Pruett's Theatre

124 N. Allen Street,
Centralia, MO 65240

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Additional Info

Previous Names: Gem Theatre

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The Gem Theatre was opened in August 1911. It was operated by H.L. Pruett. In 1922 it was renamed Pruett’s Theatre. The theatre seated 330. It was closed on May 4, 1933. A new building was built on the site in 1950.

Contributed by Chris1982

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 30, 2018 at 6:30 pm

Harry Pruitt, Centralia exhibitor, was mentioned in the November 4, 1922, issue of Motion Picture News.

SethG on April 18, 2019 at 6:37 pm

Pretty sure the number was 124. The building appears to be a bar on the horrible 2008 streetview. It has gotten a really awful dumpy remodel of painted plywood siding over a formstone shopfront. Theater appears on the 1908 Sanborn, and on the 1914 map it has a tin cornice (probably installed when the building was constructed), which is now gone. Building appears on the 1893 map as a grocery and queensware store.

robboehm on April 22, 2019 at 9:31 am

I found a reference to the property at 124 being for sale with the indication that it was built in 1950. I Googled Centralia, Mo Allen Street photos and saw several views of the property all claiming the 1950 construction date.

SethG on April 22, 2019 at 10:21 am

I wish the photos online weren’t so incompetently done. I think the building was extensively remodeled in 1950, rather than there having been new construction, based on the shape of the building being identical to the one on the maps. There appears to be an old roofline just above the plywood siding.

50sSNIPES on February 9, 2024 at 1:15 pm

This started life as the Gem Theatre. It opened in August 1911 and was first operated by H.L. Pruett who was also an operator for the long-defunct Chicago & Alton Railroad (later known as simply Alton Railroad).

On December 6, 1921, Pruett ended up living inside the theater building for a time after a fire destroyed his house near the Allen Street Methodist Church. This was followed by him changing the theater’s name to the Pruett’s Theatre (not Puritt’s) in 1922.

Purett’s Theatre closed for the final time on May 4, 1933 when E.F. Bebermeyer opened up his Vista Theatre nearby.

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