Pageant Theatre

5851 Delmar Boulevard,
St. Louis, MO 63112

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on May 3, 2018 at 4:38 am

In 1921 the Pageant was remodeled for Charles Skouras, the project being noted in the December 18, 1920, issue of The American Contractor. Plans for the $35,000 project were drawn by Kansas City architect H. Alexander Drake.

JAlex on October 24, 2016 at 12:14 pm

The last ad I’ve seen for the Pageant was that of January 7, 1968, a double bill of “The Hills Ran Red” and “Island of Terror.” A demolition permit for the structure was issued in 1975.

AnvilSalesman on October 23, 2016 at 8:36 pm

I just wanted to correct the statement that the Pageant closed in 1965. In early 1966 the owners tried to turn it into an “art” theater. They had “The Gospel According to St. Matthew” and “The Shop on Main Street” and maybe some others. The neighborhood had declined and the whole idea was doomed. As stated above, later in 1966 the theater became a concert venue. That also didn’t last long and that was the end of the theater.

easyg1 on June 18, 2014 at 5:50 pm

And right next store to the Pageant they served the best fried chicken in the city. It was called Golden Fried Chicken. A great evening: fried chicken, followed by a western at the Pageant on Friday nights.

JAlex on March 4, 2013 at 11:20 am

“80 Days” had its first-run at the Esquire in 1957…and not in Todd-AO. The Pageant was the first St. Louis house with Todd-AO capability, but not until 1958.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 3, 2013 at 11:10 pm

In his book The Death of Black Radio, Bernie J. Hayes says that for over a year around 1966-1967 he operated the Pageant Theatre, under a lease from the Arthur brothers, as a concert venue for R&B acts.

Although the old Pageant Theatre is gone, its name lives on in The Pageant, a modern concert venue opened at 6161 Delmar Boulevard in 2000.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 3, 2013 at 11:08 pm

cdrosenblatt: As the house was equipped for Todd-AO, the Pageant might have had the Saint Louis premier of Around the World in 80 Days, but the world premier was at the Rivoli Theatre in New York City on October 17, 1956. The movie opened in Los Angeles on December 22, at the Carthay Circle Theatre. It probably would not have reached St. Louis until after it opened in Los Angeles, so if the Pageant ran it, it might not have shown there until early 1957.

cdrosenblatt on March 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Did the Pageant Theater premier the movie, ‘Around the World in 80 Days’ in 1956?

Coate on November 6, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Thanks, JAlex. I have another St. Louis question, so if you see this message, please contact me (email is in my profile).

JAlex on October 30, 2009 at 6:45 pm

Yes, it was the Pageant that had the Disney “Sleeping Beauty."
The run was from June 12 to September 17. Admission=$1.50.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on October 30, 2009 at 4:58 pm

No idea whatsoever, Mike. Way way way before my time. Norman Plant may know something.

Coate on October 14, 2009 at 10:57 am

Is this the St. Louis theater that had the area first-run booking in 1959 of Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty”? Might any St. Louisans (is that a word?!) know its local premiere date? JAlex? Chuck1231? Chris Utley?

JAlex on October 28, 2008 at 4:25 pm

The aforementioned ‘skydome’ was originally known as the Crystal Airdome; in 1921 renamed the Pageant Skydome.

Theatre wasn’t built by Fanchon (not Franchon) & Marco; they didn’t arrive in St. Louis until 1933.

Ken Roe
Ken Roe on May 16, 2006 at 12:56 pm

During the early silent movie days, the Pageant Theatre had a ‘skydome’ open-air theatre which was located on the southeast corner of Delmar Boulevard and Laurel Street.

JAlex on April 14, 2006 at 9:18 pm

Boxoffice magazine reported the Pageant reduced its seating capacity to 878 from 1000 immediately prior to the hard-ticket engagement of “South Pacific” in 1958. This engagement was the first Todd-AO film exhibited in the St. Louis market.

JamesGrebe on March 9, 2005 at 8:37 am

In 1920 the Kilgen Organ Co installed a used Austin pipe organ from Warrensburg, MO into the was a 2m/8r instrument. No indication whether a true TO or church organ. Whereabout later are unknown.

JAlex on April 30, 2004 at 12:31 am

Theatre dated back to 1915, the opening date being Sept. 18, 1915.

Architect was Norman Howard. Originally sat 1400.

The Skouras Brothers took over the theatre in 1916, the second acquisition in the just beginning Skouras empire. Pageant became a member of the St. Louis Amusement chain when it was formed in 1921. St. Louis Amusement a merging of the theatre interests of the Skouras Brothers and Harry Koplar.

In 1939 St. Louis Amusement remodeled the house and reduced the capacity to 990.