Melvin Theatre

2912 Chippewa Street,
St. Louis, MO 63118

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Showing 1 - 25 of 29 comments

Eugene Higgins
Eugene Higgins on March 3, 2018 at 3:43 am

My family and I used to go to the Melvin Theater every Sunday. They used to have 2 for $1.00 movies there in the early 1980s. The women’s restroom was down stairs and the men’s was upstairs next to the projector room. We went there for years and it has an essential part of my childhood memories. I would love to own the building and bring back the movies as it used to be.

Drive-In 54
Drive-In 54 on May 5, 2016 at 12:49 pm

It is for sale now…

SethG on April 16, 2016 at 4:26 pm

Theater should be listed as closed. Black garbage bags covering the doors, so I couldn’t see in. Still in fantastic shape. I don’t know why anyone thought the sign was freshly painted. Thankfully, it’s been untouched since it was installed.

Timothy L Mayer
Timothy L Mayer on September 7, 2015 at 10:53 am

I recall going to see NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET on a double bill with NIGHT OF THE COMET when I moved to St.Louis in 1984. It was super cold outside and I kept looking up to the roof thinking the tile was going to fall down on me. But I enjoyed the show and thought about this theater when I heard the director of NIGHTMARE had passed away.

BMiller on September 24, 2014 at 12:02 pm

I can be reached at

BMiller on September 24, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Hi David, I haven’t seen the theatre in over 35 years. we were family owned and operated from 1972 – 1978. What would you like to know?

davidgodbout on July 28, 2014 at 12:55 pm

I can be reached at also

davidgodbout on July 28, 2014 at 12:54 pm

Bill (and anyone else),

I am a part of a group that has recently taken responsibility for the development and use of The Melvin Theater building.

Our preliminary plans are to utilize the building as a community based and resourced center, including auditorium space, classroom space and possible business incubation space.

I would love to connect with anyone who has historical information or experience with the building.

Weekend on March 11, 2014 at 11:31 pm

Kyle : where in So Cal?

Zorronov on March 10, 2012 at 7:55 pm

I recently watched the Disney remake of Mighty Joe Young. I saw the original at the Melvin Theater back in the 1950’s. Back then, the Melvin was showing double features of older movies. My great aunt used to take my sister and me there when she was “babysitting”. It’s a cherished memory.

BMiller on December 22, 2011 at 7:27 am

Kyle, the neighborhood was safe in the 70’s and small businesses flourished. There was an ice cream parlor on one corner, a small barbershop, and a convenient store all within 1 block of the theater. I was 8 years old when my father appointed me as the projectionist. I worked 7 days of week alongside my family.

Jaws was our biggest turnout. I believe that was the only show we extended 1 or more weeks to satisfy our customers.

Thanks for the info — perhaps I contact them for a tour.

Kyle Muldrow
Kyle Muldrow on November 28, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Bill, you can also go to the Melvin Theater’s website ( and go to the Contact link. That might be the best way to get hold of them. Again, keep my posted.

Kyle Muldrow
Kyle Muldrow on November 28, 2011 at 11:58 am


Unfortunately, I don’t know the owners (I live in Southern California), so the only information I can give you is the Melvin Theater’s Facebook page:

There’s a phone number and an email address on there. Give that a try an let me know how it goes…

By the way, how was the Melvin back when your family ran it? Was the neighborhood decent? What kind of turnout did you get? How were the crowds? What really brought them in?

BMiller on November 28, 2011 at 11:01 am

Kyle, I would be interested in touring the facility and would apprectiate if you would be willing to send contact info from the owner(s). My family reconditioned the theatre in the 70’s and I was the projectionist from 1972 – 1976. Best regards, Bill Miller

Kyle Muldrow
Kyle Muldrow on June 24, 2011 at 1:08 pm

UPDATE: Not only is the Melvin operating as a concert venue, it appears they will start showing movies again in the fall. Keep in mind, my only source for this is a posting in one of the photo albums in the Melvin’s Facebook page, but it sounds legit. Here’s the link:

RetroMike on June 3, 2011 at 3:55 pm

I hope everyone enjoys the recent photo of the Melvin that I have added to this page. As you can see the old place still carries it’s charm.

Kyle Muldrow
Kyle Muldrow on June 2, 2011 at 10:23 am

I know the Melvin was independent, but I believe I read in Wehrenberg’s 100th Anniversary book that they ran the Melvin for a while. Is that true? Or did they make another mistake?

Kyle Muldrow
Kyle Muldrow on May 31, 2011 at 8:39 am

It appears the Melvin Theater is now operating not only as a church, but also as a Christian concert venue!! They’ve even got their own page on Facebook…which has pictures of the interior in the Photos section!!! Check it out:

Giggleloop on May 4, 2011 at 12:04 pm

My sister-in-law, Rhonda Graves, used to work at the Melvin in the ‘80s. I only went there once when I was a kid (in the late 80s). I still remember, it was a double feature of “The Seventh Sign” and “Friday The 13th Part VII”. It cost me a whopping FIFTY CENTS. :)

JAlex on November 10, 2009 at 1:17 pm

My research shows the final day (night) of operation was October 18, 1992.

Kerry Manderbach
Kerry Manderbach on February 17, 2008 at 11:56 pm

My niece’s stepfather Tom managed the place before it closed in the 90’s…I seem to recall the last film I saw there was “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure”.

maharet on October 23, 2007 at 9:03 am

the Melvin theater was last owned (before being sold to the church)by Herman carnell,who also owned the kingsland,and still ownes the melba in de soto.the melvin was still running in the early 90’s as a $1 house.

BMiller on June 22, 2005 at 9:05 am

Charles. I believe we met as I recall helping my father with the pageant and we met with you and a partner of yours at your theatre. The Melvin Theatre was home for me for 4 years and my roomates were two enormous (remember I was 9-12 years old) carbon arc Peerless Projectors operating 20 minute cast iron reels that were as loyal as friends could be and I remember licking the tip of my fingers between reels so I could replace the carbon rods. Life was good when I had a full carbon rod but many times I had to pull from the bucket. I’ve searched for newspaper or any media during our run but I was unsucessful. I am appreciative of any suggestions.

Bill Miller

BMiller on May 24, 2005 at 9:58 am

My father (Bill Miller) purchased the Melvin in 1972 and we opened in ‘73. I believe the first movie was the Poseidon Adventure. We sold the theatre in 1977. A lot of work for a 9-year-old projectionist, but good memories that I will never forget!!!

Bill M

cmrobin on March 2, 2005 at 1:14 pm

My mother went to the Melvin as a young woman and took us there as children. As I grew up, I used to go with my classmates at school. I used to love to eat the kosher dill pickles sold from a big jar at the concession counter. Wonderful memories…

Connie C