Comet Theatre

4106 Finney Avenue,
St. Louis, MO 63113

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Comet Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Comet Theatre opened in 1939 on Finney Avenue.

They put neon along the roof line of the theatre above the marquee with a comet shooting across the top. In 1940, the Comet Theatre became an African-American theatre.

The theatre survived until 1972. It stood closed for many years, but had a huge hole in the side of the building. You could look in and still see the seats and the torn screen. It was later demolished.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

JAlex on April 29, 2004 at 11:44 pm

The Comet was located at 4106 Finney. It opened in August 1940 with a Negro-audience policy.

(The Douglass was one block west at 4201 Finney.)

The Comet had 900 seats. It was built and operated by Tommy James.

JAlex on May 3, 2004 at 8:02 pm

The information I submitted was given me by Jimmy James, the son of Tommy James…including a Xerox of the opening program.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on May 30, 2006 at 2:38 pm

I just found out that my mother and her siblings used to go to this theatre every Sunday after church when they were younger. How neat!

kencmcintyre on January 16, 2009 at 10:48 pm

This is from Boxoffice magazine in January 1960:

ST. LOUIS-The Strand at 2000 Market Street, a 470-seater, has been closed by Tommy James, who also owns the New Comet and Douglas theaters.

TLSLOEWS on July 8, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Sad looking 1985 photo Chuck.The marquee looks good though.

patrickgenna on June 17, 2011 at 11:01 pm

Apologies all! I had confused the Criterion with the Comet. It was the Comet that had a gaping hole in the side wall that was easily seen from the street, not the Criterion. My memory of the Comet was that it had a vertical sign that had flashing lights with a (Comet) lights flashing upward. I don’t think it was neon, but I may be wrong. The 1985 picture is really sad. I can seem to think that this was the same theatre and reminded me a little of the Regal. Patrick.

bbrown1 on September 1, 2012 at 10:51 pm

One of the movies on the marquee in the photo above, MIXED COMPANY, was released in October 1974, so the Comet was open past 1972.

CharmaineZoe on November 17, 2013 at 1:52 pm

The New Comet was on 21st and Market according to an advert in the St Louis Argus in 1916.

JAlex on November 18, 2013 at 10:19 am

The original Comet was at 2110 Market Street and operated from c.1911 until 1933.

miltonzbrown on July 6, 2014 at 12:54 pm

A while ago, I found an internet posting saying that Louis Armstrong played at the Comet in 1931. Do you know if that is the same one at Sarah and Finney? Also, my great-grandfather, Charles Jackson Gates, owned the Carioca Ballroom at the corner of Sarah and Finney in the 1930s. Duke Ellington played there on Dec 16, 1937. Do you think the Comet on Sarah and Finney is the same building as Carioca Ballroom, and that is simply became the Comet after it ceased being the Carioca Ballroom? Do you think Charles Gates sold the building to Tommy James? Charles Gates lived across the street at 4107 Finney Ave since 1923.

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