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Since I remember the Esquire in its original, single-screen configuration, the desecration of this house began in 1969 when the balcony became two additional venues. It’s been downhill ever since.
No. The Cinerama screen had been removed in 1959.
The advertisement above saying opening night will be May 26th does not reflect the minor delay in opening the venue. Actual opening took place on May 30th, 1954 with a double-bill of “Return to Paradise” and “99 River Street.”
The drive-in did not close in 1962, but hung on until October 18, 1964 when it closed with the triple-bill of “Bikini Beach”, “Comedy of Terrors” and “Her Bridal Night.”
Architectural credit was given to James L. Willingham & Associates.
Ad copy appearing in the St. Louis Times 4-25-10:
Will Open Wednesday…The Vandora Theatre…Cherokee St. and Texas Ave…One Block West of Jefferson Ave.
Will open Wednesday evening, April 27, with the best service of Motion Picture Films shown in St. Louis south of Walnut street and west of Sixth street. Miss Florence Lawrence, the greatest Moving Picture Actress in the world, will appear in the celebrated Imp Pictures included in our service. Pictures will be seen in this theatre the first day they are shown in the United States. Mr. Edward Savage, the popular barytone, and the Vandora Orchestra, under the direction of Geo. Eckhardt, Jr., will entertain with the latest songs and instrumental music. Our auditorium contains 5000 square feet of floor space, with seating capacity of 1000. In addition to the high ceiling and transoms on either side of the auditorium, we have installed 16 ceiling and wall fans and two exhaust fans to insure perfect ventilation. Admission 5 cents. Conveniently reached from all parts of the city. Change of program for this week only Wednesday and Friday. If you pay us a visit, you will be well entertained.
The Kenrick is now in the process of being demolished.
Theatre opened on September 12, 1910.
Theatre reopened on May 10, 2014.
The current owner of the Cinderella Building is in the process of restoring the building’s facade.
Earliest newspaper ad that I’ve found was in November, 1909.
The theatre was never known as the Arsenal, even though it was on that street.
Photo taken in May 1952.
Extensive coverage of the theatre’s history and current restoration is featured in Marquee, the quarterly publication of the Theatre Historical Society. The organization’s website is historictheatres.org.
What is the status of the Wurlitzer organ in this theatre? I just noticed that the theatre does not appear on the ATOS listing of organs in theatres.
The St. Louis Star in 1927 listed the Family as having 682 seats.
The original Comet was at 2110 Market Street and operated from c.1911 until 1933.
A bit of irony that the planned new theatre will have 8 screens. Eight screens was “obsolete” in 2000 when the Regency Square closed. Must be a different spokesperson.
The date of the assault/robbery was May 27, 1952. The perpetrators made off with all of $1.75. The theatre closed on May 30th “for the summer”, but with art film competition from the Shady Oak, Pageant and the Lyn, the venue did not reopen in the fall, reverting to strictly a screening room operation.
According to newspaper accounts, the shooting took place in the basement office of the O'Fallon Theatre. The subsequent suicide took place in a car in O'Fallon Park. This was reported in all three dailies, the Post-Dispatch, the Globe-Democrat and the Star-Times of Jan. 27, 1944. I can vouch that these newspapers are available on microfilm at the downtown St. Louis library.
“Long gone” for sure. Theatre listed in directories from 1911 to 1914. Operation just west of Jefferson.
Opening night of the theatre was October 1, 1936 with a double-bill of “The Devil-Doll” and “We Went to College”. Newspaper coverage then gave a seating capacity of 1200.
In order to build the Norside, a night club on the site was demolished. This nightclub at one time was a movie house, the North Grand, which operated 1910-1922.
Sam Komm did not build the theatre, but he did take title to the structure in 1947.
The FDYB also spells it “Vu”.
If my recollections are correct, this theatre opened under the management of Fabian theatres…soon taken over by UA Theatres. If not opened by Fabian, Fabian initiated plans for the house.
Oops…the run at Sunset Hills was but 7 weeks; the run at the Mid-City was 8.
No, “Pussycat” was at Sunset Hills I beginning July 7, 1965 for an 8-week run. The film also shown at Loew’s Mid-City on Grand Avenue.
I hate to disppoint everyone, but “Help” was not shown at the Crestwood but at Sunset Hills I. The opening date was August 25, 1965.