Pageant Theatre

5851 Delmar Boulevard,
St. Louis, MO 63112

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Pageant Theatre

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The Pageant Theatre was opened on September 18, 1915 seating 1,400. It was actually the first stadium style theatre built in the St. Louis area. In 1939, the theatre was remodeled and seating reduced to 990 (and later reduced once again to 907).

It had a narrow entrance with a large vertical above the marquee. You went around the lobby to enter the theatre and when you came into the theatre you were actually in the middle of the auditorium, to your right you had to go up the steps to seating and to the left down the steps. There was a center aisle through the middle that took you to the other side of the auditorium.

The Pageant Theatre did a lot of road shows and reserved seat engagements. It was located just a short distance from the DeBallivere area and a few blocks from the University City Loop where the Tivoli and Varsity Theatres were located. With the decline in the neighborhood the Pageant Theatre closed in 1965 and was demolished in 1967.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

JAlex
JAlex on October 28, 2008 at 1:25 pm

The aforementioned ‘skydome’ was originally known as the Crystal Airdome; in 1921 renamed the Pageant Skydome.

Theatre wasn’t built by Fanchon (not Franchon) & Marco; they didn’t arrive in St. Louis until 1933.

Coate
Coate on October 14, 2009 at 7:57 am

Is this the St. Louis theater that had the area first-run booking in 1959 of Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”? Might any St. Louisans (is that a word?!) know its local premiere date? JAlex? Chuck1231? Chris Utley?

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on October 30, 2009 at 1:58 pm

No idea whatsoever, Mike. Way way way before my time. Norman Plant may know something.

JAlex
JAlex on October 30, 2009 at 3:45 pm

Yes, it was the Pageant that had the Disney “Sleeping Beauty."
The run was from June 12 to September 17. Admission=$1.50.

Coate
Coate on November 6, 2009 at 7:23 pm

Thanks, JAlex. I have another St. Louis question, so if you see this message, please contact me (email is in my profile).

cdrosenblatt
cdrosenblatt on March 3, 2013 at 12:09 pm

Did the Pageant Theater premier the movie, ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ in 1956?

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 3, 2013 at 8:08 pm

cdrosenblatt: As the house was equipped for Todd-AO, the Pageant might have had the Saint Louis premier of Around the World in 80 Days, but the world premier was at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City on October 17, 1956. The movie opened in Los Angeles on December 22, at the Carthay Circle Theatre. It probably would not have reached St. Louis until after it opened in Los Angeles, so if the Pageant ran it, it might not have shown there until early 1957.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 3, 2013 at 8:10 pm

In his book The Death of Black Radio, Bernie J. Hayes says that for over a year around 1966-1967 he operated the Pageant Theatre, under a lease from the Arthur brothers, as a concert venue for R&B acts.

Although the old Pageant Theatre is gone, its name lives on in The Pageant, a modern concert venue opened at 6161 Delmar Boulevard in 2000.

JAlex
JAlex on March 4, 2013 at 8:20 am

“80 Days” had its first-run at the Esquire in 1957…and not in Todd-AO. The Pageant was the first St. Louis house with Todd-AO capability, but not until 1958.

easyg1
easyg1 on June 18, 2014 at 2:50 pm

And right next store to the Pageant they served the best fried chicken in the city. It was called Golden Fried Chicken. A great evening: fried chicken, followed by a western at the Pageant on Friday nights.

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