Victory Theatre

5951 Martin Luther King Drive,
St. Louis, MO 63112

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Victory Theatre

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The Mikado Theatre was located on the north side of Easton Avenue (today renamed Dr. Martin Luther King Drive), just east of Hodiamont Avenue in the Wellston business district in the west end of the city.

The O.T. Crawford chain built the Mikado Theatre in 1911, the architect was F.A. Duggan. The original theatre had an Oriental Japanese design and seated 1,608, including a balcony.

The building was completely redesigned in 1939 in a modern Art deco style. Fire regulations, wider seats an aisles reduced the seating capacity to 1,103. The newly modernized Mikado Theatre added a permanent marquee projecting over the entrance.

In December 1941, WWII began. In many cities a theatre named ‘Mikado’ (a dated term for Emperor of Japan) would be renamed. The Mikado Theatre was renamed Victory Theatre in February 1942. The Victory Theatre was at one time part of the St. Louis Amusement Company. It was closed in 1962 and some time later it was used as a church.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber, thelivinglegend1930

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

JAlex
JAlex on October 31, 2004 at 1:10 am

Built in late 1911, the theatre was one of the chain of O. T. Crawford. Architect was F. A. Duggan.

Opening name was MIKADO, which was appropriate as the theatre was designed in Japanese style. Original seating capacity was 1608, with a balcony.

In 1939, St. Louis Amusement stripped the house of interesting architectural design and went to an “ultra-modern” design…as well as reducing the seating capacity to 1103 (650 on main floor; 453 in balcony). Architect of the re-do was Sol Abrams.

The Mikado name was not to last much longer. A $50 prize was offered to the winner of a rename the theatre contest soon after WWII began, and the theatre became the VICTORY in February, 1942.

Theatre was located at 5851 Easton (now Martin Luther King).

JAlex
JAlex on October 31, 2004 at 1:19 am

I misstated the address…it was 5951 Easton. Sorry.

rivest266
rivest266 on February 26, 2006 at 6:12 pm

the correct url is at View link

or do a search for missouri theatres

JAlex
JAlex on December 17, 2009 at 9:03 am

One of the many theatres built and initially operated by O. T. Crawford, the Mikado opened its doors November 29, 1911 with a policy of vaudeville, musical comedy and films. At its opening, the publicity stated “The only theatre in America finished in Japanese Renaissance.”

kencmcintyre
kencmcintyre on February 11, 2010 at 2:21 am

Here is a larger version of the 2/26/06 photo:
http://tinyurl.com/ybpony4

patrickgenna
patrickgenna on August 8, 2011 at 1:40 am

Hi everyone.
The above image of the former Victory Theatre certainly seen better days. I used to see movies at the Victory and at the other theatre (the Wellston) located at the other end of the block(s) on the south-side of (Easton)where MLK and Keinlen Av intersect.
The Wellston is long gone.

Wellston is dead, devoid of any economic activity. The Wellston Bus Loop was quite a hub when I was kid in the 50s and 60s. If you went north toward Pine lawn, you could see a movie at the tiny Studio Theatre.

I am not sure that the Victory building bears much resemblance or even if it still there.
I last saw Wellston in 2006.
It would be better if they knocked it all down
Any comments about the building as of 2011?

Much thanks for the Mikado image. It is a good-looking theatre. It is hard to believe it is the same theatre building. Patrick

bbrown1
bbrown1 on October 28, 2012 at 1:03 am

The Victory was open as late as 1969, as I have seen an ad for THE GREEN SLIME showing at the Victory.

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