Spanish Lake Cinema

12109 Bellefontaine Road,
Spanish Lake, MO 63138

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Jerry Lewis Cinemas

Functions: Retail

Previous Names: Jerry Lewis Cinema, Belle-Park Cinema, Spanish Lake Cine

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Spanish Lake Cinema

The second of the three Jerry Lewis Cinemas to open in the greater St. Louis-area, this house opened on June 21, 1972 with Ruth Warwick in Walt Disney’s “Song of the South” & Walt Disney’s “Fun and Fancy Free & Bongo”.

The Jerry Lewis name only lasted 10 months. It was renamed Spanish Lake Cinema on July 17, 1973 with management shifting to Mid-America then Arthur Enterprises which operated until August 22, 1974.

The day after Arthur left, the theatre began a policy of "adult" films and the booking of "Deep Throat" brought about legal wrangles which, in four months, resulted in the closing of the house as well as the manager being fined and sentenced to jail.

Reopening on January 17 1975 with general audience product, the house became known from February 23, 1975 as the Belle-Park Cinema, the name of the strip mall where the theatre was located at the intersection of Bellefontaine and Parker Roads. Newspaper advertisements for this operation were discontinued that December.

After many years of apparent closure, the house reopened in May 29, 1992 as a PFX Theatres operation renamed Spanish Lake Cine, only to close on September 2, 1993 with Walt Disney’s “Aladdin” and “Menace 2 Society”.

It became a restaurant with the name of "China Wogk" (sic). By 2020 it was a Family Dollar store.

Contributed by Jerry Alexander

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on December 26, 2010 at 9:09 am

SCREENS: TWIN

Jerry Lewis Cinemas had 2 screens.

More info and photos are always welcome.

JAlex
JAlex on December 26, 2010 at 12:09 pm

Not so in St. Louis! Only one of the three JL cinemas had two screens, and this wasn’t the one.

Disappointing to see how soon the switch from “single” to “twin” screen was made in the header.

Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois
Ret. AKC (NAC) CCC Bob Jensen, Manteno, Illinois on December 27, 2010 at 9:03 am

Jerry, sorry, I thought the whole idea of the Jerry Lewis Cinemas was to have 2 screens in order to save on costs. I wonder if single screens were located in any other place besides St. Louis? How I’m wondering about 3 or more screens.

dallasmovietheaters
dallasmovietheaters on April 18, 2020 at 8:53 pm

Opened June 21, 1972 with “Song of the South” and “Bongo” adhering to the circuit’s family fare pledge. After the Jerry Lewis Cinema circuit dissolved, this was renamed the Spanish Lake Cinema on July 17, 1973.

On August 23, 1974, “Deep Throat” was on the big screen at the Spanish Lake Adult Cinema and controversy hounded the operation which had strayed from its original policy. However, the theatre displeased both the community for showing adult films and patrons felt ripped off as the version was heavily edited. The city intervened by twice raiding the theater and arresting the employees.

The theatre closed and reopened on September 7, 1974 with an ad that said, “Reopening with a new and different show. Call for title.” The Spanish LakeImprovement Association protested the establishment the next day. Police raided the theater again for showing, “Prostitution USA” and “Prostitution in the Orient.” It closed and reopened on November 11, 1974. The city placed the operator in jail for a year (though he was let out after 94 days) and closed down the operation.

The Spanish Lake Cinema reopened under new management on January 17, 1975 showing Hollywood films. On February 23, 1975, the theatre was renamed the Belle-Park Cinema and closed soon thereafter. The theatre was listed in the for lease classifieds regularly from May 1, 1975 to July of 1987. After its 30-year lease expiration, the theater came back on May 29, 1992 as PFX Theatres' Spanish Lake Ciné closing on September 2, 1993 as a discount house showing “Aladdin” splitting with “Menace 2 Society.”

MitchWolf
MitchWolf on May 14, 2020 at 6:29 pm

Update: the Spanish Lake Cinema location is now a Family Dollar

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