Las Vegas Cinema

479 Wabasha Street,
St. Paul, MN 55107

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 13, 2012 at 8:09 pm

The architectural firm of Buechner & Orth designed the Empress Theatre. It is listed as a 1910 project in the finding aid to the firms papers in the Northwest Architectural Archives at the University of Minnesota, built for owner George Benz & Sons. Sullivan & Considine must have leased the house, so it would not have been designed by Lee DeCamp.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 10, 2012 at 4:24 am

I’ve moved the Street View to the approximate location of the theater in the 400 block of Wabasha Street North, but the pin is still in the wrong place on the map.

The 1913-1914 edition of the Cahn-Leighton Theatrical Guide lists the Empress as a Sullivan & Considine circuit vaudeville house. Given that the great majority of the houses built for that large but short-lived circuit were called the Empress, it’s likely that this theater was built for the circuit, rather than one of the many existing theaters it took over.

If the house was built for Sullivan & Considine, then the architect would most likely have been Lee DeCamp, who designed a large percentage of the circuit’s custom-built theaters.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on May 9, 2012 at 11:09 pm

I wonder if the owners were Henry and Gene Cartwright who were from Las Vegas, NV. They owned Las Vegas Cinema Inc., which ran a circuit of 19 adult theatres around the country?

LAMartin
LAMartin on May 9, 2012 at 6:46 pm

The Empress/Lyceum/Las Vegas Theatre was located at 479 North Wabasha Street, a few blocks South of the State Capitol building. The map and photo currently shown on the page are of 479 South Wabasha Street on St. Paul’s West Side.