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Art Theatre


2002 Photo from the Adam Martin collection
3143 Olive St
Saint Louis MO 63103

Closed
Record #18902  
 Opened:
 Closed: Yes (date unknown)
 Current Use:
 Demolished:
Capacity:
Architect(s):
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: S'renco Screening Room

Information for this tour was contributed by Darren Snow.

When all of the major film distributors had offices in St. Louis, they were neatly lined up along this particular stretch of Olive Street in the Midtown area -- not far from the cluster of movie palaces on Grand Avenue. Nestled among them in a nondescript blond-brick building was an on-again, off-again theater of very modest proportions. In its first incarnation in the late '30s, it was called the "S'renco Screening Room" (After manager Ruby S. Renco), but after a period of inactivity it was reborn as the "Art Theater," noted by the local paper as a "tiny playhouse" and in its own literature as "St. Louis' first and finest art theater." Featured presentations included Fantasia, The Baker's Wife, and a "new Soviet film triumph" called The Great Beginning. On May 28, 1952, the projectionist was clobbered with a blackjack and robbed of $1.75 while the show was in progress. Three days later, the theater's daily newspaper ad read "Closed for the Summer." Though the screening room may have been used by studio personnel thereafter, it was apparently never again opened to the public. The motion picture studios abandoned the neighborhood within the first few years of the television era, and the Barnard Stamp Company now occupies the building.



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Last featured 7/25/2002. Last edited 1/1/2006.

 
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