West End Theatre

4819 Delmar Boulevard,
St. Louis, MO 63107

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Additional Info

Architects: Charles Green

Previous Names: Colonial Theatre, Majestic Theatre, Monarch Theatre, West End Lyric Theatre, West End Art Theatre, Midtown Theatre, Midtown Art Theatre, Paris Art Theatre, Expo Art Theatre, Studio Cinema, Studio World, Comet West End Theatre

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West End Theatre

The Colonial Theatre was opened in 1910 with 990 seats. It was operated by the Arthur Chain (Franchon & Marco) in 1927 and seated 773. It was a neighborhood house located just east of Kings Highway in a small shopping center about 10 blocks east of the more opulant Pageant Theatre. The West End Theatre was a two story theatre with a small balcony. Nothing impressive about this popular neighborhood house.

It thrived until 1956 and the Arthur chain sold it to a private individual who renamed it the West End Art Theatre. It started playing adult fare and the balcony was made into a second screen. Operating under various names, the theatre lasted until 1964 when a storm caused the back part of the roof to collapse. The theatre was demolished in August 1985 after the city condemned the building.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 8 comments)

JAlex on April 27, 2004 at 9:07 pm

Theatre opened in 1910 with popular priced vaudeville and known as the Colonial Theatre. Architect was Charles Green. Seating capacity at that time was 990.

This policy was not successful. Went to a stock company policy and the name of the theatre was changed to MAJESTIC. In 1913 theatre was sold at foreclosure to Fred Block by the Colonial Amusement Co. Theatre again renamed to MONARCH.

In 1914, theatre policy changed to movies and name changed once again, this time to WEST END LYRIC. (At the time, the owner had a theatre downtown, the LYRIC.)

In 1917, theatre was taken over by the Skouras Brothers as a first-run (multiple) house.

In 1927 theatre became a 2nd run house.

An extensive remodeling took place in 1937, at which point theatre
became known as the WEST END.

Gerald A. DeLuca
Gerald A. DeLuca on October 5, 2005 at 8:15 am

In his Memoirs, famed playwright Tennessee Williams recalled going as a youth to the West End Lyric on Delmar Boulevard, a block away from Westminster Place where his family lived. He wrote of going with a girl named Hazel:

“I believe it was at puberty that I first knew that I had a sexual desire for Hazel and it was in the West End Lyric, the movie house on Delmar Boulevard. Sitting beside her before the movie began, I was suddenly conscious of her bare shoulders and I wanted to touch them and I felt a genital stirring.”

In fact Williams was homosexual and wrote extensively about his gay relationships in that quite excellent autobiography.

JAlex on December 14, 2007 at 5:47 pm

In addition to the names I mentioned earlier, theatre also known as the MIDTOWN, the MIDTOWN ART, the PARIS ART and the EXPO ART. These all date from the late-1950s and after.

JAlex on May 1, 2009 at 6:57 pm

Still more names: in the 70s theatre known as the Studio Cinema, Studio World. Finally, in the early 80s became the Comet West End, after the Comet on Finney had closed.

An article in the Post-Dispatch on August 5, 1985 told of its being demolished.

JAlex on May 1, 2009 at 7:00 pm

To avoid confusion:

An article in the Post-Dispatch on August 5, 1985 told of the demolishment taking place of the Comet West End.

rivest266 on July 28, 2013 at 7:51 pm

11 names for this theatre. that is a lot.

JAlex on September 3, 2016 at 11:59 am

The Skouras Brothers took over the theatre in 1919. The 1917 date was in error.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 28, 2018 at 6:13 pm

Here is a brief item describing the West End Lyric Theatre, from the November 14, 1914, issue of Motion Picture News:


“THE West End Lyric Theatre, at Delmar and Euclid avenues, St. Louis, is the dernier cri in motion picture houses. From the embroidered cable net curtains that adorn the glass doors of the lobby back to the screen, the furnishings and equipment is characterized by elegance and good taste.

“The lobby is particularly pleasing; there are three Oriental rugs on the mosaic floor, a large Etruscan vase filled with ferns and living foliage, flanked on either side by smaller urns, and in the foreground a receptacle that is replenished daily with cut flowers.

“The house seats eleven hundred persons, and gives a program of high class features. A five piece orchestra and a Victrola furnish the music. Mrs. J. W. Cornelius is the manager.”

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