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World Theatre

506 Saint Charles St
Saint Louis MO 63101

Demolished Adult Theatre
Record #19127  
 Closed: 1974
 Demolished: Yes (date unknown)
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As: Broadway, Cameo, Hollywood, Hollywood Newsreel, World Playhouse

Information for this tour was contributed by Darren Snow.

In business by the early '20s, the Broadway shared its address with the Western Photo Play Corporation. In February 1930, newspaper ads briefly touted the "Cameo Theatre -- Formerly the Broadway -- Latest Sound System." By 1936, mainstream film fare was being offered at the "Hollywood Theatre."

The first hint of what was to eventually come arrived in February 1937, when the movie house screened an "adults-only" flick called Ecstasy. Vacant through most of World War II, the venue became the "Hollywood Newsreel Theatre" for a while in 1946 and changed names again at the end of the war; the "World Theater" would specialize in adult films for several years before introducing titillating stage shows featuring touring starlets such as future Russ Corman film star Tura Satana.

When longtime proprietor Harry Wald was finally forced to close the World in 1974 -- the building was slated for demolition -- the fare had switched back to movies. The final show, on March 5, was "The Great Massage Parlor Bust". The Post-Dispatch coverage of the theater's demise was surprisingly tender and sentimental, and the Globe-Democrat of May 19 reported that souvenir hunters were picking up "the last bits of debris."

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Last featured 2002-12-27. Last edited 6/6/2016.

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