- Ambassador Theatre (St. Louis)
The Ambassador Theatre was a lavish
movie palace-type theater in St. Louis, Missouri, designed by the architectural firm of Rapp and Rapp. A landmark of rococo 1920's theater design, it opened in 1926 and was demolished in 1997.
As early as January 1925, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch mentioned plans for a 22-story office building containing a Skouras Brothers theater. The entire structure was to cost $2.5 million. What was eventually constructed was a 17-story building, with a 3,000-seat theater -- designed by Rapp & Rapp -- occupying the first six stories. The theater cost $5 million and the organ alone cost $115,000. The grand opening was held on August 26, 1926, and the Ambassador welcomed 2.6 million patrons in its first year.
The Skouras Brothers Co,
Spyros Skouras, George Skourasand Charles Skouras, who's dream of building a world-class movie palace in downtown St. Louis was grandly realized in 1926 when the $5.5 million Ambassador Theatre Building opened on prime real estate at the northwest corner of Locust and Seventh streets. The 17-story structure which housed the luxurious cinema also added an impressive tall office block to the city's skyline. Less than two decades earlier the three Skouras brothers arrived in St. Louis from their native Greeceto become the results of rags to riches Hollywoodsuccess stories.
The Skourases chose Rapp & Rapp, Chicago's famed theater architects, to design the 3000 seat Ambassador. The firm's local debut, the St. Louis Theater (now Powell Symphony Hall), was completed in 1925 on Grand Avenue. In addition to Windy City achievements such as the
Chicago, Southtown, and Uptown theaters, the brothers C. W. and George Rapp drew up plans in the 1920's for notable theater skyscraper hybrids that included New York City's 29-story Paramount (1926); Cleveland's 21-story Palace(1922); and the 22-story Orientalin Chicagowhose top stories housed the Masonic Lodgehalls.
In the Ambassador, Rapp & Rapp expanded the firm's typical
Louis XIVSun King style, a rendition of French Renaissance/ Baroquemotifs for which they were best-known. The architects crowned the Ambassador with a distinctive cornice frieze of terra cotta griffins--a motif also displayed in two prominent New York skyscrapers of the period. Gazing across the rooftops, the griffins were well-placed as traditional guardians of treasure in antiquity. The planar quality of the cornice and flattened treatment of the griffins suggest the influence of modernist trends. The cornice marked a departure from older style. more elaborated cornices of high relief, often punctuated by lion heads.
To announce the theatre portion of the tall Ambassador Building,
Rapp and Rappdesigned a monumental arcade of giant windows along Locust Street, wrapping the corner of Seventh. Thirty feet high, these windows were richly embellished with finely detailed terra cotta in Renaissance style. Highly modeled theater masks of comedy and tragedy were featured on Cartouche (design)cartouchepier and spandrel panels. The three floors of theater offices fronting Seventh Street were appropriately distinguished by terra cotta spandrel panels featuring regal pairs of sphinxes, Egyptian symbols of power.
* [http://www.cinematour.com/tour.php?db=us&id=9928 Cinema Tour]
* [http://www.buildingmuseum.org/recovery/project_ambassador.asp St. Louis Building Art Foundation]
*Whmc stl photodb|keywords=Ambassador+Theater|title=Ambassador Theater
* [http://cinematreasures.org/theater/2351/| Page for the Ambassador at the "Cinema Treasures" website]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Ambassador Theatre — can refer to: * Ambassador Theatre (Dublin) * Ambassador Theatre (New York) * Ambassador Theatre (St. Louis)* Ambassadors Theatre (London) … Wikipedia
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane — Coordinates: 51°30′46″N 0°07′14″W … Wikipedia
Louis XIV of France — Louis XIV and Louis Quatorze redirect here. For other uses, see Louis XIV (disambiguation) and Louis Quatorze (disambiguation). Sun King and Le Roi Soleil redirect here. For the Beatles song, see Sun King (song). For the French musical, see Le… … Wikipedia
Louis Daniel Armstrong — Louis Armstrong Pour les articles homonymes, voir Armstrong. Louis Armstrong … Wikipédia en Français
Louis Lesser — during a discussion of Lesser Diesel Enterprises Born June 15, 1916 (1916 06 15) (age 95) Los Angeles, California, United States … Wikipedia
Louis Montoyer — (1749, Mariemont, Austrian Netherlands, now Belgium 5 June 1811, Vienna) was an 18th century Belgian Austrian architect, principally active in Brussels and Vienna.LifeHe worked in Brussels as an architect from 1778 onwards, where his buildings… … Wikipedia
Louis Armstrong — Satchmo redirects here. For the online store system, see Satchmo (online store). Louis Armstrong … Wikipedia
Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma — Admiral of the Fleet The Right Honourable The Earl Mountbatten of Burma KG GCB OM GCSI GCIE GCVO DSO PC FRS … Wikipedia
Louis Armstrong — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Armstrong. Louis Armstrong … Wikipédia en Français
List of Registered Historic Places in St. Louis, Missouri — NOTOC List of Registered Historic Places in St. Louis and St. Louis County, Missouri.:: Missouri NRHP date for lists =St. Louis County= *Affton ** Joseph Sappington House ** Louis Auguste Benoist House ** New Mount Sinai Cemetery *Bellefontaine… … Wikipedia