St. Clair Theater
1560 St. Clair Avenue,
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Cinema Ballroom & Latin Dancing (Official)
Previously operated by: Finkelstein & Ruben, Paramount Pictures Inc., Publix
Architects: George Blewet
Functions: Ballroom, Dance Studio
Styles: Streamline Moderne
The St. Clair Theater was opened in 1924 by the Finkelstein & Ruben chain. They were taken over by Publix in 1929 and it later became part of the Paramount Pictures Inc. It was converted into a ballroom and dance studio in 2005 after having served as a raquetball club from at least the early-1980’s and then later a fitness center.
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Recent comments (view all 5 comments)
The book ‘Show Houses-Twin Cities Style’ by Kirk J. Besse (published 1997) gives the St Clair Theatre at the address given above by lostmemory. It operated as a movie theatre from 1924-1977 and became tennis courts (presumably indoor ones).
The Film Daily Yearbook 1941 lists the seating capacity as 838 and in 1950 it is given as 830 seats.
The Ramsey County Historical society did a survey in 1982 on this building. George Blewet is listed as the architect and cost $30,000 to construct. It was originally owned by the St. Clair Amusement Company managed by Lloyd E. Sinclair. In 1982 it was the St. Clair Raquetball Club. Now it is the St. Clair Fitness Center owned by Pro NFL football player Corbin Lacina. I have a photo of the building exterior from 1982 that I can upload once the photo upload feature is restored. I would be very interested in seeing photos of the building interior when it was a theater if anyone has any.
A little update on the St. Clair Theatre. The building had formerly been renovated into a fitness center, and now it’s being renovated into a Ballroom & Latin dance studio. We are keeping what’s left of the outside marquee and appropriately naming it, Cinema Ballroom. It should be opening in June 2005. Here’s a link to the website, http://www.cinemaballroom.com/, we should have some pictures up when renovating is finished.
We would love some old pictures of the theatre to put up in the lobby, so if you have any or know of a book that might have a picture, email me and let me know. Thanks.
Working link with photo galleries:
Some current-year pictures at:
Rather obvious status update (per above links):
Renovations ChaCha mentioned are complete, and the onetime St. Clair Theater reopened in summer 2005, to great success, as the Cinema Ballroom, a ballroom/latin dance studio.