Ambassador Theatre

411 N. 7th Street,
St. Louis, MO 63101

Unfavorite 18 people favorited this theater

Showing 76 - 85 of 85 comments

misterbluesky on April 29, 2005 at 9:24 am

The Ambassador closed in December of 1953 and Cinerama opened six months later.(Not 1943, as reported above).

tomovieboy70 on April 22, 2005 at 12:42 pm

I saw “Hello, Dolly!” in Todd-AO here in 1970. It was a great experience. Vast screen, beautiful, huge house. Great memory.

teecee on March 14, 2005 at 2:34 pm

Lots of photos, interior & exterior, at this link:

JamesGrebe on February 15, 2005 at 5:59 am

During the 1970’s when rock shows were put on in the theatre I tuned many of the pianos that were used there. I got to roam the building almost always. The organ, a 4m25r Wurli was sold to Fred Pilsbury FOR $35K. Fred never got around to installing it, he already had the McVickers Wurli from Chicago in his home. He paid $35k for it. I have pictures of the console while it wAs still in Fred’s warehouse near Union Staion. The console was also in silver leaf. The Tibia Clausa from the organ became Allen Organ’s first sampled Tibia in their digital organs. Fred then bought Allen’s biggest digital organ they made up to that point. It had 7 computers in it and had 20- 100watt amps and 21 speaker cabinets. The Allen is now in Rickman Auditrium in Arnold, MO.

JimRankin on April 2, 2004 at 6:47 am

In answer to Vincent’s question as to whether there are photos of the interior of the fabulous AMBASSADOR, the answer is YES! There was a special series of pages in the issue of “Marquee” magazine of Vol. 16, #1 of 1st Qtr. 1984 where there are 7 photos of it in its prime, plus the cover illustration. There are also photos in that landmark book: “The Best Remaining Seats, The Story of the Golden Age of the Movie Palace” by the late Ben M. Hall, still to be found at many libraries, or available on Inter-Library Loan.

To obtain any available Back Issue of either “Marquee” or of its ANNUALS, simply go to the web site of the THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA at:
and notice on the sidebar of their first page the link “PUBLICATIONS: Back Issues List” and click on that and you will be taken to their listing where they also give ordering details. The “Marquee” magazine is 8-1/2x11 inches tall (‘portrait’) format, and the ANNUALS are also soft cover in the same size, but in the long (‘landscape’) format, and are anywhere from 26 to 40 pages. Should they indicate that a publication is Out Of Print, then it may still be possible to view it via Inter-Library Loan where you go to the librarian at any public or school library and ask them to locate which library has the item by using the Union List of Serials, and your library can then ask the other library to loan it to them for you to read or photocopy. [Photocopies of most THSA publications are available from University Microforms International (UMI), but their prices are exorbitant.]

Note: Most any photo in any of their publications may be had in large size by purchase; see their ARCHIVE link. You should realize that there was no color still photography in the 1920s, so few theatres were seen in color at that time except by means of hand tinted renderings or post cards, thus all the antique photos from the Society will be in black and white, but it is quite possible that the Society has later color images available; it is best to inquire of them.

Should you not be able to contact them via their web site, you may also contact their Executive Director via E-mail at:
Or you may reach them via phone or snail mail at:
Theatre Historical Soc. of America
152 N. York, 2nd Floor York Theatre Bldg.
Elmhurst, ILL. 60126-2806 (they are about 15 miles west of Chicago)

Phone: 630-782-1800 or via FAX at: 630-782-1802 (Monday through Friday, 9AM—4PM, CT)

Everett on March 5, 2004 at 1:02 am

In answer to the question posted by Neal on Jan.30,2004;
There was indeed a a group formed at the time that was dedicated to preserving the Ambassador, I contributed money to the group to that effect. Unfortunatly, a powerful bank, (Mercantile Trust),that owned a adjacent property, purchased the building and soon recieved a demolition permit in order to make way for a “plaza” that now immediately fronts a newer annex. The previous owners, (real estate sharks from Chicago), tragically had already stripped much of the interior of fixtures and even sections of the plaster work in the auditorium and sold them at auction. The lobby was completely dismantled and stripped of it’s marble. It was a sad end to certainly one of the most magnificent of all movie palaces. I had the pleasure of working at the Ambassador as a usher in the 1960’s during the many “roadshow” movie presentations that played there. I never tired of gazing at the shimmering beauty of this most beautiful and magical theatre.
A note of thanks should be extended to the Skouras family who, up until they sold the building in the mid-70’s, maintained the property with great care.

VincentParisi on January 30, 2004 at 3:05 pm

Are there interior photos available of this theater? Also if it lasted so long how could the city of St Louis let it go?
Was there a concerted effort to save it and were the real estate tycoons just to powerful?

almaman on January 30, 2004 at 1:31 pm

the period in the 70’s when the Ambassador was used for concerts was awesome! Best venue ever for rock shows in St Louis!


boots on August 30, 2002 at 11:41 am

I had the privilege of seeing only one film at the Ambassador…“Midnight Lace” Starring Doris Day! It was on a Sunday evening and I remember being impressed by the opulence of the interior…and it added to the “importance” of the film…like the prestige of Radio City Music Hall has on any picture that played on it’s screen.

So thank you for the wonderful memories to the owners of the Ambassador for providing so many wonderful memories to so many patrons over the years!

My best…William Hamilton

martinhart on April 16, 2002 at 11:23 am

Cinerama leased the building and after the end of the lease the theatre installed 70mm (Todd-AO) and ran both 70mm and 35mm films several years before the Martin Cinerama was built.