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Mid-City Theatre

318 N Grand Blvd
Saint Louis MO

Demolished 1978
Record #18974  
 Opened: October 13, 1913
 Closed: Yes (date unknown)
 Demolished: 1978
Capacity:
Architect(s):
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Princess, Shubert, Rialto, Shubert-Rialto, American
 Previously operated by: Loews Theatres

Information for this tour was contributed by Darren Snow.

The Princess Theatre was built by Dan Fishel starting in 1912 and opened on October 13, 1913. The Shubert Bros. bought the theater not long afterward and renamed it the Shubert Theatre. Live entertainment was booked throughout the first decade, and movies had been added to the program by 1920. By this time, the venue was called the Rialto or, sometimes, the Shubert-Rialto. In the 1930s, it was called Warner's Shubert.

When the old American Theater was razed, its management moved to the Shubert and brought the old name -- and some of the old fixtures -- with them. The $150,000 remodeling took 150 workers five months. The live playhouse format only lasted until 1960, when the American tooks its hermit-crab act to the old Orpheum downtown. John Cella was the owner of both theaters involved in the move.

Loew's brought movies back, reopening the theater on May 26, 1960, with "Ben Hur". The new name was Loew's Mid-City. With the advent of the suburban multiplex, film receipts in urban areas were down by 1970.

Loew's responded by booking X-rated fare at both of its St. Louis theaters, but this policy brought new problems when the police seized Russ Meyer's "Vixen" from the Mid-City for alleged indecency. The manager of the Mid-City was arrested along with Loew's regional general manager. About a month later, burglars took business machines, cash and a safe from the premises. Loew's didn't stick around much longer, closing the theater on November 28, 1972, with "Last House on the Left".

By the beginning of 1973, the theater was back in business with yet another name: Campus Mid-City. Another name referred to the theater as the Sun Mid-City in the 1970s, but this must have been short-lived, as the theater was listed as vacant in the 1974 city directory and was razed in 1978.



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Last featured 8/26/2002. Last edited 3/17/2010.

 
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