Majestic Theatre

240 Collinsville Avenue,
East St. Louis, IL 62201

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Showing 1 - 25 of 58 comments

mistyc82
mistyc82 on October 10, 2013 at 9:16 pm

My grandparents met at this theater in the 40’s. When it closed they sold some things out of it. I own 1 of these pieces and I can see it in 1 of the photos. If anyone might know someone that would like to see it or knows anything about the history of this theater please contact me. thanks

Norman Plant
Norman Plant on March 23, 2013 at 5:43 am

msova, I totally agree. This theater will sit and crumble because the city can’t afford to raze it. Of all the places I’ve been taking pictures, this one was the one I was most concerned about my safety. I can’t see any hope for this one being restored or viable.

msova
msova on March 22, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Sorry for all the iPos (iPhone typos) but u can figure out (got= for, if= of, etc)

msova
msova on March 22, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Great comments all. And thanks to all who’ve taken pix inside this heap. It’s truly a shame. Those of us that live near estl can assure the rest of you that this theatre will never be restored. Estl is simply incable of not only doing the project, but of supporting such a venue. You would have to raze the entire downtown area, hell, the entire city, in order for a “theatre-going clientele” to feel safe enough to patronize it. I worked got a NY based company that restores historic theaters, state capitols, etc all over the country (Evergreene.com is worth perusing) do j hsvd an idea of what’s involved. The New Amsterdam they restored in NY was in BAD shape, but not nearly this bad. Plaster and paint are doable. This sort of structural decay is 99% a death sentence. It’s so sad. Maybe if it could be picked up on ond piece and moved to Dubai….

Matt Lambros
Matt Lambros on October 19, 2012 at 7:43 am

I recently photographed the Majestic Theatre. Check out the post at After the Final Curtain

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 30, 2012 at 12:33 pm

An ad for the American Seating Company in the October 6, 1928, issue of Motion Picture News featured a photo of the auditorium of Redmon’s Majestic Theatre.

ghamilton
ghamilton on October 14, 2010 at 4:13 pm

THIS theater’s demise is a crime.

jwballer
jwballer on October 14, 2010 at 1:04 pm

The stage has also collapsed and in the first auditorium photo, looking towards the former stage, there a garage door that looks like it has been caved in.

jwballer
jwballer on October 14, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Also in the 2008 photos theres A LOT of graffiti, water damage, exposed wires, stolen things, and partially collapsed beams.
There is also light coming through the projection booth.

jwballer
jwballer on October 14, 2010 at 12:58 pm

But good point. A skylight that small wouldn’t bring in that much light.
The photos from supercharger96 show that the roof is ready to collapse.
Maybe it has collapsed but google or bings aerial views haven’t been updated scince then.
By the way, if you look to the left < side on the majestic’s roof, and a tiny spot on the right it looks like some of the roof has caved in or is ready to. There is also a small spot in the front of the theatre’s roof where it looks like something has been filed in.
View link
Press satilite and zoom all the way in and say what you think.8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wl

jwballer
jwballer on October 14, 2010 at 12:50 pm

Bing and google maps have the same aerial views.

RobertEndres
RobertEndres on October 14, 2010 at 11:12 am

Re: William’s note about the skylight on the 13th. They did put skylights over the stage in some houses. Radio City had three. They could be swung open if there was a fire on stage to ventilate the area and not fill the auditorium with smoke. When we did the “Lion King” premiere we had a Disney stage show which featured lots of pyrotechnic usage. The first rehearsal where the fireworks were used generated so much smoke that all of the elevators responded to a fire warning, went to the basement and stopped running until the smoke was cleared. Stagehands went up to the roof and opened the skylights. After that, for the rest of the run they were opened for the stage show. Since we were doing matinee performances, we could see a small patch of sunlight from the open skylights hitting the stage floor during the screening of the film. Every day it moved closer to the screen and we were wondering when it would actually get into the picture area. Fortunately, the run ended before that happened, but we were aware of the skylights after that.

