Pauline Theatre

5000 Claxton Avenue,
St. Louis, MO 63120

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Pauline Theatre

The Pauline Theatre opened in 1932 and seated 783. One of the many neighborhood houses to serve the northern part of the city. Nothing elaborate about the theatre, a single floor building located on the corner. It had a corner box office and a small lobby with two ailes leading into the auditorium. The Pauline lasted until the television wave came and the theatre closed in 1956. It later became a neighborhood grocery store.

Contributed by Chuck Van Bibber

Recent comments (view all 4 comments)

JAlex on February 28, 2006 at 6:06 am

Theatre operated from c.1916 to April 1956.

Owned by Charles Kalbfell, later by his son Arthur.

Seating capacity of 783.

JAlex on March 31, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Opening date has been narrowed down to Christmas week of 1915.

Noir on September 14, 2013 at 1:25 pm

This building is being used by a commercial HVAC company for the last 50 years with a van fleet that might be using up the space.

I grew up there in Mark Twain and Walnut Park and most people who lived there are completely on purpose to some extent kept in the dark on what few businesses use some of these old buildings. The people live elsewhere and drive in and out via the rear like armoured trucks—to repair HVAC. It is close to getting on and off HIghway 70. Mostly they are used as old warehouses or storage. Also if someone has a fleet of diesal trucks or vans that idle allot and put out allot of pollution —also asthma inducing.

They do not solicit business from the neighborhood directly. I knew of no one in the neighborhood who worked there. Your not supposed to know what they do. The building is supposed to draw as little attention as possible. I do not remember seeing someone enter the front door—-ever. Different rules in a different environment.

With few to no business'—-I watched and knew in about 1975 what it was.

I knew it was something, but never knew it was once a theatre—— blocks from where I lived. There might have been some companion business' but we never knew what they were.

There was an old Velvet Freeze on West Florissant, next to the old Public library like in a two family building, that maybe closed 1978-79, not much left on Union but old closed bars or diner, little candy store maybe, and dry cleaners and small store/licquor store at Kingshighway and West Florissant. The dairy queen like place near Northwest High School, Riverview, I went to in 1980’s was still there. Lombardo’s on Riverview and West Florissant Corner. Not much for long 16-20 blocks by 5-10 blocks area and almost all these were on the outside circumfirance of the area.

If you wanted a theatre or just about anything else, you were out of luck.

Noir on September 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm

Union and Thekla or Union and Harney Maybe 1970-1971—two older ladies had a place where they gave piano lessons and a shoe repair man was next door and a pool hall. This was up closer to the Play Mor Theatre site.

We never knew Union area or Claxton had a theatre.

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