Esquire Theater

824 Broadway Street,
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

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Showing 19 comments

esquirefan on June 19, 2017 at 4:09 pm

If I had the money to renovate it, I would.
I think it would be a fantastic location to create a proscenium stage for plays, musicals, and opera — and with a screen could show indie films and second run flicks, in addition to being a great place for concerts in an intimate setting. I know we have Bedell now, but it would still be great for those uses, and could produce shows with smaller draws and more controversial subject matter. If only I had the means, I would certainly have the motivation. Ever since I moved here in 2011, I’ve wondered how it could sit vacant for so long, being on Broadway in the center of town, right on the corner of campus.

cairadr on February 5, 2014 at 9:56 am

What do you think the best use for the theater would be if someone did decide to renovate?

ksteinhoff on November 19, 2013 at 10:02 am

Here is a recent shot of minor repairs being made to the Esquire.

CapeRes on October 5, 2013 at 7:17 pm

Unfortunately the “business man” who was to renovate the Esquire skipped town and the building is in shambles.

ksteinhoff on October 19, 2011 at 10:19 am

Good news: the Esquire Theater in Cape Girardeau has been sold to someone who is going to renovate it and turn it into an indie house.

Here are photos taken Oct. 18, 2011:

ksteinhoff on April 22, 2011 at 6:09 pm

The Esquire is in better shape than the Broadway, but it’s still pretty ragged.

Both are in better shape than the Rialto, which suffered a roof collapse in the summer of 2010

View link

and was gone by the end of the year.

View link

Colorado on April 22, 2011 at 3:04 pm

Happy to hear the the ‘Esquire Theater’ is still in existence & spared from the ‘Wrecking Ball’ of progress.
I was a freshman at ‘Cape State’ in 1958 & in need of funds to complete the year. Jim Foster, Manager of the ‘Esquire’, hired me for position of ‘Marquee Technician’ (three guesses as to job description duties)& ‘Usher’. Had a great year working with co-workers & Mr. Foster, who happened to be a terrific guy.
Still recall some of the great movies at that time…‘The Pride and the Passion’, ‘Mr. Roberts’, Doris & Rock, Cary & Audrey thrillers, etc.
Interestingly, Mr. Foster telling me to assist the concession stand at intermission at one of the new movies…he stated that there was something called “subliminal messages” in this movie & that patrons would want a lot of popcorn, candy & soda. He was correct…sales
were off the chart that evening. Later, I heard that the Government ordered these messages to cease & desist.
Would be nice to hear from my co-workers from that time.

spectrum on November 25, 2010 at 6:14 pm

Ksteinhoff’s link was very helpful – Unfortunate that the marquee was hit by a truck.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 11, 2010 at 9:33 pm

‘BATTLESTAR GALACTICA" played in June 0f 1979.No mention if SENNSROUND sound effects were in the theatre.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 11, 2010 at 9:07 pm


ksteinhoff on March 1, 2010 at 5:22 pm


The marquee is, as far as I know, the same as it was in the 2009 photos. I’m headed back to Cape in about a week. If it has changed, I’ll post new stuff.

ksteinhoff on March 1, 2010 at 11:10 am

Here are photos I took of Cape Girardeau’s Esquire Theater in 2009 and one from 2007.

View link

There’s also a link on the page to a newspaper story I did when the Beatles movie HELP! played there in 1965. I used infrared film and flashbulbs to capture the teenybopper reactions.

Broan on November 14, 2007 at 6:41 pm

I’d assume so, but at that point the whole marquee probably has to come off, and that gets ideas in people’s heads…

Broan on November 14, 2007 at 6:25 pm

Well, that doesn’t bode well.

35divmp on October 5, 2007 at 11:34 pm

I’m not sure where Bibbler got his info, but the Esquire never had a balcony or starcases like is described. There was one tiny starcase up to the booth and storage and that’s it. The concession stand and boxoffice were part of the east wall.

In 1979 I was managing the theatre and Dubinsky Bros. put in new seats, it didn’t help much, the new cinemas with multi-screens were going up and single screens were dying.

But we made history (and got news time) when “Life of Brian” came out, we had people all upset over “this evil movie” and we even got pickets, it boosted ticket sales highly!

Broan on August 5, 2007 at 8:31 pm

The facade is strangely asymmetrical. There did not appear to be any activity. Photos at

kencmcintyre on March 5, 2006 at 8:22 am

And another article from the same source:

nancym2020 on March 5, 2006 at 5:15 am

Who do you contact about buying and saving?