Kingsland Theatre

6461 Gravois Avenue,
St. Louis, MO 63116

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Arthur Enterprises Inc.

Firms: Wedemeyer & Nelson

Nearby Theaters

Undated image courtesy of John Sarkis.

Opened October 22, 1924 for the Freund Brothers chain, the Kingsland Theatre was run as a movie house for thirty years. In 1964, the local Arthur chain sold the theatre to Herschel Lester, who ran it as Lester’s Old Fashioned Gospel Singing, bringing monthly revivals to the South Side.

After thirty years without regular film showings, the Kingsland Theatre bounced back in March of 1984 with “Sudden Impact”. The new owner, Herman Carnell, installed a new roof, foyer, sidewalks, wallcoverings and guttering. He also converted the small balcony into a second screening room with a capacity of 90; there were over 700 sets on the first floor.

Carnell programmed plenty of family friendly fare to maximize potential attendance, but too often the neighborhood kids would arrive unsupervised and wreak havoc. When a developer showed interest in the property in 1997, Carnell sold the building and it was demolished to make way for an Aldi supermarket.

Carnell then poured the funds from the Kingsland Theatre into another property, the abandoned Wehrenberg Melba Theatre in nearby DeSoto, Mo. The Melba Theatre is still operating today.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 6 comments)

JAlex on June 20, 2004 at 9:20 am

Theatre opened October 22, 1924.
Architects the firm of Wedemeyer & Nelson.
Built and originally operated by the Freund Brothers.

34ford1952 on October 22, 2004 at 8:31 am

i live one block from where the Kingsland stood i was in the theatre many times and was sadened when it was tore down.I also took a picture of it before it was torn down.

JamesGrebe on February 24, 2005 at 4:49 am

Prior to the time the Kingsland was sold by the Lesters the St.LTOS had been installing the little 2m/8r Majestic Wurli. We were putting it in the left chamber after having gutted the chamber of air conditioning systems. After 2/3’s instalation the theatre was sold and we had to pull it out and that would have been it’s newest home before the club put it in the Fox lobby. We nver got it to playing status before removal
Originally the Kingland had a small KIlgen TO and it whereabouts are unknown.
Standing in the Kingsland spot now is an Aldis store
JamesGRebe pianoman@accessus./net

JamesGrebe on September 7, 2007 at 1:40 pm

That particular organ was a Kilgen tracker that was previously installed in the Cinderella on Cherokee Str.
James Grebe

JamesGrebe on September 7, 2007 at 1:42 pm

I have one of the art deco chandeliers that came out of the lobby and a matinee sign form the theatre.
James Grebe

rivest266 on February 21, 2016 at 12:22 am

October 22,1924 grand opening ad in photo section.

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