9736 South Broadway,
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Previously operated by: Wehrenberg Theatres
Styles: Streamline Moderne
The Southway Theatre opened November 5, 1938. The theatre, located on South Broadway in the Lemay district, was direct competition to the Longwood Theatre just three blocks to its east. The Longwood Theatre had opened two years prior to the Southway Theatre, by the Komm Theatres of St. Louis.
The Southway Theatre, like all Wehrenberg Theatres, was a well run and well maintained theatre. The Southway Theatre was built more or less in a stadium style with all seating on one floor with the floor sloped so that there was no obstruction of anyone seated in front of you. The theatre itself was not long but was rather wide with three aisle running from back to front. It had columns running about 10 feet apart along each side of the theater with very ornate gold leaf scones on each column. The lights would dim during the movie but the shadow from the scones would burst on the wall above giving a tree like appearance.
With its large marquee and vertical sign that rose above the theatre it was very impressive coming around the bend in South Broadway into the Lemay District. The lights and neon gave off a colorful effect in the night sky before you reached the theatre.
Attendance fell off with the popularity of television and then the twin theatres started popping up at the nearby South County Mall (GCC’s South County Cinema and Mid Americas South City Twin) thus dooming the Southway Theatre. The Southway Theatre closed in April 1962.
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