St. Charles Theatre
 The St. Charles Theatre was one of the most luxurious theaters in the country when
it was constructed in the early 1830's.  It cost more than $320,000 and had a seating
capacity of over 4,000.  The theater was located on St. Charles Avenue, between
Poydras and Gravier Streets.  It burned down in 1842 and was rebuilt about a year
later, on the same extravagant scale.
The second St. Charles Theatre had a longer run, but, eventually, suffered the same
fate as the first and burned to the ground in 1899.  In 1902, a third theater was built
on the spot - respectable, but less grand - and, this time, it was called the Orpheum
and was famous for its vaudeville acts.
When a new Orpheum Theater was constructed in 1924, just a few blocks from the
first, the old Orpheum was sold to the Saenger Theater group.  They re-named it,
giving it the name of the first two theaters on that site, the St. Charles, and made it a
combination movie house and live stage theater.  The theater was home to one of
the last hold-outs of stock theatrical companies in the city.  But, in 1932, it was
remodeled and turned into a movies-only theater.
For over 120 years, a theater stood at this location, running the gamut, from
repertory companies to variety shows to movies.  For a brief time, in the late 1940's,
it was even home to a burlesque company and called Casino de Paree.
 When it was sold in 1965, it had been empty for several years.  The building was torn
down to make room for a parking lot - an ignominious ending for the site of what was
once one of the most important theaters in American history.
Theatres of New Orleans:  Upper left, Academy of Music, upper right, St. Charles Theatre,
lower left, National Theatre, lower center, French Opera House, lower right, Varieties Theatre.
Above and below, the St. Charles Theatre during
its second incarnation, between 1843 - 1899.
Above and below, the theater when it was
called the Orpheum, probably in the 1910's.
The theater as the Casino de Paree, 1940's.
Notice the Liberty Theater next door.
The old St. Charles Theatre shorty before demolition.