World’s Dream in St. Louis

The World’s Dream Theatre in Moving Picture World, June 13, 1925:
“Its 140 folding-chairs and standing room for 200 made it a ‘picture palace’ of its day.”


“The World’s Dream was the first exclusive motion picture theatre in St. Louis. John Karzin, shown in insert, opened it at 1413 Market street on October 17, 1906. Karzin is shown standing in the entrance to his theatre. He is the second figure from the left.

Next to him is ‘Doc’ Miller, his one-time partner. On the extreme left is one Schaefer person, advertising manager by virtue of being ‘Spieler-in-chief.’ On the extreme right is one’Doc’ person–last name forgotten–assistant advertising manager, since he was Schaefer’s assistant in the gentle art of the barker.”


Since 1997, legendary theatre historian,  Cezar Del Valle has presented a popular series theatre talks and walks. Currently accepting bookings for 2017:  historical societies, libraries , senior centers, etc.

Del Valle has also joined with Local Expeditions to present a series of walking tours.

He is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, a three-volume history of borough theatres. The first two chosen 2010 OUTSTANDING BOOK OF THE YEAR by the Theatre Historical Society. Final volume published in September 2014.

Currently editing and updating the third edition of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, Volume I.





St. Louis to the Fore

Excerpts from Moving Picture World, February 26, 1910:

“We have more than once recommended moving picture exhibitors to extend their advertising. That is to say, we think the moving picture theater when properly conducted appeals to as large, important and intellectual a section of the community as the ordinary theater, so we want to see the moving picture theater adopt as far as possible the same methods of attracting patronage as the ordinary theater.”

“The St. Louis exhibitors are apparently of our way of thinking.  This week we reproduce a recent front page of our contemporary, the St. Louis Republic.”

st louis


Cezar Del Valle is available for theatre walks and talks in 2013.

He is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index, chosen 2010 Best Book of the year by the Theatre Historical Society.

Bijou Dream, 608 Washington Avenue, St. Louis, Missouri

Bijou Dream, Idle Hour, Unique were common names for early movie houses.

Nickelodeon, April 1909:

bijou_pe (Medium)

“The illustration presented here shows the Bijou Dream, 608 Washington avenue, St. Louis Missouri.  Max Marcus, the manager, has developed a patronage that, for high class, is equal to any in the  country.

The seating capacity is 700. In addition to the regular moving pictures a new model cameraphone has recently been added.”

Cezar Del Valle is available for theatre talks and walks in 2013.

He is the author of the Brooklyn Theatre Index,chosen 2010 Best Book of the Year by the Theatre Historical Society.