Of all the derelict buildings in East St. Louis, the old Majestic Theatre building is the one that tugs at my heartstrings the most, and it’s not just because it has trees growing out of it (although there are plenty of those).
It was built in 1928 by the Boller Brothers architecture firm, as part of the St. Louis Samuel Komm Theatre chain. When you look at the details on the building, you can see how beautiful it was (still is, really), and how much care went into the design and building of it.
These tiles blow my mind. Not only the sheer number of them, and the different designs, but the color. I can’t imagine that the person who designed it ever would have dreamt that it would fall into such disrepair.
The theatre closed already in 1960, and even though it was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, I can’t believe there’s too much hope for saving it…it’s just too badly damaged and overgrown. Like so many buildings in East St. Louis, every time I see this one when we drive by on the interstate, I’m filled with sorrow at the lost beauty and potential.