Kansas City, Mo. – The 1920s and '30s marked the heyday of Kansas City jazz. Political boss Tom Pendergast tolerated drinking in an era of prohibition. And musicians flocked to play the dozens of clubs in this "wide open town." But today, in the city's historic 18th and Vine jazz district, fake storefronts, including movie facades, have been in place longer than many businesses last, almost as long as the heyday itself.
By the turn of the last century, 18th and Vine was the heart of the business district for the African-American community in Kansas City, Missouri.