Shaw Theatre

3901 Shaw Avenue,
St. Louis, MO 63110

Unfavorite No one has favorited this theater yet

| Street View

The Shaw Theatre opened in 1915 as part of the Arthur Theatres chain (Franchon & Marco) and seated 1,140. Located in the Shaw neighborhood just six blocks from the Botanical Gardens. A single floor theatre with and plain front. Rather large lobby for a small neighborhood theatre.

Located right on the corner of Shaw Avenue and S. 39th Street in the middle of the neighborhood shopping center it was rather unique in that it was built up from the street level and you had to climb about five steps to get to the entrance level. The marquee was made to stretch around the corner so that one side was on S. 39th Street and the other on Shaw Avenue. The theatre gave way to television in 1957 and was converted to a drug store, today operating as a supermarket.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

JAlex on November 29, 2004 at 7:57 am

Architectural design by Kennerly & Stiegemeyer.

Theatre opened September 6, 1915.

RobertR on November 29, 2004 at 9:25 am

Even in 1957 they were making them drug stores.

Weekend on March 11, 2014 at 11:05 pm

I remember my parents taking me to the Shaw Theatre when I was a kid. Around 1951 through 1955-ish. In fact I remember my mother throwing me over her shoulder and walking home with me at night. Down to Blaine Avenue. 4100 ish. Wouldn’t drive through the neighborhood now. As I can recall the theater was built all the way up to the sidewalk. There was just a brick wall all along 39th St. Per the photo, it looks as though the theater has been razed? Although the open space doesn’t make sense. Not enough room and the existing retail couldn’t have faced 39th St. when the theater was there.

DRaySTL on August 29, 2014 at 9:26 pm

Weekend: what neighborhood would you not drive through now?

Chris1982 on August 30, 2014 at 1:47 am

The entire building is still standing, it is now the Salama Supermarket.

JAlex on August 30, 2014 at 9:11 am

As a typical neighborhood house the theatre closed July 5, 1956 with “Carousel.” However, the theatre reopened in May of 1957 with a policy of German-language films. The last noting of this policy was in March 1960.

grannydxn on December 31, 2014 at 10:20 am

I lived across the street from the Shaw Theatre from 1943 to 1958 we only moved because I my folks had another baby and 3 rooms were to small. Big move down to 41 hundred Shaw. To be honest I don’t remember it being built out to the sidewalk, it had more room from the bottom of the steps to the street. There was also a newsstand where a boy sold papers everyday on the corner of 39th and Shaw. the show was open every night with 2 double features, news reel and a couple of cartoons, Saturday afternoon was a children’s matinee. Usually had a guest on stage a yo yo person or something of that nature. Cartoons, then the cliff hanger and then the movie. Sunday the movies changed and was open all day. It was a wonderful show where the usher wore a uniform and actually walked up and down to check on things. My cousin at the time sold popcorn and candy there for a few years.. I agree with Chris it is the same building today just without the walk up steps. It was a magical place living across the street from it was the best because on a hot summer night it had an air conditioner our flat didn’t..

You must login before making a comment.

New Comment

Subscribe Want to be emailed when a new comment is posted about this theater?
Just login to your account and subscribe to this theater