Virginia Theatre

5117 Virginia Avenue,
St. Louis, MO 63111

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Wehrenberg Theatres

Firms: Klipstein & Rathman

Styles: Beaux-Arts

Nearby Theaters

Virginia Theatre

The Virginia Theatre was a well-maintained and lovely neighborhood house.

It was built in 1910 for August A. Busch as a vaudeville and movie house at Y-shaped intersection. The Virginia Theatre was acquired by the Wehrenberg chain in 1928. It has a small lobby and the auditorium fanned out because of the intersection that it was built on.

Towards the end, the Virginia Theatre started closing on Mondays and later was open on weekends only. It was within walking distance of the Michigan Theatre, which also was part of the Wehrenberg chain. The Virginia Theatre closed on May 12, 1956. It later became home to a church, and remained in that use as a church until mid-2012.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

Skip on February 11, 2004 at 8:20 am

Isn’t 1910 a little early? Fred Wehrenberg opened his first theatre in an empty storefront next to his saloon/grocery in 1906.

Skip on February 11, 2004 at 12:00 pm

Thanks for the history. But when you talk about the South Hampton/Roxy are you still talking about the Virginia?

JAlex on May 9, 2004 at 9:42 am

Theatre opened with vaudeville and films in 1910.

Building permit lists owner as August A. Busch (Anheuser-Busch).

Architect the firm of Klipstein & Rathman.

Wehrenberg took over theatre in 1928.

Skip on May 21, 2007 at 4:57 am

In the previous picture, there are two small homes directly across the street (Vermont Ave) just off the right side of the picture. A life long friend grew up there before moving to Colorado in the 60’s. His dad was born in one of those houses and still lives in the other one which he built in the 40’s. The interesting thing is that my friend’s Mom and Dad STILL live there. She’s 89 and he’s 97… born in 1910, the same year the theatre was built!

spectrum on November 27, 2010 at 8:57 am

The goole maps show the building still there although in much better condition than the 2000 photo above. Looks like the church did some renovations!

Linnie on November 15, 2012 at 8:09 pm

I passed by there last week and it isn’t a church anymore. It’s empty.

NYCINSTL on May 22, 2016 at 6:14 pm

Current status— owned by the Land Reutilization Authority of St.Louis. This means ownership defaulted on taxes and either the property was seized by or surrendered to the city. I contacted the LRA with an inquiry. I received a PROMPT response, including many pages of pertinent info. This is a good sign, as the LRA has a history of blanket demolition and even land speculation. It is my impression they would really like someone to do something productive with the theatre to make it a community anchor. Unfortunately this means someone with pretty deep pockets, as the Dutchtown neighborhood has been economically depressed for quite a number of years.

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