8800 Gravois Boulevard,
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Previously operated by: Arthur Enterprises Inc.
Architects: Bernard Bloom
Styles: Quonset Hut
The Crest Theatre was located just outside the St. Louis City limits in Affton. It was opened October 14, 1948 with Sabu in “Elephant Boy”. It was a single floor theatre in the Quonset Hut style. It was very similar to the Rio Theatre on the north side of the city. The theatre was just a few blocks to the west of the Annex theatre but about three times the size.
The Crest Theatre became the neighborhood favorite in just a short time. There was nothing elaborate about the inside of the theatre. Just built to show motion pictures. The exterior was plain also but the marquee was rather unique. It was built to extend from the left side of the building out the the curb under which on that side was a free standing box office. The Crest Theatre had a rather large sign with flashing lights and neon. There was no color to the lights and neon though, everything was in black and white.
The theatre was always a neighborhhod second run but when ever they had four wall deals ie: “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams”, the theatre sold out for every performance. The neighborhood patrons never even complained about the doubling of the prices for this type of movie. They supported their theatre.
When the new Sunset Hills Cinema 1 & 2, and the Mark Twin Theatres opened a short distance away on Lindbergh, the Crest Theatre went downhill. It lasted until 1979 when the building and property was sold by the Arthur Theatre chain to a fish and chips restaurant. The restaurant didn’t have the staying power that the theatre did, it only lasted a couple years and it closed.
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