Melba Theater building -3600 S. Grand

What's happening in our built environment.
Garcia Properties just closed on the long-vacant Melba Theater building. I believe they are envisioning makers' live/work spaces and apartments. It will be great to see this important building come back to life!

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Here are some cool old pics I found on CinemaTreasures.com:

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Ah you beat me to it! This is great news.

Any chance of rehabbing the theater space (if it is still there)?
ImageScreen Shot 2018-02-01 at 9.27.22 AM by Alex Price, on Flickr

Not sure how large the theater space was but I'm guessing it's gone. Maybe where "The Diplomat" apartments are now. Which, is a pretty cool modernist building in itself. Would be a really cool renovation to see as well.
Cinema treasures confirms that the theatre was torn down long ago.

http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/4313

I wonder if the Melba Theatre marquee still exists somewhere. According to that site, the marquee was originally moved to the Melba Theatre in DeSoto, however the page for the DeSoto theatre says that that marquee was since replaced with a smaller one.

http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/13527
This is really great news and from Jason Deem's write-up it looks like Garcia has this on the fast track...

Garcia Properties purchases Grandview Arcade building in Gravois Park
https://nextstl.com/2018/02/garcia-prop ... vois-park/

"Garcia is planning to break ground in the 4th quarter this year with an anticipated completion in summer 2019."

Along with the Habitat for Humanity project and a couple other developments its nice to see some attention down in that crucial area. speaking of which, anyone know if the Aldi's expansion plan is still in the works?
As much as I want the progress to extend south down grand into Dutchtown, OH what I'd give to have it first extend north of Gravois and replace the miniature fast food row that exists at the intersection of these two key streets.
Is this the building Lawrence Group tried to do a few years ago?
framer wrote:
Thu Feb 01, 2018 1:35 pm
Is this the building Lawrence Group tried to do a few years ago?
Yep
Very cool, excited too see it activated. Also, that lot across the street has go to go


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Of course the Melba isn't shown as it's around the corner but this pic of S. Grand and Gravois is killer.

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Hopefully that retail in the relatively recent rehab of the Farmer's Bank Building will fill up soon with decent offerings
It's amazing to see old pics of St. Louis and realize how degraded the built environment is in comparison. It seems like many other cities were able to retain much more of their old streetscapes, St. Louis went crazy during urban renewal in favor of the automobile. I mean the city was the same 61sqmi back then that it is today, why was there never a city wide plan?
It's amazing to see old pics of St. Louis and realize how degraded the built environment is in comparison. It seems like many other cities were able to retain much more of their old streetscapes, St. Louis went crazy during urban renewal in favor of the automobile. I mean the city was the same 61sqmi back then that it is today, why was there never a city wide plan?
^ come on, goat. you know St. Louis doesn't do city-wide plans. or plans. or acknowledge/implement practices that work elsewhere. or really anything proactive.

anyway, this building is the key to southward redevelopment of Grand. so this is amazing.
I'm so glad that this building will come back to life been way to long.
The Post-Dispatch coverage is worth a read...

Garcia Properties plans rehab of vacant historic building at Gravois and Grand
http://www.stltoday.com/business/column ... c8bd1.html

There’s not many of these buildings left," said Berto Garcia, a Garcia Properties owner, referring to the structure's terrazzo flooring, marble staircase and intricate ironwork.

Built in 1925, the building was meant to serve as a grand entrance to the Melba Theater, which was directly behind it. The theater was torn down in 1964 after a fire, and apartments now stand behind the Grandview Arcade....

Berto Garcia said his company is active in the Tower Grove area and he sees those neighborhoods' strength pushing into Gravois Park and Dutchtown.

“That Grand and Gravois corridor, it’s just a logical next step,” he said.
That'll be two southside theatres under redevelopment. (The other being the Shaw on Shaw. Was a grocery. Becoming an event space called Wild Carrot.) Now we need to do something with the Virginia Theatre. And maybe the Melvin. (And a whole host of theatres not on the south side.)
symphonicpoet wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:24 am
That'll be two southside theatres under redevelopment. (The other being the Shaw on Shaw. Was a grocery. Becoming an event space called Wild Carrot.) Now we need to do something with the Virginia Theatre. And maybe the Melvin. (And a whole host of theatres not on the south side.)
I thought there was another that had been announced sometime in the last few months. A smaller one. I was thinking it was also South City.
Are you thinking of the little one on Cherokee street?

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.593531, ... 312!8i6656
rheights wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 9:23 am
Are you thinking of the little one on Cherokee street?

https://www.google.com/maps/@38.593531, ... 312!8i6656
Looking at that picture, I don't think that's it. I was thinking this one was brick clad with a more traditional marquee (though I may have seen an old picture). I was thinking Dutchtown. Let me see if I can find it.
Oh! It was already mentioned, but the Melvin is what I was referring to. I was under the impression that had plans, but perhaps they haven't come to fruition.
^ I believe the Melvin is under renovation for a community center. I think they were getting underway then there was a car crash into the building that kind of was a mess and now getting started again. But as usual, I could be completely wrong!
I wonder if there are any pictures of the interior in the current state. The STLToday article in the interview with Garcia says that...
"There’s not many of these buildings left," said Berto Garcia, a Garcia Properties owner, referring to the structure's terrazzo flooring, marble staircase and intricate ironwork.
I wish there were photos of the interior in the past when it served the theater, post theater and now.
STLrainbow wrote:
Fri Feb 02, 2018 10:24 am
^ I believe the Melvin is under renovation for a community center. I think they were getting underway then there was a car crash into the building that kind of was a mess and now getting started again. But as usual, I could be completely wrong!
You are quite right. I was thinking that had been the Yale a couple of blocks away that got hit, but it appears the Yale is presently vacant. I drove by this evening. There was no obvious evidence of the car crash, but I wasn't looking for it. There were volunteer sign in sheets on the doors. And it was covered up in a way that made me think renovations might be ongoing. Just couldn't find any records on site. No permits on display or anything like that. Anyway . . . good luck to them. It's a smaller project, so a well organized volunteer effort could go a long way there. My mistake.
never heard of the Yale till you just mentioned but damn...

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Looks like this was a church most recently and the owners are in California. :evil:

(btw folks that's at Minnesota and Winnebago.)
There's actually quite a lot of empty theatres in town. The single most impressive is almost certainly the Orpheum, but the Majestic in East St. Louis gives it a pretty close run for its money. (And needs far far far more help.) But everywhere you turn there are old theatres. There are at least ten surviving to some degree or other up on the north side. There's another dozen and change on the southside and several downtown. Most are small. Most are unremarkable. Most are empty. Many have probably been gutted. And that's just what's on Cinema Treasures. They don't list places that never served as movie theatres. And there are quite likely at least a few cinemas that have fallen through the cracks. There's a hall at Bates and Grand that's serving as a church right now, but if it wasn't a neighborhood theatre in the day I'll eat my hat. . . . for probably the tenth time. Maybe that's why I keep losing hats. (Ought to go by and ask, I suppose. Or do a little public records search beyond the property records database.)

Also, I suppose this could be another map project. There are several good sources out there, but none seem quite comprehensive.

Anyway, excited to see the Melba move forward. Things have been moving in a better direction since the loss of the Ambassador so many years ago now.