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Shenandoah Theatre

Photo from the Darren Snow collection.
2312 S Grand Blvd
Saint Louis MO 63104

Demolished 1984
Record #7551  
 Opened: May 4, 1912
 Closed: 1977
 Demolished: 1984
Capacity: 636 seats
Architect(s): Fred A Duggan
Architectural Style(s):
National Register:
Current Organ: none
 Also Known As:
 Previously operated by: Arthur Enterprises

Information for this tour was contributed by Darren Snow.

This 8000-square-foot vaudeville house was part of a local circuit run by O.T. Crawford. He contracted Fred A. Duggan to design a theatre with 492 orchestra level seats, 544 balcony seats, and pressed seaweed panels on the walls as an acoustical treatment. Opened in 1912, the Shenandoah offered mostly live entertainment until 1916, when movies were offered during the summer months.

The Famous Players company ran the shows in the twenties, when an outdoor annex called the Shenandoah Airdome was added on the next block. The Arthur chain presided over a streamlined remodeling in the 1940s, and remained in charge until the bitter end. This came on October 4, 1977, when financial troubles forced the company to close several of its theatres "temporarily." The Arthurs never recovered, and the Shenandoah never reopened.

Late in 1981, a local neighborhood association approved a redevelopment plan that would renovate the buildings on either side of the Shenandoah, and remove the theatre to create parking spaces. An opposing Restoration Committee immediately sprang up to defend the movie house, which spokesman Harry Swanger said was "like a fortress." No fortress lasts forever, though, and the Shenandoah Theatre was demolished in 1984.

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Last featured 7/25/2002. Last edited 9/10/2016.

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