6610 Delmar Boulevard,
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Architects: R.A.M. Anderson, Bruce F. Barnes
Firms: Barnes & Anderson
Styles: Art Deco
Originally built as an auto-repair garage, it was converted into the Varsity Theater, which opened on December 5, 1935. After closing, it was remodeled into a drug store. The building currently houses an excellent independent record store called Vintage Vinyl. It’s just blocks away from the lovely Tivoli Theater also listed here. Both are in the the Delmar loop area of St. Louis.
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I had a record store called Wuxtry just down the street (later bought by Vintage Vinyl). We closede at midnight on the weekends and it was always good to be able to go to a late show at the Varsity or maybe the Tivoli. The Varsity was the only theater in town with the silver screen necessary to project 3-D movies. Because of this, I finally got to see “The Bubble” in 3-D, which my parents wouldn’t let me see as a kid. They also had two 3-D “Three Stooges” films. The above-mentioned “Frankenstein” in 3-D at the Varsity was probably the greatest cinema experience of my life (until 3-D Imax).
The Varsity opened on Dec. 5, 1935 and was originally operated by the Ansell Brothers, who also operated the Ritz and Empress Theatres.
The architect was Bruce F. Barnes.
The facility was a conversion of a l-story automobile repair garage.
I thought the Varsity had been torn down in the 1980’s, and that on its site a new building, originally a drugstore—like PharMor or something—had been built. The way I remember it, that store went out of business and Vintage Vinyl is operating in that building, not the old theatre.
The above photo link does not go to a picture of Vintage Vinyl OR to the Varsity.
PharMor simply remodeled the old Varsity Theater; they didn’t replace the building—though they might as well have. I worked at Vintage Vinyl for a while and always wished that the drugstore had never intervened; the record store would have had a much cooler vibe if it had been converted directly from movie-theater use. PharMor totally gutted the place.
The only thing missing from that beautiful picture are side shots of the marquee (where the titles of the films showing that week were placed).
A picture of the Varsity including the marquee can be found at View link
Are there any pictures of the Varsity’s interior lurking around?
Nice 70’s marquee shot. I’d kill to see an “Andy Warhol’s FRANKENSTEIN 3D” marquee shot!
Remember seeing Rocky Horror Picture Show on its initial release, with four other people in the audience, then another score of times at the midnight shows c. 1977-1978