Gravois Theatre

2631 S. Jefferson Avenue,
St. Louis, MO 63118

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Arthur Enterprises Inc.

Firms: Duggan & Huff

Styles: Streamline Moderne

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Gravois Theatre

The Gravois Theatre was built in 1910 and opened on February 11, 1911 by O.T. Crawford. This neighborhood house was located at the busy intersection of S. Jefferson Avenue and Gravois Avenue.

The Gravois Theatre seated a total of 1,100 on the main level and in the balcony. The Gravois Theatre had a huge slope to the balcony so the front of the theatre was almost four stories high with a large vertical sign on the front of the theatre. The marquee was rather small in comparison with only two lines to announce what was showing. The front of the theatre was lined in a soft beige square panels about 2 feet by 2 feet with green panels down the middle of the front.

In the main auditorium the seating was a combination of old and new seating. Half way down the auditorium the padded seating ended and you had woooden back and bottoms on the seats. On each side of the balcony a large column ran down each side of the auditorium with a ornamental light fixture running from about two foot from the ceiling to about 8 feet from the floor. It featured different colors lights in the fixture and when the movie started the fixture would dim to a soft yellow light.

The Gravois Theatre closed on January 2, 1972 with a triple Edgar Allen Poe/Roger Corman program:“The Raven”, “The Fall of the House of Usher” & “Pit and the Pendulum” and was demolished to make way for a fast food restaurant.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 7 comments)

JAlex on February 27, 2006 at 7:04 am

One of the many theatres in St. Louis built by O. T. Crawford.

Building permit issued in November, 1910…which probably means theatre opened in 1911.

The architect of record was the firm of Duggan & Huff.

Like other Crawford theatres the Gravois' management went to Famous Players-Missouri, to City Wide, and finally to St. Louis Amusement.

Kerry Manderbach
Kerry Manderbach on February 18, 2008 at 12:14 am

“The Gravois closed in 1968 and was demolished to make way for a fast food restaurant.”

Hmmm…Lee’s Chicken?

JAlex on March 22, 2008 at 1:36 pm

Gravois held on and finally closed on January 2, 1972.

JAlex on March 10, 2010 at 3:46 pm

According to a report in Billboard Magazine the Gravois opened February 11, 1911. As the report said: “a beautiful piece of architecture, and the opening night all were unable to get in that wanted to. With a seating capacity of 1700 and the packed houses of each performance, much of the first cost of construction was canceled.” The opening policy was three acts of vaudeville and moving pictures. Admission all of 10-cents.

dmeador on January 14, 2012 at 9:51 am

I grew up just a block away and loved this theater, many great memories. There once was a small restraunt next to it madalite or something like that

MitchWolf on February 16, 2016 at 3:44 pm

Kerry, Yes Lee’s Chicken is located on the original Gravois Theatre lot..not sure if it originally took it over.

OKCdoorman on January 30, 2019 at 1:24 pm

JAlex appears to be correct with the Sunday ½/1972 closing date of the Gravois, finishing off with a Roger Corman triple-feature of THE RAVEN, HOUSE OF USHER, and PIT & THE PENDULUM. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

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