Booker Washington Theatre

2248 Market Street,
St. Louis, MO 63103

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The Booker Washington Theatre opened in 1913 seating 506. The theatre located just a block west of the busy Union Station often was filled to capacity with people waiting for their train departure times. Just a small theatre on the outskirts of downtown with no elaborate ornamentation.

In its day it opened at 10 in the morning and continued until well after midnight. During troop movement the theatre was always noted as being boisterous and noisy from the military men in the theatre waiting for their train. With the decline of rail transportation and the redevelopment of the area, the theatre closed in 1930, and was later demolished.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 3 comments)

JAlex
JAlex on May 27, 2005 at 5:46 pm

This the theatre where Josephine Baker made her stage debut in 1919.
Theatre operated from 1913 to 1930…operated by Blacks for Blacks.

Correct address was 23rd & Market (2248 Market Street).

JAlex
JAlex on January 7, 2010 at 2:24 pm

In March 1913 it was announced that Charles Turpin has leased the site at the southeast corner of 23rd and Market for a theatre. He had been operating an airdome on the site for four years. The cost of the structure was to be $29,000 and the architect was J. M. Hirschstein.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on April 21, 2011 at 5:17 am

Architect Hirschstein’s first name was Jacob.

This house was called the Booker T. Washington Theatre. I’ve been unable to find an exterior photo, but here’s a picture of the auditorium, packed to the walls for a midnight show in 1918.

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