Mark Twain Theatre

4532 S. Lindbergh Boulevard,
Sunset Hills, MO 63127

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Showing 1 - 25 of 39 comments

Coate
Coate on May 24, 2017 at 11:36 am

New Showcase Presentations in St. Louis article includes a chronology of the 70mm engagements here at the Mark Twain (and other St. Louis area cinemas).

jstarr23
jstarr23 on April 22, 2017 at 11:00 pm

Went to see Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and Superman with my father at Mark Twain. I remember he specifically wanted me to go with him “out of the way” to this theater because it had the best screen. (Thanks Pop!). Later in high school, went with a buddy of mine to see Rear Window there. Now I drive by the the location all the time and think back. Great memories!

rivest266
rivest266 on February 27, 2016 at 6:59 pm

August 28th, 1968 grand opening ad in photo section. Chill Wills opened many of NGC Cinemas in the USA and Canada.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 10, 2014 at 1:27 am

Architects Ernest W. LeDuc and William H. Farwell were members of the firm of Harold W. Levitt & Associates.

oceantracks
oceantracks on September 2, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Girlfriend worked there when it first opened in the 60s…….saw Romeo & Juliet there.

Great theater….not so great girlfriend lol

darrenparlett
darrenparlett on August 28, 2013 at 8:17 pm

Rick what a wonderful story!

Iagent
Iagent on August 28, 2013 at 6:58 pm

I worked at the St. Louis Mark Twain in the Late 70s, and into the early 80s. I worked Concession, Cashier, Doorman, Usher, Janitor, and General Building Maint. I enjoyed the Mann ownership a bit more than the later Wehrenberg Theatres ownership, but, both companies treated me well. Mark Twain was a 960 seat theater, which was becoming unheard of at the time. My sister also worked there before me, and Ben Littlefield hired me a few months after my sister concluded her employment (Thanks Ben). Before I left the Theater to start my career, I met the girl of my dreams at the theater, who became my lovely wife to this day. We are still together! One very memorable experience at Mark Twain was the grand opening of “The Jerk”. Carl Reiner, and Steve Martin appeared for the showing and it was awesome! I believe that was 1979. The whole place was a classy atmosphere that is hard to find today, or even in the last twenty years in a suburban area. Maybe someday, the big screen will come back. Thanks to all who made those good times possible!

If any other Mark Twain Friends want to contact.

Thanks,
Rick

MikeyM
MikeyM on March 1, 2013 at 1:39 pm

Hey Ben, or anyone else from the 72-76 era it’s Mike Mowery, shoot me an e , I will always remember what a beautiful place to work and watch a movie that it was.

hughgraham
hughgraham on January 19, 2013 at 9:54 pm

I was a projectionist in the St. Louis local IATSE, starting in the early 1980’s. While on the extra board, I had the pleasure of working at the Mark Twain, until the union went on strike against the owner, Wehrenberg. I have to say that at the time, the Mark Twain was by far the best equipped, best maintained theatre in St. Louis. The Norelco DP-75 35/70MM projectors provided bright, crisp images. The plush seating, crushed velvet curtain, clean sound system, and large screen, provided top notch movie viewing experiences.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 15, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Now that we have photographs of both of them, I can see the remarkable similarity between the Mark Twain Theatre and the slightly earlier Valley Circle Theatre in San Diego, California, also designed by Harold W. Levitt.

I don’t know how many theaters Levitt designed for National General during the company’s rapid expansion of the 1960s, but the three houses in California that I know he designed for them (the Valley Circle, the National Theatre in the Westwood district of Los Angeles, and the South Coast Plaza Theatre in Costa Mesa) have all been demolished. I hope Missouri will decide to shame California by preserving the Mark Twain Theatre, thus demonstrating a greater appreciation for the theater designs of this talented Midcentury architect than his home state has shown.

jmiller
jmiller on January 15, 2013 at 1:05 am

My second all-time favorite cinema after Creve Coeur Cine! Magnificent 70mm projection and 6-track Dolby Stereo sound! Best memory was a re-release of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” my all-time favorite film! I personally remember the projection as being even better than at Creve Coeur. Other great memories were of “Superman,” “The Shining,” “Ghostbusters” and “Reds.”

