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Sometime in the late 90’s I discovered this theater while driving and it did in fact have a huge gaping hole in the side wall and the front pretty much still looked then, like the above picture.
I had decided I wanted one of the seats I could see from the hole so I got a buddy to come back with me to help me get one. Unfortunately, the seats were beyond saving due to age and weather getting in through the hole in the wall and all the holes in the roof but me and him explored other areas.
The screen was still there, but ruined, as was the sound system. Wall and ceiling collapse rubble was everywhere.
We went in to the projection room to see what was up there but all the equipment was gone and the ceiling had collapsed.
I went out a trap door onto the top of the marquee but didn’t stay long because the police station is right across the street.
I dug around the projection room rubble and found several feet of film and some empty film cans. I also found a boiler maintenance book from 1953 and a paper label Vess Root Beer bottle in mint condition. I took all that with me and some Art Deco glass tile that fell off the front onto the marquee top. The film that I could see had some nice big church in it but when I tried to gently clean the other frames, it started to fall apart and the film was coming off so I stopped.
I always wanted to go back and check out more, but my friend was spooked and wouldn’t go with me again. And I couldn’t get anyone else to go with me.
I had wanted to salvage more out of there but never got the chance. Which is a shame because I think when they finally tore it down, everything that was left got destroyed and hauled to the dump.
Royal Carburetor Company registered their business name March 6, 1957 with the address of 2917 Olive St.
What is now called the “Ivory Theatre” has nothing to do with the old one. The new one is in the former church at the corner of Ivory and Schirmer. The old one is being used as a bakery space currently, and is two buildings south of the above mentioned intersection. Between Feraro’s Jersey Style Pizza and a residence.
I believe your presumption about it being on the southwest corner is correct. I found a Grand-Arsenal Theatre listed in a 1911 City Directory as being at 3101 S. Grand Blvd.
Hey James Grebe! I lived at 4024 Connecticut thoughout the 80’s, raised by my grandparents. They bought the house sometime in the mid to late 50’s, I believe, and owned it up to about a year ago. Bill and Nelda Holland, were there names.
Here is an article on a robbery of a bank next door to the theatre on April 5, 1920. The robber hid in the theater from police and the Post Dispatch has a nice map of the theater layout drawn out.