Shady Oak Cine

7630 Forsyth Boulevard,
Clayton, MO 63105

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gxceb0t on January 15, 2023 at 7:46 am

We saw Forrest Gump here on opening night- It was the only theater in the St Louis region to have the film. It opened wider at a later date.

JAlex on June 15, 2017 at 10:22 am

Opening ad copy: “Opening Tonight, May 3rd, with Eddie Cantor in ‘The Kid From Spain.’ Owned and Operated by Edward Bischoff, James Wilson, Wallace Kieselhorst.”

jmiller on January 15, 2013 at 2:02 am

They should probably have called the Shady Oak the Melancholy since it seems to hold both happy and sad memories for quite a few of us, it seems.

I remember going here with one of my life’s two unrequited loves for “Children of a Lesser God” in 1986. I was also there for a movie with one of my former girlfriends in the early 1990’s.

This was a pretty straight-forward cinema, but low on frills. No sophisticated projection or sound. So, what you got was pretty basic. The design of the place was what you most remembered.

Other films I remember here were “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” and “Face/Off.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on June 13, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Here are updated links for the Boxoffice Magazine items mentioned in my earlier comment:

Photo of the Shady Oak Theatre on the cover of Boxoffice, September 24, 1955.

The article abouttheater manager Howard Albertson begins on this page of the same issue.

Chris Utley
Chris Utley on February 3, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Continuing the line of bittersweet experiences at this theatre, on my last visit to this theatre in Christmas 1984 my father and I saw “Beverly Hills Cop” on a Saturday night. It was the last movie I saw with my dad. He was killed in September 1985.

I seem to recall posting this info on this page before but I guess it got deleted (hopefully unintentionally).

Dramatrauma on April 9, 2010 at 3:06 pm

The Howard Albertson article should be cut and pasted into the “Commentary” section as he had some good things to say about running a movie house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 25, 2009 at 12:41 am

The Shady Oak Theatre was a Fanchon & Marco operation when it got a new manager named Howard Albertson in 1952. Three years later, Boxoffice Magazine ran a two-page spread about the Shady Oak and the unusual policies Albertson had established at the house. A photo of the theater was featured on the cover of that issue of Boxoffice as well.

KingBiscuits on October 14, 2009 at 5:03 pm

Does anyone know the story about the ghost that supposedly haunted this theatre?

engersal on October 14, 2009 at 4:11 pm

… So it is just amazing how the internet works to connect us with lost memories and tie up loose ends. Today, one of the saddest days of my life, I think of an old movie line (Marie to Jess: “I want you to know that I will never want that wagon wheel coffee table”), then remember that I first saw that movie 20 years ago with the very woman I quoted it to today, then remembered that we saw it on a study break date at the Shady Oak, then found out through this search that the Shady Oak — like my marriage — now exists only in memory. I guess it proves what the wise man said: “It all rolls into one and nothing comes for free there’s nothing you can hold for very long.”

engersal on October 14, 2009 at 4:01 pm

I used to love the Shady Oak in the days when I was a grad student at Wash U from 1988-91. My girlfriend, who later became my wife, and I saw saw a lot of great movies there during study breaks. I have not thought about it in years. Today, during a divorce mediation session with that same woman, I pulled out a line from a movie we have often quoted to each other over the years — When Harry Met Salley — to lighten the sadness of the end of a twenty year relationship with the woman I love… .

DavidZornig on May 25, 2009 at 10:04 am

This is a little late, but I wanted to commend Wintermute on her apparent valiant efforts to buy her hometown theatre, and keep it operating as such. It’s a shame her efforts met with such resistance by her business partners.

rkolodny on December 3, 2008 at 10:44 am

“Oldtheatermanager” – You are nearly right on the story. How do I know, I was one of the five owners. I was the only person who tried to buy everyone out so I could keep the theater running. (It did not matter that Wehrenberg filed for bankruptcy, they rented from us.) Some could not agree on what to do. Others were just greedy. And not one of the four wanted me to buy the building even though it was going to be sold. My husband and I hoped to buy her, move to St. Louis (my home town), give the girl a face lift and keep her going. I tried as hard as I could but 4 people out voted me and I have been sick about it to this very day.

JAlex on November 2, 2008 at 7:13 am

In the paper today: the Shady Oak is being demolished for, you guessed it, a parking lot.

The story can be gotten at: View link

Oldtheatremanager on August 29, 2008 at 5:00 pm

As one of the managers that closed the Shady Oak I was told by the person at the bank that managed the trust, that there are five owners of the building. They all inherited it and they all have to agree on what to do with the property. But that is one of the biggest problems since all of them cannot agree. Some of them would like to sell and some of them want to keep it mostly for the tax write off. Besides the sports bar that was planning on moving in there were a couple of other people that I personally walked through the building with one was a church group that was thinking of converting it to a church and one of the others was Clayton High School was thinking of converting it to a theatre to do plays. But of course neither of them did. Mostly due to the cost of repairs and upgrades.

TravisCape on July 4, 2008 at 5:12 pm

The sports bar never opened. The Shady Oak will likely stay vacant for a long time. I was told the rent was very high for a single screen. The central corridor is very much over-screened. The Galleria 6 and the Esquire 7 was a couple miles away. Also, the Tivoli and the Hi-Pointe are close. These wonderful places are neighborhood theatres, unfortunately we don’t operate or support businesses that way anymore. Please think of your small businesses when you feel the urge to go to Wal-Mart or the mall.

JAlex on July 4, 2008 at 3:06 pm

Architect: Lorenz & Scott.

kencmcintyre on March 3, 2007 at 9:17 am

This article is dated 3/18/04:

Mar. 18—A developer’s plan to convert the closed Shady Oak movie theater in Clayton into a sports bar and theater moved one step forward on Monday. The Clayton Plan Commission recommended that the Board of Aldermen grant Ned Amos permission for the project. If everything goes smoothly, the facility will open in July, he said. It is at 7630 Forsyth Boulevard just east of Hanley Road.

BlueDevilMN on September 3, 2006 at 9:41 am

This is likely the most unusual theatre I’ve ever personally been to. I saw only two movies there: “The Lord of the Rings” (on a 5th grade field trip!) and “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me” (what a combo!), but I can remember the place as if it were yesterday.