King Bee Theatre

1710 N. Jefferson Avenue,
St. Louis, MO 63107

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The King Bee Theatre opened in 1915. The King Bee had a small balcony and the rest on the main floor. The King Bee closed in 1952 with the revitalization program of the neighborhood and high rise low income housing built where it stood.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

JAlex
JAlex on January 2, 2006 at 4:58 pm

Building permit issued in late-1914, with theatre opening in 1915.
Original management by Mike Nash. Benjamin Paulter took over in 1931; Marvin Banks in 1947.

Theatre did not operate for “exclusive” Black patronage. Also, was not a Sam Komm operation.

Theatre did cease operation in 1952.

kgmprof
kgmprof on December 30, 2011 at 5:50 pm

It was my neighborhood double-feature theater. Went there often as a kid in the late 1930s/early 1940s.

Admissions: Adults, 10cents; kids under 10, a nickel. Everyone was poor then; the King Bee was located just NW of Kerry Patch. Aggressive kids would stand outside and chant, “Got 3 cents, got 3 cents, need a nickel” to panhandle pennies for admission.

They gave away dishes on Tuesday nights. The idea was, keep coming back, eventually get a full place setting.

Saw many a Western/cowboy movie there and many, many Saturday matinee serials. The serial hero “died” each week; come back next week, see how he escaped.

JAlex
JAlex on December 31, 2011 at 6:03 am

The theatre was still standing in July 1998. By July 1999 it had been demolished. The photo above represents the plot today.

The King Bee had an adjacent airdome which could seat 1297 patrons.

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