Bonanza Theatre

2917 Olive Street,
St. Louis, MO 63103

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Bonanza Theatre

The Bonanza Theatre was an independent theatre that filled the area around North Jefferson along with the Star Theatre, Laclede Theatre, Art Theatre, Criterion Theatre and Roosevelt Theatre. The theatres all served their purpose in presenting motion pictures to the neighborhood.

It had a small balcony and was a well maintained and clean theatre. No one has ever figured out the name and where or why it came about but some say it was the fact that a theatre in the neighborhood was a ‘Bonanza’. It had beautiful red draperies over the screen and put on local stage shows.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

JAlex on December 26, 2009 at 7:26 pm

A systematic search of City Directories shows the Bonanza appearing from 1909 to 1916.

patrickgenna on June 18, 2011 at 4:34 am

Chuck2131 and JALex: I used to drive by the Bonanza daily when I worked downtown. I had lived on Lindell near Vandeventer. For a brief time, I would try to figure a way into the building, but not so.
The “building” next door was demolished a long time ago. It had the remnants of some cast-iron structure but I am not sure and I had mistakenly believed the demolished structure was the Bonanza Theatre! I could NOT find the exit doors of the Bonanza.
I had never seen a movie here. I am trying to understand how this theatre was around from 1909-1916 (JALex).
Is this theatre that old? Thanks, Patrick

patrickgenna on June 18, 2011 at 4:43 am

Chuck1231. Sorry to say this, but I am confused. After seeing the Google image, exactly which of the three buildings is the actual theatre as seen on Google Earth? It is possible that I might have misidentified the Bonanza from the cluster? When I saw these buildings back in 2006-7, was I wrong about which building was the theatre? Thanks, Patrick

patrickgenna on August 8, 2011 at 12:24 am

Thank u Chuck1231. I must admit that I should have known better. Perhaps looking at the image was confusing for me. I think by now, the rehab is complete.

I believe the old Bonanza will be a restaurant but I could be wrong. Patrick Genna

Darren_Snow on June 12, 2013 at 11:57 pm

A little exciting news about the Bonanza: The building is being rehabbed, and the latter-day brick-and-paneling facade of the first floor has been torn out to temporarily reveal part of the old theater’s lobby. The photo linked here shows ancient posters advertising the Garrick Theater, and if you click the “right arrow” key you’ll see three more pictures of the Bonanza as it appears in June 2013!

Aaron_DeClue on June 16, 2017 at 6:34 am

Royal Carburetor Company registered their business name March 6, 1957 with the address of 2917 Olive St.

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