Esquire Theatre

824 Broadway,
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

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Showing 1 - 25 of 26 comments

cairadr on February 5, 2014 at 5:56 pm

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

ksteinhoff on November 19, 2013 at 6:02 pm

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

Tinseltoes on November 19, 2013 at 5:34 pm

Here’s an update on safety repairs: Missourian

CapeRes on October 6, 2013 at 3:17 am

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

ksteinhoff on October 19, 2011 at 6:19 pm

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 23, 2011 at 2:09 am

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 11:04 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 26, 2010 at 2:14 am

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

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 12, 2010 at 5:33 am

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

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on November 12, 2010 at 5:07 am


ksteinhoff on March 2, 2010 at 1:22 am


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 7:10 pm

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.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on May 24, 2009 at 9:08 pm

The year given for this photo is 1988.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 8, 2009 at 2:39 am


The marquee looked great in 1997. Still looked good in 1986. If you look at the 2007 photo posted on Nov 14, 2007 the marquee was starting to fall apart. Actually, it looks like something hit the marquee. It might have been removed because it was becoming dangerous.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on April 8, 2009 at 12:49 am

Here is the Esquire in October of 2008. It seems to be falling apart a little at a time.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on August 21, 2008 at 3:25 am

This was the Esquire in 1997.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on June 17, 2008 at 3:50 pm

Here is the registration form for the National Register of Historic Places. “The Esquire Theater designed by Harold Roth and Bernard Woolner of Memphis, Tennessee was completed in January of 1947”.

Broan on November 15, 2007 at 2:41 am

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

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 15, 2007 at 2:35 am

It looked better in the photos that you took. It appears that a piece of the marquee is either loose or its about to fall off. Maybe thats the reason that the sidewalk is blocked off.

Broan on November 15, 2007 at 2:25 am

Well, that doesn’t bode well.

Lost Memory
Lost Memory on November 15, 2007 at 2:14 am

This is a recent photo of the Esquire Theater building.

35divmp on October 6, 2007 at 7:34 am

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 6, 2007 at 4:31 am

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

kencmcintyre on March 5, 2006 at 4:22 pm

And another article from the same source: