Venita Theatre

Main Street,
Herculaneum, MO 63048

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The Venita Theatre opened in 1949. This was the larger of the two theatres in Herculaneum. The theatre seated 385 and closed in 1956. Herculaneum is located on the banks of the Mississippi River. The theatre has since been denolished.

Contributed by Chris1982

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 17, 2014 at 12:51 pm

This item is from the April 7, 1955, issue of Motion Picture Daily, and is one of only two references to the Venita Theatre I’ve been able to find in the trade publications:

“Mo. Exhibitors File Anti-Trust Action

“ST. LOUIS, April 6— Earl E. and Pauline Williams, owners of the Venita Theatre, Herculaneum, Mo., have filed an anti-trust action, seeking $300,000 treble damages, against 10 distributors and Miller Theatres, Inc., operating theatres in Festus and Crystal City and others in St. Louis County.

“The petition charged that the plaintiffs were forced to close their theatre in June, 1952, because of the alleged refusal of the distributors to grant them first-run product.”

The other reference was a capsule review of the movie Scudda Hoo! Scudda Hay! by A. L. Burke, Jr., of the Venita Theatre, Herculaneum, which was published in the June 24, 1948, issue of Boxoffice. I don’t know if Burke was an employee of the Williamses or was an earlier owner of the house.

There is also an item about the anti-trust suit that appeared in the April 6, 1955, issue of the Moberly Monitor-Index, of Moberly, Missouri, which repeats the information in the Motion Picture Daily article, with the addition of the claims that the Venita was forced to run old movies in order to get later releases, and that the Miller circuit had conspired with distributors to prevent the Venita from showing any movie until fourteen days after it had closed in any Miller house in the area.

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