Studio Theatre

S. Campbell Avenue and W. Westview Street,
Springfield, MO 65807

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Studio - Springfield, MO

The Studio Theatre was a small adult theatre located in, of all places, a neighborhood shopping center, the Park Crest Village Shopping Center. It opened in March 1969.

It was a storefront entrance (aluminum and glass doors) with a tiny lobby that sold an extremely small amount of popcorn, soda and candy. The “office” was basically part of the concession stand, and if I remember right, the rear wall of it was also the projection booth.

You entered the theatre through an ancient gold drapery. There was an aisle immediatley in front of you, with about 50 seats on either side, but it may have been smaller.

I’m embarrassed to say, I went there with my high school buddies a few times, (they never checked IDs). I only mention the place at all, because, such as it was, it was a theatre, and someone, somewhere, might want to know something about it.

It opened about 1968 or so and ran X-rated film through most of the 1970’s until cable and VCRs made it cost prohibitive.

It existed because the owners of the shopping center, the Ferris’s, wanted it there. When it closed, they converted the property into an ice cream parlor called, I think, the Ferris Wheel.

Contributed by Dwayne Butcher

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

Antiquarius on February 8, 2010 at 9:30 pm

The front of the space where this theatre was located is pretty much intact. The ticket window is clearly there. I think there is a dance studio there now. I remember this theatre being there, though I was a kid at the time so never went in. The shopping center is called Park Crest, and I went to the Consumer’s Market and the Ben Franklin dime store in the center a lot. This town being a quite conservative place, it is not uncommon to hear someone speak of this notorious place even today (I think this place must have closed over a quarter century ago) as a bastion of evil!

hhardley on July 19, 2010 at 5:36 am

The projectionist was Tom Smith, inventor of Rotoscope, a wide-screen process, and projectionist of the Tower Theater. Tom modified the 35mm arc projector to show a large reel of film, and built a periscope device to project the image over the heads of the audience members. He also drilled a hole in the back of the projector to accommodate a long carbon rod to last 45 minutes. I think he got some old 3D take up reels to use so he didn’t have to change reels.

rivest266 on July 15, 2017 at 10:48 pm

First ad placed in the newspaper on March 8th, 1969. Ad in the photo section.

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