Fox Theatre

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

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Fox Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

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 139 comments)

Patsy on September 21, 2012 at 4:06 pm

Didn’t realize the twin to this one is the Fox in Detroit!

JAlex on May 12, 2013 at 11:16 am

After the production of “Anything Goes” closes June 9, the theatre will be closed for the summer as the ceiling is restored.

monika on August 13, 2013 at 6:13 pm

Photos of the ceiling restoration project:

DavidDymond on August 13, 2013 at 6:27 pm

During the 30’s through the 50’s this theatre was operated jointly by Fanchon & Marco and The Arthur Family together in partnership!

BobbyS on October 14, 2013 at 11:15 pm

I also did not know this theater was the twin to the Detroit. I wonder if they still show movies. Looking forward to a trip there. Also wonder if the two are the same size in detail. Thanks Tinseltoes for the ceiling video.

nadadale on October 26, 2013 at 12:16 pm

When we lived in St. Louis, 1935-53; Stan Kahn was the organist who played between showings on the Wurlitzer Organ. Wonderful, and an exciting night out!


Scott on December 8, 2013 at 7:47 am

I’ve been to the Fox dozens of times over the past 25+ years, and it has never looked better than it does today. Went to a show there on 12/7/13 and walked through the entire theater, much of it with the accompaniment of an enthusiastic staff volunteer. There have been a number of excellent photos taken of the Fox over the years, but none of them do it justice. It has to be seen to be fully appreciated.

Patsy on December 8, 2013 at 8:06 am

What a great night photo with that blade sign reading FOX.

BobbyS on December 8, 2013 at 2:37 pm

Scott, missed you by two days. I took Amtrak down there to see “A Christmas Carol”. What a Theater !! The staff member gave us over an hour tour. The auditorium was closed all summer for a complete cleaning and touch-up. It looked absolutely gorgeous…You are so right, one has to be there in person to see this beauty. What a lobby entrance with the organ playing as you entered. First time there and will return. This is what a movie palace is all about. A nice photo tribute to Stan Kahn. This palace is lovingly taken care of.

Scott on December 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Bobby, I attended “A Christmas Carol” as well. I sat in the lower balcony. When it was over I walked up to the back of the balcony, which has an amazing view, of course. Starting at the foyer on the top floor I worked my way down to the main lobby. I believe there are five levels: three balcony levels, the loge, and the main floor. I guess there are six if you count the basement where the main lounges are. In any case, it’s quite a feast for the eyes. The defunct Paradise in Chicago has long been my favorite theatre, but the Fox in St. Louis is a worthy challenger. And though the Fox is not technically an atmospheric, it is about as fanciful as they come. And yes, Detroit is equally fortunate to have their Fox Theatre.

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