I also remember working a Diana Ross concert one really stormy night when the stagehands had to go up and throw tarps over the skylights because the rain was coming down on stage about where Ms. Ross was to make her entrance.

The skylights did contain glass panels as normal skylights would, but the glass was painted black. Thinking about it now, I wonder if that wasn’t done so that a major fire involving the drops hung in the flies would generate enough heat to break the glass, creating a self opening skylight to ventilate the heat and smoke upward.

I would suspect what you saw at the Majestic was indeed a skylight over the stage house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 13, 2010 at 8:20 pm

The stage house roof is intact on the bird’s-eye view of the theater at Bing Maps, too. In the bird’s-eye, the structure on the roof that resembles a skylight looks more like it might have been part of the building’s ventilation system. It looks like it is partly covered with sheet metal, but some of the metal is missing, exposing an underlying framework.

In the 2008 photo, note the shadows falling from the two beams that cross the missing stage floor. The one on the left extends almost straight down, while the one on the right is at more of an angle. These shadows are consistent with light falling from the left section of the stage house roof, where that skylight-like structure is.

From the bird’s-eye view it doesn’t look like there’s any glass in the structure where the light gets in. If that’s the case, then it doesn’t bode well for the building. If it’s entirely open, then water can get in. Maybe the hole has been plugged since the various photos were taken, but if it hasn’t, water will soon destroy the building’s integrity. The Majestic could soon be unsalvageable— if it isn’t already.

William
William on October 13, 2010 at 4:07 pm

If you go to ICB’s post from Apr. 30 2009, it has pictures of the interior which shows the light coming from that square on the stage house. I don’t think they would put a skylight above a stage. Was there a water tower on the stage house? It could be the old platform for it.

jwballer
jwballer on October 13, 2010 at 3:32 pm

I just saw that. Thats odd.

spectrum
spectrum on October 12, 2010 at 5:40 pm

Very strange. I checked the Google Maps aerial photo of the Majestic. The roof looks intact over the entire building. There is what looks like a large skylight over the stage, and what might be a small hole above the projection booth area.

DonLewis
DonLewis on September 22, 2010 at 9:12 pm

From the early 1900s a postcard view of Redmon'sMajestic Theatre in East St. Louis.

jwballer
jwballer on April 12, 2010 at 6:46 pm

This place needs to get restored.

DavidZornig
DavidZornig on February 27, 2010 at 4:52 am

To Chuck1231, the link with the current pics (10/11/08) you mentioned is still up, and was/is posted above by supercharger96 on 10/21/08.

The dog skeleton has a pretty large skull. I wonder if it was originally a guard dog that was sadly just forgotten about.

JMSanders
JMSanders on September 10, 2009 at 2:17 pm

My parents and grandparents spent a lot of time in this theater. My Aunt actually worked there in the ticket booth, sometimes letting her husband to be in free. I’d love to share any vintage photos available with them if there are any around.
JMS

iancoulterbuford
iancoulterbuford on April 30, 2009 at 12:49 am

I just emailed the mayor about this situation! I agree with all of you! This needs to happen for the sake of us, the youth!

I do have pictures of the Majestic now from 2008. It’s not in too bad of shape considering it has been sitting there for over forty years.

View link

bbrown1
bbrown1 on April 15, 2009 at 6:37 pm

For a brief history and some other interesting information about the Majestic (and some other early East St Louis theatres), go to the link below, and click “View the Record” at the bottom of the page:

View link

Life's Too Short
Life's Too Short on March 26, 2009 at 1:37 pm

Doesn’t look like it is in the worst shape in the world inside or out. Problem is, what would you do with it if it were fixed up?

Roloff
Roloff on February 16, 2009 at 11:39 am

A hi-res scan of the postcard at the top of the page can be seen in my flickr stream:
View link
Gorgeous place, the exterior doesn’t seem to be in such a bad shape judging from the photos posted above. Notice all the detail in the tiny tiles on the facade!