of the Pla-Mor's house band. 

Dancers continued to flock to the Pla-Mor during World War II, but attendance declined in the post-World War II period. The Pla-Mor closed after one last dance on June 14, 1957.

The Pla-Mor was then converted into the seventh largest bowling alley in the nation. The bowling alley closed in 1966. In 1970 the building became Freedom Palace, a rock venue that featured national touring acts including the Who and Canned Heat. The Pla-Mor was demolished March 31, 1972.

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