It is cool that the building still stands, even though it’s now a banquet center! :–)

blittlefield
blittlefield on May 2, 2012 at 12:54 pm

This theatre was a sister to a theatre in Mission Valley in San Diego. The late 70’s were a hard time for the industry, especially large single screen theatres. Seeing an empty auditorium of that size for 1941 was especially sad. The Jerk had it’s world premiere here. Working this theatre during Animal House, Close Encounters and Raiders was exciting!

themovienut
themovienut on July 1, 2011 at 1:59 pm

This was my favorite movie theatre, along with the Creve Coeur Cinema. It bummed me out when it closed. Two Hearts opened in 1990 according to their website. I remember seeing SUPERMAN, ANIMAL HOUSE, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, SILENT RUNNING, DUNE, 1941, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK, THE DEEP and GHOSTBUSTERS to name a few. It must have closed sometime in 1985-86 when I was away at college. I vaguely remember Wehrenberg thinking of partitioning the auditorium in to two or three houses (like they did to the Creve Coeur), but wound up closing it instead. I will have to do some research. Cool site overall. Love the old movie houses.

Giggleloop
Giggleloop on May 4, 2011 at 2:25 pm

My husband has fond memories of this theater & seeing Star Wars here, as well as (I think) Jaws. He says he remembers being lined up around the building outside in the heat waiting to get in.

We even contemplated having our wedding reception here when we got married, since it’s now a banquet hall. :)

KMM
KMM on March 24, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Have not been on the site for awhile. I remember eating that prepopped and trucked in from Denver popcorn over the years I worked there. Ben was free spirit and he really did not affect me too much because I had to grow up and move on with life after we worked together there. He treated me well though.
I always thought this was the most beautiful modern theater in town and never could figure out the lack of blockbuster business. During the week we were really dead. The new multiscreen lack a certain class of the old single screen houses, though in this day and age it seems about right.I really hope people in the theater management end make decent money now!!!

swtaysun
swtaysun on March 1, 2010 at 9:25 pm

So many of the widescreen show boats of the 1970’s played here. The Mark Twain often featured large lobby card type pictures. “The Towering Inferno” was a big hit with fire laden pictures in the lobby. “Superman the Movie” was a typical attraction. As mentioned, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” was a delight here. But it was difficult to sustain the crowds year round as shows like “Making Love” did not prove to be sell-outs. I remember the arrival of the misbegotten “1941” at the Mark Twain in 1979. All the concession people were wearing 1941 t-shirts and everyone was ready for a blockbuster…but it was just a bust.

Since I saw “1941” in December of 1979 at the Mark Twain and it was not twinned, it had to have happened later. As I recall, it was still a single as late as 1982.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on November 5, 2009 at 5:02 pm

This theater looks like a bat from the front.Different though design.

tjmetz
tjmetz on August 17, 2009 at 12:39 pm

John; wasn’t Sandy his wife’s name ? She was a cashier at Cypress Village. I had a couple of dates with her before she married Ben.

He came to St L from K.C. and thought he was God’s gift to the world.
I was his Asst when CV opened.

tarantex
tarantex on July 17, 2009 at 1:02 am

Hey Have to say you poor guys who worked under BEN LITTLEFIELD, he was my DM in California, the dumbiest BOX of Rocks and that screwy
wife of his. The worst two in the world!

JAlex
JAlex on April 2, 2009 at 1:12 pm

Contrary to a comment above, the Mark Twain remained a single screen house until closing, under Wehrenberg management, in September 1986. Final film was “Nothing in Common.”

KMM
KMM on January 2, 2009 at 7:53 am

I think Al had a brother named Ted, but maybe that was his first mane and he used Al. Walker was the assistant when I started there.I worked initially for a Mgr. named Richard Hosman, when I was an usher. I think when he left he took a job with General out of the St. Louis area.It was in unincorporated but the building is in Sunset Hills now.

tjmetz
tjmetz on January 1, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Mark Twain was located in St. Louis County (unincorporated) at the corner of Gravois Rd and Lindbergh.

AFter Bob Hockensmith was transferred a new manager was brought in
and I can’t remember his name. I thinks Jim Walker replace me as the Asst. Mgr. This was in 1970.

Coate
Coate on January 1, 2009 at 1:39 am

Where exactly was the MARK TWAIN located? St. Louis proper? Sappington? Sunset Hills?

tjmetz
tjmetz on December 30, 2008 at 6:57 pm

Wan’t the projectionist first name Ted? He started the same time I did when the theater opened.

KMM
KMM on December 30, 2008 at 11:54 am

Al Savage was the house projectionist when I was there and I believe he was the Pres.of the Union. I can’t remember any of the other guys!