Fox Theatre

527 N. Grand Boulevard,
St. Louis, MO 63103

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Fox Theatre

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Opened in 1929, the St Louis Fox Theatre and its twin in Detroit were intended to be the Fox studio’s flagship Midwest theatres. Built in an exotic Siamese-Byzantine style, the St. Louis Fox Theatre alone cost nearly $5 million, at that time an outrageously huge sum for a movie theatre.

In the lobby, a pair of huge golden griffons flanked the grand staircase, and deep red faux marble columns ringed the mezzanine level. From every corner statuary peeked out—including a group of large gilt maharajahs. The cavernous auditorium was spectacular in scope, dramatic in its lighting and swirling decor, and when the Governor of Missouri appeared on its stage on opening night to dedicate it, he was nearly at a loss for words.

From the 1930’s through the 1950’s, not only did the Fox Theatre host gala movie openings, like 1957’s “The Spirit of St Louis” starring James Stewart, but was host to elaborate stage shows, and big-name entertainers, like Nat King Cole. But by the 1960’s, the theatre was reduced to screening kung fu epics to half-empty houses.

In 1981, the Fabulous Fox, not so fabulous after years of decline, was renovated in a year-long, $2 million renovation. Improvements were made to the sound and lighting systems, dressing rooms, and stage.

The St. Louis Fox Theatre is now host to concerts and Broadway shows and is more successful today than at any other time in its history.

Contributed by Paul Salley, Bryan Krefft

Recent comments (view all 151 comments)

Patsy
Patsy on July 11, 2015 at 3:56 pm

This sounds like a wonderful show! If I were closer, I would be there!

Chris1982
Chris1982 on July 12, 2015 at 12:38 am

I wonder why they carpeted over that beautiful terazza lobby floor.

Norman Plant
Norman Plant on July 12, 2015 at 10:45 am

Chris, I was able to finally take the Fox Theater tour yesterday and this topic came up. There were two reasons given. Since most of the Fox shows are during the fall and winter it was a safety issue to avoid people slipping on the floor. The other reason was that it reduced the noise level in the lobby.

Patsy
Patsy on July 12, 2015 at 11:03 am

Thanks for the reason, but to cover the original terrazzo floor is a crime, imo.

JAlex
JAlex on July 12, 2015 at 11:20 am

When the theatre opened in 1929 the lobby was carpeted. So the carpet today is not unprecedented.

Norman Plant
Norman Plant on July 12, 2015 at 12:29 pm

And the carpet was matched as closely as possible to the original carpet and it looks great. The good news is the floor is still there and intact and could be uncovered sometime in the future if the owners so desire. Considering the scope and expense of the original and ongoing restorations of this theater and how such care is taken to match it to its original look, I can’t get too upset about the choices the owners have made.

BobCarter
BobCarter on January 7, 2017 at 11:55 pm

in the 1940s It was a rare treat for my mother, younger brother Charles,and I to travel all the way “downtown” by public transportation to Grand Avenue to see the latest movies. All the way from Walnut Park where we lived was quite an excursion then. We were in awe of the grandure of the building. Once as we were walking down the ornate spiraling staircase between levels my brother tripped on the carpet and fell breaking his collar bone. It did not alter our awe of the grand building.

gxceb0t
gxceb0t on February 24, 2017 at 11:19 pm

Only movie I saw here was ‘Hail Hail Rock n Roll’ which was interesting as it was filmed there as well. Kind of an odd experience.

JAlex
JAlex on June 21, 2017 at 12:45 pm

A full-blown afternoon of Wurlitzer organ is scheduled for Sunday August 13th, 2017 at 2PM. As two years ago the program features Jack Moelmann, this time with Dave Wickerham and Justin LaVoie also at the console. A rare opportunity to hear the instrument in something besides the 15-minute snapshot included in some of the tours.

BobbyS
BobbyS on June 22, 2017 at 2:46 pm

This will be a great show!!! I am bringing 6 people from Chicago. 2 years ago was so good. And don’t forget a Stan & Oliver film too !!

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