Hearne: Lost Art of New Year’s Eve Bashes Lives on @ Uptown

UptownTheaterWhat was it the Scribe said the other day?

That nobody does New Year’s Eve anymore.

Au contraire.

True, the vaunted Hyatt Regency bash downtown is history and people no longer have to go to one exact place or area (like the Power & Light) and drop more than $100 to get snowed on and/or frozen while traipsing between bars and standing in line waiting to get it.

Ditto for Martini Corner.

Not while one of Kansas City’s oldest surviving NYE parties – at the Uptown Theater – is still looming large. Because for half a hundred you can park free, catch six different themed parties with food, drink and deejays without having to step out into the driving snow.

“This is probably our 15th New Year’s Eve party since I took it over in 1994,” says Uptown main man Larry Sells. “And we’re selling our tickets for $47, which is still the cheapest and best deal going. That’s one reason we’ve been so successful. And because we’ve got six different rooms and you don’t have to go outside to go from bar to bar.”

Themed rooms range from 1960s music to techno, Top 40 and ’80s, with food and libations in each room.

New_Years_Eve_Fireworks_LightUp_The_Night2012_freecomputerdesktopwallpaper_1920Wasn’t always this way, Sells says.

“Before five years ago we were more high dollar – $125 to $150 per person,” Sells says. “And we had food all night long and breakfast and a lot of people liked that, but we’ve found more people like it the way we do it now. Which is, more entertainment, more variety, more rooms. We still have food but it’s no longer a five course deal, we go more for snacks and sandwiches which is what the crowds like.

“And we cut the price by two thirds and up until 4 p.m. today people can still buy their tickets online or at the Uptown and save $5 on the price of tickets at the door tonight.”

In addition to the standard issue New Year’s Eve madness, the Uptown will be having contests and giving away tickets to upcoming shows.

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2 Responses to Hearne: Lost Art of New Year’s Eve Bashes Lives on @ Uptown

  1. balbonis moleskine says:

    I like the uptown very much. They fight the good fight. They are the anti-Midland.

    IIRC Larry is married to old money so the Uptown is essentially a passion project mixed with a long game real estate investment. We are lucky in KC to have a place like the uptown.

  2. Craig Glazer says:

    Larry does keep the show going. With baby boomers for the most part, who respect what was once THE holiday night of the year. No more. This year the holiday falling on a Monday, with the weather guys pounding the BLIZZARD b.s. doesn’t help anyone. A two week period that was once a see your college buds, go out and get blasted and have some fun is for the most part no more. BUT, the Uptown does keep the option of the good old days open, so thank you Larry. I hope one day it gets back to something nice again.

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