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 14 comments)

evian257 on September 17, 2013 at 1:29 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 on September 30, 2014 at 12:07 pm

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

jaccaj on September 30, 2014 at 12:10 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 on September 30, 2014 at 12:28 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 on September 30, 2014 at 12:40 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 1:05 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 on September 30, 2014 at 2:07 pm

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

jaccaj on September 30, 2014 at 2:15 pm


jgrebe on October 22, 2016 at 7:36 pm

A friend of mine from SLTOS , Wes Kamischkie, had told me before he died that adjacent to the right of the Baden was a place called the “Sugar Bowl” There was a window higher than normal into the theatre that patrons could buy their snacks for the movies. According to Wes, the theatre had no concession stand itself during the 1940’s when the ladies got free dishware for attending. In 1992, I was called to tune a piano in the place for a function of the Baden Town Hall. I gained access to the building from what would have been the front left exit door. When you go in that way to the immediate left which would have been the stage area behind the screen there is about 2 to 3 steps and that is where the owners office was. A Mr. Carpenter owned the building then and had owned it for about 25 years he said. Before WWII he sold popcorn at the theatre. He said when he bought the Baden he also had opportunity to buy the Kingsland also for $5,000. At that time, he and one of the Kaimann brothers had planned to build the North Drive In on land they had purchased. Before that happened the one brother died and the rest of the Kaimann family decided to build the drive in themselves. When Carpenter bought the Baden about 25 years ago he remodeled it. He simply gutted the interior and what would have been the entrance and vestibule is now a kitchen and bathrooms on either side. There is no evidence of a projection booth since there is now a dropped ceiling over the whole interior. Carpenter seemed to be a very crass person and he said the main reason most small theatre owners are un co operative is because most of them lost their shirts trying to operate in the green. Back then the only way operators could make money was to rent the films for one price for an extended period of time and for the owner to have close co operation with other small theatres and trade them amongst themselves. Carpenter said he traded with the O'Fallon and the Janet and would transport the films themselves. So competitors found a way to co operate together in spit of their rivalry to survive. There is no record of what would have provided music for the silents before sound movies.

Terryb on March 8, 2017 at 9:13 pm

My name is Terry Bartels. I was a customer of the Baden Theater in the late 40’s and early 50’s. I attended Baden grade school during this period, and thus the Theater was in my neighborhood. The theater was very busy on the weekends. You had to stand in line to buy a ticket, and the line sometimes stretched for several blocks. My first visit cost 20 cents—10 cents for admission to the show, and 10 cents for refreshments (5 cents for a small bag of popcorn and 5 cents for a small paper cup of soda.) The refreshments were sold by the Sugar Bowl, a restaurant attached to the theater by a common wall—there was a window in the wall which allowed you to be in the theater, and place your order for refreshments to the Sugar Bowl staff. Popular movies included the Bowery Boys, The Three Stooges, And Abbott and Costello. Usually cartoons and a serial were also offered. I can’t begin to tell you how much fun it was to go to the Baden Show with my friends. It was a long time ago for me, but I will never forget the experience.

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