Beverly Theater

7740 Olive Boulevard,
St. Louis, MO 63131

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Beverly Theater

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This was one of several theaters located in the northwestern part of St. Louis. It was run by Henry Holloway and opened October 6, 1937.

In the 1960’s, Mid America Theatres took over the theatre. It was remodeled and turned into an art house in February of 1964 and renamed the Fine Arts Theater on October 6, 1967. During the day time it would run family movies and the evenings would show X-rated movies. The movies became more hard-core towards the end. In 1984, a small chain, called People Theatre, operated the theater until 1986.

The theater still stands and has been converted into a Chinese restaurant and banquet hall.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 16 comments)

JAlex
JAlex on December 11, 2009 at 9:55 pm

Ah, once again the ownership of the theatre in its “X” days comes to the fore.

There were ten recipients in the wills of Mr. & Mrs. Henry Halloway. In addition to the Beverly were the Gem and the Airway Drive-In.

The ten recipients were: the St. Louis Catholic Archdiocese, the Missouri Baptist Children’s Home, the Evangelical Children’s Home, Emmaus Homes, the Oblate Sisters of Providence, the Sisters of St. Mary, the St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf, the German St. Vincent Home, the Athletic Boys Club of St. Louis and the St. Jude Childrens Research
Hospital.

Kyle Muldrow
Kyle Muldrow on December 12, 2009 at 12:21 pm

Oh, I see…so Mr. Halloway, the original owner, bequeathed (sp?) the theater to the Archdocese in his will. Of course, Mr. Halloway had no way of knowing what future owners of this theater were going to do. Makes sense now…thanks, JAlex! Was it the Archdiocese who eventually sold the theater?? I always thought there was no way the Archdiocese was going to approve of the films the Fine Arts was showing. Guess they couldn’t exercise the option to sell for whatever legal reason…

JAlex
JAlex on December 12, 2009 at 2:45 pm

All ten of the religious & charitable groups I mentioned had an equal holding (10%) of the theatre. A newspaper report said each group was getting $66 a month under the lease for the theatre. The story broke in January 1984; the theatre property was sold to a local realtor that July.

LouisRugani
LouisRugani on April 14, 2011 at 4:06 pm

Architect Oliver W. Stiegemeyer was born in 1891, and by 1910 was listed as a draftsman, working for August F. Haeussler from 1909-1910 and then for Duggan and Huff from 1910-1912, the firm which designed the CLIMAX Theatre in Milwaukee and the CHEROKEE Theatre in St. Louis. From 1913 to 1931 he was a partner with a Mr. Kennerly and together they did a home at 3424 Longfellow in St. Louis, and the Deco/Moderne DuQuoin State Fairgrounds in Illinois. His final office address was at 4412 Lindell Boulevard, where he retired in 1942. Stiegemeyer died in 1985.

Weekend
Weekend on March 12, 2014 at 12:06 am

Saw summer of 42 at the fine arts in 1972. Jennifer O'Neill. Stunning! It went downhill after that.

StLouisTheatreMan
StLouisTheatreMan on October 31, 2014 at 12:04 am

If I remember correctly, “Last Tango in Paris” played at the Fine Arts. I used to work for Mid-America Theatres and would sometimes join a group of managers in the screening room at their main office at the Holiday Drive-in. While the films shown at the Fine Arts were x-rated, they were not hardcore. Every Friday, some executives would screen x-rated films for future bookings at the Fine Arts. As the films were screened, the projectionist would have to mark sections of the films that were too hardcore for St.Louis and he would cut them out. Every projectionist who worked the screening room had their own reel of hardcore clips cut from the movies and never put back after they film was shipped out. The theatre used to keep the house lights turned up during the films to discourage any public displays.

ths
ths on March 18, 2015 at 2:11 pm

Anyone know why the theater was named the Beverly?

rivest266
rivest266 on February 21, 2016 at 1:22 pm

October 6th, 1937 small grand opening ad in photo section.

rivest266
rivest266 on February 27, 2016 at 4:24 pm

October 6th, 1967 grand opening ad as Fine Arts in photo section.

Mikecarroll1
Mikecarroll1 on December 6, 2016 at 3:59 am

I went to the Fine Arts many times back in the 1970s. It did not run hardcore pornos, but the French soft cores that were so popular, particularly with couples—The Story of O and Emmanuelle were very big and it was extremely romantic to go on a Friday or Saturday date night. And everyone was dressed to the nines! The Last Tango in Paris ran here for over half-a-year, the first few months on an advanced ticket sale and reserved seat basis. That was the first X-rated film I saw and I still think it is a classic. They also ran lots of French films that were PG and R. I saw Day For Night, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, and Claude Lelouch’s And Now, My Love, which changed my life and inspired me to become a professional cameraman. Both of those were M or PG. It was a terrific cinema. I think of it very fondly.

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