2138 E. Grand Avenue,
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Previously operated by: Arthur Enterprises Inc.
Architects: Leo F. Abrams
Firms: Kennerly & Steigemeyer
Styles: Art Deco
Previous Names: Florissant Theatre, Grand Florissant Theatre
The Tower Theatre opened in 1927 as the 1,850-seat Florissant Theatre. It was built and operated by Fanchon & Marco Theatres which later became St. Louis Amusement/Arthur Enterprises Inc. It was known as the Grand Florissant Theatre in 1932. It was located just a block south of the N. Grand Avenue water tower, thus the name change to Tower Theatre came about when the theatre was remodelled in 1947 in an Art Deco style to the plans of architect Leo F. Abrams. One of the larger neighborhood theatres, it seated 1,022. The balcony seated 402 and the main floor seated seated 620.
The theatre was at the wedge of E. Grand Avenue and N. Florissant Avenue and the box office faced on an angle at the intersection. During the early to mid-1960’s, the theatre held battle of the bands on Friday evening prior to the starting of the show. The teenagers would go down in front of the stage and dance to the bands as they played and then before they started the movie they would vote as to which band was the best.
Arthur Enterprises Inc. let the theatre run down and did not maintain it very well. The Tower Theatre closed in 1970. When the theatre was demolished in 1972, it took two large cranes to dismantle the steel beams that held the theatre and its balcony.
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