The Post-Dispatch’s Deb Peterson is reporting local theatre owner Harmon Moseley will open a theatre in part of the Jefferson Arms. For those that have lived here a while you’ll recall the various attempts to have a theatre downtown — behind the train shed turned parking lot at Union Station.
The lame idea that people would drive to Union Station to see a film was absurd. Of course they hoped people would take in dinner while they were there. Well, they thought wrong. Destination places tend to do well as long as they are the new & hot destination.
A theatre will do great at Jefferson Arms. Not so much because of the building (although it is interesting) but because of the location on Tucker at Locust. With the many downtown residents and the many more of us that like to visit friends downtown I can see it staying busy.
Moseley says he wants to “raise the bar” in St. Louis by including a full bar. Great idea as some recent movies require a good stiff drink to deal with the poor script and lackluster performances. They cannot all be Brokeback Mountain.
Now for a mini-rant…
In the last five years we’ve witnessed a virtually empty downtown transform into an interesting downtown. We are a long way from being 24/7 but each new enterprise helps. A neighborhood needs all those places necessary for daily life. A theatre isn’t exactly a necessity but I can’t imagine doing without the option.
Downtown leaders need to be marketing the businesses that have opened. They are doing a poor job.
For example, take the Explore St. Louis site from the Regional Commerce & Growth Association (RCGA). They list the following neighborhoods in St. Louis: Laclede’s Landing, The Ville, Lafayette Square, Soulard, South Grand, The Hill. Uh, hello, Downtown!!! You know, the place where your offices are and where we have this white elephant convention center and near bankrupt convention hotel.
The Loop does well because of the efforts of Joe Edwards and other merchants. They have no bureaucratic entity like the Downtown Partnership or Downtown Now to deal with. They get organize, decide what they are going to do and then do it. We kinda have that downtown already with the developers bringing in new business owners. Do we need the Partnership?
Maybe some of our independent filmmakers in town can put together a documentary on the politics behind the razing of the Century Building. Wouldn’t that make an interesting opening film in the Jefferson Arms?