Avenue Theatre

219 Collinsville Avenue,
East St. Louis, IL 62201

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AVENUE Theatre; East Saint Louis, Illinois.

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened in 1907 as Erba’s Theatre located on Collinsville Avenue, this theater was later renamed the Empress, and lastly, the Avenue. It was remodeled in 1931 and operated until 1952. It last housed an Asian restaurant, but has since been closed and demolished.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 10 comments)

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 1, 2005 at 4:52 pm

Here is a small photo of the interior of the Avenue Theater taken after the 1931 remodeling.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 1, 2005 at 9:06 pm

In 1936 the Avenue theater is listed as a second run movie theater in the E. St. Louis bluebook.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 1, 2005 at 11:06 pm

Opened in 1907 as Erba’s Theater. Became the Empress Theater and then the Avenue Theater.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 2, 2005 at 5:01 pm

Another brief mention of this theater:
“In 1917 the Avenue Theater showed silent films and featured vaudeville acts. The Avenue Theater had the largest stage in
central and southern Illinois until the Majestic Theater came along”. I would assume that this theater was already named the Avenue by 1917.

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on January 10, 2009 at 2:59 am

This is from Boxoffice magazine in January 1946:

EAST ST. LOUIS-A fire caused damage estimated at $5,000 at the Avenue Theater here recently. Most of the damage was from smoke and water. The fire was confined to stage properties and the contents of a room used by stagehands. The theater, owned by Dave Komm, continues to operate.

RetroMike
RetroMike on August 3, 2010 at 10:47 pm

I have some newspaper ads for the Aveneau Theatre from 1907, would this be the same theatre?

RetroMike
RetroMike on August 4, 2010 at 4:41 am

Thanks Chuck, this Aveneau Theatre must have been a different building, and also carried with it a different spelling.

RetroMike
RetroMike on August 4, 2010 at 8:29 am

No, it gives the phone number Bell East 2646 and one of the ads states the following. Re-opens Sunday March 15. Aveneau Theatre E. St. Louis IL.

acatos
acatos on January 8, 2012 at 5:50 pm

I have a photo of this theatre that I hope to get high quality scanned and entered here before long. It was given to me by a 95 year old gentleman who now lives in Atlanta and is a good friend. He attended this theatre in the 1920’s. The photograph shows a two story building with the words Avenue Theatre at the top and a overhanging marquee with “Erber’s Vaudeville and Photoplays” on the side and “Erber’s” on the front. There is a horse and wagon in front of the theatre.

acatos
acatos on January 8, 2012 at 6:06 pm

The caption on the photo, which seems to be a promotional photo of some sort, is “Erber’s Avenue Theatre, East St. Louis Leading Playhouse.”

According to my friend, the music in the theatre was a piano. He only heard theatre organs in St. Louis when they’d cross the river.

He also tells me of another community theatre in his area that is not listed here and of the time when “talking pictures” came to East St. Louis.

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