115 E. 4th Avenue,
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The St. John Convention Hall & Opera House was built in 1906 on the Northeast corner of St. John’s downtown square. Live acts stopping between Kansas City and Denver performed.
St. John residents loved movies which were played at the Electric Theatre beginning in 1909 as well as the Airdome. The Palace Theatre launched on February 20, 1913 in the L&M Building downtown. The Palace Theatre eventually knocked the Electric Theatre out of business. But new competition was on the horizon in 1920 with the DeLuxe Theatre being created in a retail spot on the square. The Palace Theatre moved to its new location in the Convention Hall & Opera House on November 17, 1919 launching with “Peggy”.
The newly relocated Palace Theatre was no match for the much improved equipment of the DeLuxe Theatre and exited film exhibition late in 1921. The Convention Hall continued with live events into the 1930’s. The city took on the building with plans to dramatically overhaul the venue. In an era long before formal preservation, locals contended that the remodel would sacrifice the landmark nature of the building.
Despite the mild protestations, in 1934, the building was expanded becoming the town’s City Hall which was still in operation into the 21st Century.
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