Elmer Bills Jr.


July 23, 2018 - 11:00 PM

Elmer Bills, Jr. of Salisbury, Mo., and in recent years, Kansas City, Mo., passed away peacefully in his sleep on Friday, July 20, 2018.

The son of Elmer and Johnnie Bills, Elmer joined his father in the movie theatre business upon graduating from the University of Missouri. By then he had married his high school sweetheart Amy Sellmeyer, and enjoyed a beautiful marriage of 60 years. While continuing with theatre acquisitions, he was involved with the United Motion Picture Association, where he served as president in 1972.

In 1980, Elmer partnered with his son-in-law and daughter, Bob and Bridget Bagby to form B&B Theatres, which has grown to become the seventh-largest theatre circuit in the United States. In 2014, Bills entered ShoEast Hall of Fame, an honor affiliated with the National Association of Theatre Owners that recognizes motion picture executives and their careers.

Elmer’s other business interests included his partnership with Regional Missouri Bank as well as his years of service as a board member and president of the Joseph W. Ingram Trust Fund. Elmer enjoyed the challenges and rewards from both of these entities, but more importantly the friendships that he held with the board members from each.

No one would disagree that Elmer Bills, Jr. (following in his father’s footsteps) was one of the most respected and revered motion picture exhibitors, a sentiment that has been shared with his family by many movie studio and fellow theatre executives.

Survivors include his wife, Amy of the home, Bob and Bridget (Bills) Bagby of Liberty, Mo., Dave and Brenda (Bills) Duncan of Atlanta, Ga., and Brad and Meredith Bills of Leawood, Bobbie (Bag-by) Ford and Zach Ford, Brittanie (Bagby) Baker and Jesse Baker, Savannah (Duncan) Durban and Eric, Ally Duncan, Brock Bagby and Jennifer and Summer Bills as well as six great-grandchildren.

A visitation will be from 1 to 2:30 p.m. today at St. James Parish in Liberty, Mo., followed by a private family funeral at 3 p.m. (The family wishes to note that Mrs. Bills will not be at the visitation.)

In lieu of flowers, please consider The St. Joseph’s Foundation, P.O. Box 66 Salisbury, MO 65281 or Variety Children’s Charity of Kansas City, P.O. Box 3446, Shawnee, KS 66203. Condolences may be expressed at www.MuehlebachChapel.com.

August 28, 2019
August 19, 2016
May 20, 2016
June 3, 2015