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“Women ‘Movie’ Owners of St. Louis”

by Kate Saccone

“Women ‘Movie’ Owners of St. Louis.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch (15 August 1915): 5. Access the article as a pdf.

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.

Women featured:

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

Decoration, Discrimination and ‘the Mysteries of Cinema’: Women and Film Exhibition in Sweden from the Introduction of Film to the Mid-1920s” by Ingrid Stigsdotter


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.