The Jayhawk Theatre is a historic and architectural marvel, built as a state-of-the-art entertainment venue and Topeka’s first deluxe motion picture palace.  Located in the heart of Topeka’s historic Downtown, the Official State Theatre of Kansas is the last remaining historic theater in our Capital City.

A dedicated and passionate team of board members, community leaders, citizens and advocates are committed to returning the Jayhawk to its former grandeur. The goal is not only to restore this treasure because of its historical significance, but to breathe new life and purpose into the Jayhawk Theatre by renovating it into a destination, live entertainment venue and film house.

The Jayhawk Theatre will play a significant role in the continued revitalization of Topeka’s downtown. As transformation continues, it contributes to the vibrancy, growth, economic development and quality of life of our great community, region, state and beyond. It will take imagination and dedication, but it can be done. The time is now. The wait is over. 

The Jayhawk opened in 1926 with the vision to show the latest technological advances, movie pictures. Unfortunately, by 1974 the aging theater was unable to attract many visitors and closed it’s doors. It sat vacant until Rev. Richard Taylor advocated for the theater to reopen and become fully operational again. All of his dedication and hard work paid off when, in 1993, the state Senate passed the resolution naming the Jayhawk the ‘State Theater of Kansas’. Since then 1990’s restorative efforts have slowly been gaining traction. Please visit our Support page to see how you can get involved to bring this aging beauty back to it’s full glory.


Jeff Carson, President

Co-Owner, Gizmo Pictures

Sonia Betsworth, Vice-President

Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer, FHLBank Topeka

John Gonzalez, Secretary

IT/Lead Software Developer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas

Bradley Buchanan, CISA, Treasurer

Information Technology Director, Jetz Service Company

Jerry Anderson

Retired, CoreFirst Bank & Trust

Scott Gales, AIA, LEED AP

President and Partner, Architect One

Irene Haws

Marketing and Events Coordinator, Fidelity State Bank and Trust

Honorable Nancy E. Parrish

District Court Judge

Joe Scranton

Consultant and Owner, Aspera Associates

Wes Weathers, J.D.

Goodell, Stratton, Edmonds & Palmer, LLsP


720 SW Jackson St

Topeka, KS 66603


Historic Jayhawk Theatre