New Merry Widow Theatre

1539 Chouteau Avenue,
St. Louis, MO 63104

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Additional Info

Previously operated by: Komm Theaters

Architects: Jack Shawcross

Styles: Art Deco

Previous Names: Merry Widow Theatre

Nearby Theaters

New Merry Widow Theatre

Another single floor theatre operated by the Komm Theaters chain, seated 711, The New Merry Widow Theatre was opened March 21, 1942 with Walter Pidgeon in “How Green Was My Valley”.

The New Merry Widow Theatre had a nice lobby with terrazzo floors and a small concession stand in the southeast corner of the lobby. Three aisles into the auditorium one along each wall and one down the middle. Two small chandeliers in the auditorium. Draped walls lined the auditorium and covered the screen.

The New Merry Widow Theatre was not one of the busiest theatres for the Komm Circuit as it was right on the outskirts of downtown and a lot of industrial was around the theatre. It had to rely on the housing developments just to the south of the theatre.

The Merry Widow Theatre closed as a movie theatre May 13, 1956 and a year later became a auto repair shop. In 2020 it is owned by the local power company and is known as the Hibdon Building.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 18 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on January 31, 2010 at 7:41 pm

I use Google’s advanced search page, putting the name Boxoffice in the top field, following a specific word (one word of a theatre name, a city name, a person’s or a company’s name, etc); a multi-word phrase in the second field; and the domain in the bottom field.

So, searching this theater for example, I used[quote]louis boxoffice
new merry widow[/quote]in the respective fields. Searching a theater with a more common name it’s better to put both name and location in the exact wording field thus: strand boston (or strand at boston; strand theatre boston; boston strand, etc.) Keep the theater name (or other term) ahead of the name Boxoffice in the first field, too, as Issuu’s internal search will fetch pages with instances of the first word of a field only, and the name Boxoffice appears on virtually every page of each issue of the magazine.

Once you fetch an issue of the magazine at Issuu, single words entered into the site’s search box will find the individual pages on which that word appears, but it won’t find a word that’s been spilt with a hyphen onto two lines of an article. It will find only the halves. It’s not case-sensitive, though, so don’t worry about capitalizing.

You can also find a specific issue of the magazine at Issuu by entering its date in Google’s exact phrase field, as: August 07 1943.

TLSLOEWS on March 18, 2010 at 6:53 pm

What a strange name.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 17, 2010 at 1:39 pm

I left Columbia 1 and 2 in NOV.1980.I left Georgia Square Cinemas I II III &IV on DEC 1983,dowdeyla, most theatre folks remember stuff like that.OF course you wrote this 2005,so i am probably writing to myself.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 9, 2010 at 6:36 pm

There have been a couple of comments remarking on the theater’s name, so it might be useful to note that Franz Lehár’s operetta “The Merry Widow” had its premier in Vienna in 1905, the year before this theater’s forerunner was opened. The composer’s “Merry Widow Waltz” became one of the most popular songs of the period, so the name would have been familiar even to people who had never seen the operetta.

TLSLOEWS on July 6, 2010 at 9:08 pm

Thanks Joe,it sounded like to me the the widow was glad her husband died.But there is always a story behind the names,thanks again.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on September 30, 2010 at 1:11 pm

Further to Joe Vogel’s comments, the musical show “The Merry Widow” was a huge international mega-hit. It played in London at Daly’s Theatre (site of the West End Vue cinema) and in New York at the New Amsterdam Theater on W. 42nd Street when that house was still new. It’s still performed today by various opera companies and is available on CD and on DVD.

spectrum on November 27, 2010 at 10:19 am

From the 2010 google aeriel views it is still standing. Bricked up in front except for a single door. No clue what’s inside, the the front is still in decent shape.

rivest266 on February 23, 2016 at 5:32 pm

March 20th, 1942 grand reopening ad in photo section.

JAlex on June 20, 2016 at 11:26 am

Ameren Corporation (the local electric company) intends to renovate this building as offices. Ameren headquarters across 18th street from this structure.

JAlex on June 4, 2017 at 11:20 am

A few errors in the overview. Theatre did not open in 1937, but on March 21, 1942. There was no fire in 1947. Theatre ceased operation on May 13, 1956, not in 1955.

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