“Women ‘Movie’ Owners of St. Louis”
WFPP contributor Gregory Waller stumbled upon this article and thought it might be of interest to WFPP readers who may want to research some of these women further.
Reporting on the “feminine invasion” of the field of motion picture exhibition, this article surveys how a handful of local women manage their respective movie theaters, from getting to know the clientele personally by spending time at the box office window to visiting the operating booth every night. Unsurprisingly, their gender is emphasized here as part of their ability to create a “homey” atmosphere and run their organizations efficiently.
- Miss Tillie Schwartz, proprietor & manager of the Famous (615 Franklin Ave)
- Miss Isabel Spear, manager of the Eureka Theater (Twentieth St & Obear Ave)
- Mrs. L.B. Stoddard, owner & manager of the Monroe Theater (2816 Chippewa St)
- Mrs. Bernada Klinger, manager of the McKinley Theater (Jefferson Ave & Accomac St)
- Mrs. Mollie Matthews, manager of the Plymouth Theater (Hamilton & Plymouth Ave)
- Mrs. Nellie Snawder, owner of the Criterion (2644 Franklin Ave)
Also mentioned (women who work with their husbands)
- Mrs. John W. Cornelius, manager of three Lyric Theaters (one downtown & two in the West End)
- Mrs. D. T. Williams, manager of the Ashland Theater
- Mrs. Roettgers, manager of the Fairy Theater
- Mrs. Charles Warner, manager of the Queen Airdome
Recommended further reading:
“Exhibiting Women: Gender, Showmanship, and the Professionalization of Film Exhibition in the United States, 1900–1930” by Kathryn Fuller-Seeley and Karen Ward Mahar
Saccone, Kate. "“Women ‘Movie’ Owners of St. Louis”." In Jane Gaines, Radha Vatsal, and Monica Dall’Asta, eds. Women Film Pioneers Project. New York, NY: Columbia University Libraries, 2021.