Baden Theatre

8201 North Broadway,
St. Louis, MO 63147

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Baden Theatre

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One of two theatres located in the Baden area of St. Louis along North Broadway. The Baden Theatre was the more successful and the larger of the two. It opened in 1926. The Baden area was a predominately German neighborhood and they supported their theatre well. It was an independent theatre built, owned and operated by the Kaimann family who originated from Germany.

When the television era came along the Baden Theatre went to weekend only operation before closing entirely in 1965.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 12 comments)

JAlex
JAlex on October 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm

I mispoke when giving an opening year of 1916…it should have been 1926. Trade papers noted the construction contract in November 1925.

The other hardtop in the area was the Hoffman/Baden Family at 8237 N. Broadway which was listed in the 1911 City Directory.

Indeed, the Baden at 8201 replaced an airdome which had opened in 1921.

As well, there had been an earlier airdome at 8414 N. Broadway which had opened in 1915.

Noir
Noir on September 16, 2013 at 12:31 am

We saw the building but it was already closed(1965) by the time I saw it 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s…No theatre.

Baden always felt like it’s own little town. Other buildings around it continued for awhile. Arlens department store was there into the later 1970’s—I went to the closing sale. School uniforms and other little stores were there for a while. A few re-sale shops and antique stores were there for decades. Bars were still there. Sterling Grocery store was there for a time. The Hostess bakery outlet was well known on Broadway. The neighborhood was 92%-95% African-American for many decades. Plus people who lived in Walnut Park and Mark Twain neighborhoods made the journey through Calvery and Bella Fountaine cemetaries to reach Baden.

Almost all businesses on the far remote edges of North St. Louis pulled some old sustaining business from the more well-to-do prior residents who fled to the county. This sustained them, briefly. Ultimately, centers for the purchase of goods or entertainment pressed farther out. Income is very low and although there may have been over 100,000 at times in that zone, no theatres existed in that half of the city limits.

Baden is not far from the North Twin drive-in. North Twin was the ultimate surviver in this area staying open till 2001 that was in Jennings, North St. Louis County. I loved it. It is probably the closest shared experience of theatre to children who lived in a 95%-99% African-American ethnic North St. Louis City and counties and the prior Caucasian residents of North St. Louis who left North St. Louis closing down the theatres in 1950’s to 1960’s. Why? It is one of the few that stayed open that was in range.

Typically if you lived in North St. Louis City even as a child in the last half century you do not remember a theatre that closed 48 years ago. I do remember the building. Baden was always nice.

evian257
evian257 on September 17, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Steve Kaimann was my great-grandfather. The company was Kaimann Amusement Co. At least two of his sons were in the business with him. His son William (my grandfather) ran the Bremen; another son, Clarence (my great-uncle) ran the Bridge, and also owned the North Twin Drive-In, as well as the property where Christian Hospital NE now sits.

jaccaj
jaccaj on September 30, 2014 at 5:07 pm

My dad worked there from 1960 to 1965 .Alois George spies Along with a man call Clifford. Ushers

jaccaj
jaccaj on September 30, 2014 at 5:10 pm

The was last owner was the Bowmans sisters I believe they own 5 theaters along with north drive-in theater . One other theater was the Bremen Theater

jaccaj
jaccaj on September 30, 2014 at 5:28 pm

I could be wrong about the Bowmans ownership. But my dad did worked there as an usher I helped him with my 4 other brothers and two sisters. Cleaning the theater up .

jaccaj
jaccaj on September 30, 2014 at 5:40 pm

We were at the theater on 4th weekend of the month account we were in the German St Vincent orphanage association on Normandy missouri.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 30, 2014 at 6:05 pm

The Internet provides quite a few references to Theodore Steinmeyer, architect of the Baden Theatre, but every other project mentioned is a church. In Google street view, the Baden Theatre building shows a sign that says “St. Louis Worship Center & Banquet Hall.” It must have been preordained.

jaccaj
jaccaj on September 30, 2014 at 7:07 pm

Baden theater seats were given to the Boy Scouts and theater became a funeral home my understanding

jaccaj
jaccaj on September 30, 2014 at 7:15 pm

THE BADEN THEATER SOW TWO MO VIEW PLUS CARTOON. SAT AND SUNDAY MAT. WE’RE SAME MOVIE ., FRIDAY MOVIE WAS DIFFERENT. MAYBE ELVIS PRESLEY Movie OR GIDGET movie or a western movie with the music “NORTH TO ALASKA”

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