World's Dream Theatre

1413-1415 Market Street,
St. Louis, MO 63106

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Additional Info

Architects: Louis Hormann

Previous Names: Amuse-U Theatre

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World's Dream Theatre

The very first full-time movie theatre with seats in St. Louis was the $1,000 World’s Dream Theatre. Architect Louis Hormann created a space with 140 folding chairs and room for 200 more to stand opening October 17, 1906 by John Karzin. Karzin had started in the industry by operating the Miller Bros. Penny Arcade and went on to found the McKinley Amusement Company which started numerous St. Louis theatres and airdromes including the Casino Theatre, Royal Theatre and Majestic Theatre.

The theatre was also advertised as “World’s Theatre”. G.K. Dubis took over the venue and would remodel in 1914 with 200 fixed seats. He closed it October 31, 1914. It was then taken over by John Francis of Decatur, IL who remodeled it and it reopened as the Amuse-U Theatre for a very short period into 1915. The building was retrofitted into retail use and it become the Fit-Well Shoe Store in 1916.

Contributed by dallasmovietheaters

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

localarchivstSTL on September 2, 2017 at 10:00 pm

Just a wee point of contention here, I have a few clippings/documents that show Thomas James and uncle John James (future owners of the Comet/Douglass theaters) purchased the World in 1910/1911. I’ve uploaded his obit where this is mentioned.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on October 18, 2022 at 12:22 am

An article about John Karzin in the June 13, 1925 issue of Moving Picture World confirms that Karzin sold the World’s Dream around 1910/1911 to concentrate on a theater he had opened in Springfield, Illinois. There, he opened a second house in partnership with Gus Kerasotes, to whom he sold his interest in both houses in 1912. He then returned to St. Louis, where he operated a number of theaters over the years, but he appears never to have had any further connection to the World’s Dream.

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