Will Rogers Theatre

1217 Union Boulevard,
St. Louis, MO 63113

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Additional Info

Architects: Benjamin Shapiro

Styles: Art Deco

Nearby Theaters

The Will Rogers Theatre opened November 21, 1936 as an independent theatre seating 926. Located four blocks north of Forest Park and a block north of Delmar Boulevard. It was located in a area of a lot of high rise apartment buildings and had a built in flock of patrons. Just blocks from the more oppulent Pageant Theatre, it seemed to have no problems creating its own niche.

A single story theatre but long and wide for a neighborhood house. It had a flat marquee again the front of the building but a large vertical sign that could be seen from the busy intersection of Delmar Boulevard and Union Boulevard. When the owner died in 1960, the son formed an agreement with the Arthur Theatres for bookings that lasted only two years and after a dispute the son closed the theatre. It was demolished two years later.

Contributed by Charles Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

JAlex on May 7, 2004 at 8:37 am

Structure dated from 1927, originally the Gospel Tabernacle.
In 1936, converted to theatre which opened in November.
Architect of re-do was Benjamin Shapiro.
Theatre featured stadium seating.
Maury Davis was the long-time manager. In 1939 became part of the Sam Schuchart chain which also included the Esquire and the Norside.
Theatre just south of the intersection of Union & Page.

JAlex on October 5, 2006 at 5:08 am

Theatre ceased operation in April 1957.

JamesGrebe on May 3, 2007 at 3:03 pm

The Will Rogers was at least one of two theatres that were converted churches, the other being the Gayety at 14th & Locust.
James Grebe

rivest266 on February 21, 2016 at 8:41 am

November 21st, 1936 grand opening ad in photo sectoin.

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