Lewis Street Playhouse

405 Lewis Street,
Canton, MO 63435

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dallasmovietheaters on July 21, 2020 at 2:05 pm

The Miller-Starr Opera House launched December 4, 1893 with the live play, “Two Old Cronies.” A.J. Miller was on hand with Captain N.D. Starr. Live theater gave way to motion pictures in 1917 competing with the Gem Theater. The Gem won the battle and the old opera house was used for sporadic live local events. It closed in 1922 becoming home to a jewelry store followed by a number of other businesses including Harry’s Tavern and Wood’s Tire Shop.

John Louis Collins of the Collins Theatre Circuit acquired both the New Gem Theater in 1932 and, later, the former Opera House in downtown Canton. Collins virtually razed the opera house which had been altered many times for a variety of businesses. Collins Theatres created a new-look, deco venue built in 1937 designed for sound motion pictures.

Collins turned the managerial reins over to Raymond McBrayer in October of 1937. He finished the project and closed the long-running New Gem Theatre after just over 25 years on November 9, 1937 with “Manhattan Melodrama.” McBrayer would launch the Canton Theater for Collins Circuit three nights later in the former opera house location on November 12, 1937 with Bing Crosby and Martha Raye in “Double or Nothing” supported by shorts including Eddie Peabody in “Hula Heaven” and a Mickey Mouse cartoon.

SethG on April 26, 2018 at 11:00 am

Opened as a movie theater in 1939, which must be when the remodel to art deco happened.