The Vanished Theaters of Gravois Avenue

Granada Theater, 4519 Gravois Avenue, Photograph by Dorrill Studio, 1937, Missouri History Museum, P0243-11605-01-8n

There used to be so many more theaters in St. Louis, and they’ve mostly been demolished. Take the Granada, seen above, and then look below, where the theater and its entrance have been removed and turned into a parking lot for the apartment building that originally attached to the theater.

It was fairly common for theaters to have narrow entrances that cut back into the block, since the street frontage was valuable as leasable storefront space.

Further down Gravois was the Kingsland, which is now completely gone.

Kingsland Theater, 6461 Gravois Avenue, Photograph by John Margolies, 1988, Library of Congress, LC-MA05- 1177

It has been replaced by an Aldi and its parking lot.

9 Comments Add yours

  1. David says:

    Chris, I remember going to the Kingsland in1994 to see Interview with a vampire there were two screens, one on the second level. The floors creaked when you walked on them, but we were happy that the Kingsland and the Avalon were in business as dollar shows, since I was a college student on a budget. I was sad to see it go, since the only other theatres in the city were Union Station and the Hipointe, which charged full price. We had to gout to the county to the Village Square, which is gone now also

  2. Dan Lewis says:

    My girlfriend used to live in those apartments that were attached to the Granada theater. I was in that building a lot, each apartment had a little door in the hall attached to the kitchen for the iceman to deliver blocks of ice to each apartment.I regret in all that time I never set foot inside the Granada theater.
    I never was inside the Kingsland either but remember when they tore it down and the creepy cemetery across the street.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      Ah yes, that was Old St. Marcus Cemetery.

  3. David says:

    Chris, there was also The Melva theatre on South Grand, right off of Gravois, behind the old Farmers Bank and The Southside National Bank. It stood until the late 90s or early 2000s

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      I’ll have to check that out!

  4. Adam says:

    Do you have any idea what used to be at 5005 Gravois(currently Europa Market), near the Bevo Mill? I assume that it was a theatre, based on the two doors on either side of what looks like a former ticket booth, but I haven’t been able to find anything regarding the building’s history.

    1. Chris Naffziger says:

      I believe it very well might have been an enclosed movie theater, because fire insurance maps show it as an “air dome,” an outdoor movie theater in 1909.

      1. Adam says:

        Fascinating! Thanks for looking into that.

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