Electric Theatre

712 Edmond Street,
St. Joseph, MO 64501

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Electric Theatre

Built on the site of the Majestic Theatre of 1910 (some of that structure was utilized in the new Electric Theatre). The Electric Theatre was opened on September 23, 1915 with a mix of vaudeville on stage and Clara Kimball Young in “Tilby” on the screen. It was designed by the Boller Brothers. It was expanded, again the work of the Boller Brothers and reopened on October 21, 1926. It was renovated in 1946/1947.

The Electric Theatre was closed on October 28, 1961 with John McCarthy in “The Snake Woman” & Kieron Moore in “Doctor Blood’s Coffin”. The auditorium was demolished in 1962. The facade & lobby went into retail use. The remains of the building were demolished on November 19, 1977.

Contributed by KenRoe

Recent comments (view all 15 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 26, 2010 at 10:37 am

The photos on the page ken mc linked to above (and most prticularly this photo) show that the architectural style of the Electric Theatre was Italian Renaissance, at least on the exterior. I haven’t been able to find any interior photos, but that facade usd many elements suggestive of Brunelleschi’s Ospedale degli Innocenti in Florence.

HogGravynChitlins
HogGravynChitlins on June 21, 2012 at 5:22 am

so many dead links on this site, makes me tear my hair out

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 22, 2012 at 4:19 am

I came across two items in the July 17, 1915, issue of The American Contractor. Both mention the Electric Theatre in St. Joseph, but they describe two different projects. One is a theater remodeling and the other a theater addition. The first is in the block the Electric Theatre was on, but the second item gives no location. I really don’t know what to make of them. I’ve had the impression that the Electric Theatre was newly built in 1915, but perhaps it was in a remodeled building. Here is the first item:

“St. Joseph… Theater (rem.): 2- sty. & bas. 76x 120. $18M. Edmond betw. Seventh & Eighth sts., St. Joseph, Mo. Archt. Carl Boller & Co., Gayety bldg., Kansas City. Owner Tootle Estate, St. Joseph. Lessee Electric Theater Co., St. Joseph, Mo. Work started. Fdns. & re. conc. let to Du Bois Re. Conc. Constr. Co., Corby Forsee bldg., St. Joseph. Plastering to C. A. Felling, 118 N. Eighth st., St. Joseph.”
Here is the second item:
“Theater (add.): 2 sty. & bas. 50x 120. St. Joseph, Mo. Archts. Carl Boiler & Bro., Gayety bldg. Kansas City. Owner Electric Theater, N. Philley, secy., St. Joseph, will take bids until July 21. Brk. & terra cotta trim, comp, rf., struct. iron.”

Chris1982
Chris1982 on October 17, 2014 at 4:22 pm

This theatre should have an aka Majestic Theatre. The Majestic Theater Grand Opening: Thurs Oct 13,1910, renamed to the Electric Theater, Grand Opening: Thurs September 23,1915 showing silent movies. The Grand Opening show was Wilton Lackaye and Clara Kimball Young in “TRILBY”. Admission was 10 cents Last date open was Saturday, October 28, 1961 The building was demolished in 1977 The last movies shown: Susan Travers in “The Snake Woman” and Kieron Moore in “Doctor Blood’s Coffin”.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm

That explains the two American Contractor items from 1915. The Electric was the Majestic, both remodeled and expanded.

SethG
SethG on March 25, 2019 at 3:59 pm

The photo of the smaller theater cannot be correct. It’s obviously a different building.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 25, 2019 at 11:43 pm

SethG: Good catch. The Majestic was expended to become the Electric in 1915, and those cars parked in front of the smaller theater are from considerably later than 1915, so it can’t be the old Majestic.

SethG
SethG on March 28, 2019 at 8:20 pm

Joe, I just found the picture in question on the St. Joseph Memory Lane page, and he says the smaller theater was demolished in 1926, which, if correct, puts those cars back in the correct era.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 28, 2019 at 9:17 pm

If that’s the case then the 1915 rebuilding project as a two-story theater must not have been carried out. I checked David and Noelle Soren’s list of Boller theaters and they list it as “Electric (Majestic) Theatre – 1915, 1926, 1946-47” so it’s still a Boller design, but they worked on it three times; probably a scaled down remodeling of the original 1910 Majestic in 1915, a rebuilding in 1926, and another remodeling or renovation in 1946-47. I wonder if they kept the lower parts of the original walls in the 1926 project?

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on June 15, 2019 at 1:04 pm

The Electric Theatre launched September 23, 1915 with “Trilby”. The previous Majestic Theatre had been razed on May 14, 1915. A $225,000 new Electric Theatre was built using elements of the original in an expansion project culminating with its relaunch on October 21, 1926 with “Subway Sadie.” The new-look Moorish design included a $35,000 Wurlitzer organ and another $200,000 plus in improvements.

The theatre was closed on October 28, 1961 with a double-feature of “"The Snake Woman” and “Doctor Blood’s Coffin.” The theatre was stripped with the auditorium razed in 1962. The facade, lobby and other elements remained after being retrofitted for retail use. The remainder of the building was subsequently demolished on November 19, 1977.

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