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Kingsland Theatre

6461 Gravois Ave
Saint Louis MO 63116

Record #1130  
 Opened: October 22, 1924
 Closed: Yes (date unknown)
 Demolished: Yes (date unknown)
Architect(s): Wedemeyer & Nelson
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As:

Information for this tour was contributed by Darren Snow.

Built in 1924, the Kingsland was run as a movie house for thirty years. In 1964, the local Arthur chain sold the theater to Herschel Lester, who ran it as "Lester's Old Fashioned Gospel Singing," bringing monthly revivals to the South Side.

After thirty years without regular film showings, the Kingsland bounced back in March 1984 with Sudden Impact. The new owner, Herman Carnell, installed a new roof, foyer, sidewalks, wallcovering, and guttering. He also converted the small balcony into a second screening room with a capacity of 90; there were over 700 seats on the main floor.

Carnell programmed plenty of family-friendly fare to maximize potential attendance, but too often the neighborhood kids would arrive unsupervised and wreak havoc. When a developer showed interest in the property in mid-'90s, Carnell sold the building and it was demolished to make way for an Aldi supermarket. (A photo of the half-demolished Kingsland appears in the packaging of Son Volt's "Straightaways" CD.) He then poured the funds into the restoration of another property, the Melba Theater in nearby DeSoto, Missouri.

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Last featured 7/25/2002. Last edited 6/6/2016.

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