O'Fallon Theatre

4026 West Florissant Avenue,
St. Louis, MO 63107

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evian257 on September 24, 2013 at 10:00 am

Thank you JAlex. My Grandma passed in 1989, so I never was able to get more of the story than what she had told us when we were younger. Thanks also for the microfilm info. I’ll definitely be checking that out.

JAlex on September 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm

According to newspaper accounts, the shooting took place in the basement office of the O'Fallon Theatre. The subsequent suicide took place in a car in O'Fallon Park. This was reported in all three dailies, the Post-Dispatch, the Globe-Democrat and the Star-Times of Jan. 27, 1944. I can vouch that these newspapers are available on microfilm at the downtown St. Louis library.

evian257 on September 17, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Update to my previous comment:

The shooting and suicide did indeed take place in O'Fallon Park, as per my grandfather’s death certificate.

evian257 on September 17, 2013 at 2:04 pm

As the story was told to me by my grandma, the shooting occurred in O'Fallon Park, but as I only have family history and no documentation, I’ll file this as a possibility until I can do more research on my own.

My grandfather was William Kaimann; his widow was my grandma, with whom my mom, my sister, and I lived until grandma’s death at the age of 97.

The story I was told was that my grandfather Will discovered his brother Clarence was embezzling money from the family business, Kaimann Amusement Co. They drove to O'Fallon Park, where my grandfather confronted Clarence, shot him, and then turned the gun on himself. Clarence survived; Will died the following day, two days before his 53rd birthday.

This is the first time I’ve heard that the events took place in one of their theaters, but it actually makes more sense than the drive out to the park. I would love to get hold of the newspaper articles from that time, just to be able to clear up my own family history.

JAlex on August 24, 2006 at 10:10 am

O'Fallon Theatre closed in January, 1956.

While not part of a major, national chain the theatre was part of a major, local chain…the Kaimann circuit which was a major exhibitor in North St. Louis.

In January 1944 theatre was the scene of a family dispute resulting in a shooting in a basement office and a subsequent suicide.