4201 Finney Avenue,
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Previous Names: Jest-A-Mere Theatre
The Douglass Theatre, at 4201 Finney Avenue, was opened in November 1918 by Charles Pitman as the Jest-A-Mere Theatre. One of the theatres for the Black population in a time of segregation, the theatre was purchased in 1927 by Thomas James and was renamed the Douglass Theatre, after the Abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
When the theatre opened, newspaper coverage said: “Entirely built by Colored labor, completion of big building is a triumph for the race; continuous fight made by unions to force Colored men off the job”.
Seating capacity listed as 850 at opening; reduced to 700 in 1934; reduced to 650 in 1950 (per Film Daily Year Book).
Located in St. Louis' Ville neighborhood, the Douglass Theatre apparently, per newspaper advertistments, was last open in April 1962.
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