RAC-Supported Cinema St. Louis Announces Plans to Purchase the Hi-Pointe Theatre

December 15, 2022

Cinema St. Louis is thrilled to announce plans to acquire the Hi-Pointe Theatre as their new base of operations and programming beginning in January 2023. Opening in 1922, the Hi-Pointe Theatre has been a cherished landmark for multiple generations of film lovers, and Cinema St. Louis plans to continue that tradition for years to come.

“For nearly 30 years, Cinema St. Louis has engaged the St. Louis region through educational programs, cultural connectivity and curated film exhibitions,” said Vanessa Cooksey, Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis president and CEO. “This is a major step not only for the organization, but for the arts and culture sector as a whole in St. Louis.”

Hi-Pointe Theatre is the oldest locally owned and continuously-operating arthouse theater in St. Louis. In 1977, the James family acquired the theater, and under their stewardship, the theater has become an iconic St. Louis landmark. The James family shared: “After 45 years of owning the beloved Hi-Pointe Theatre, we have decided that it is time to end our run. We have been blessed to share this theater with three generations of our family and have had the privilege of helping it reach the magical age of 100 years. We know that Cinema St. Louis is the perfect sequel to our story. They share the same passion and vision, and we are confident that they will be able to carry on our family’s legacy for the next 100 years.”

By purchasing Hi-Pointe Theatre, Cinema St. Louis will foster in a generational-changing shift in filmmaking and film education in the region. The new era will allow Cinema St. Louis to expand its capabilities to:

  • Use film festivals and special events to establish the Hi-Pointe as a unique regional destination to draw visitors to St. Louis.
  • Increase access to film and filmmaking for underrepresented audiences.
  • Facilitate empathy, cultural connection, and community interaction through the experience of film.
  • Showcase local talent and bring global well-recognized films to St. Louis.
  • Expand free educational and enrichment opportunities to K-12 students through filmmaking camps and screenings throughout the year.
  • Support the local economy by inspiring national and global filmmakers to attend offerings throughout the year.

The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis is a proud supporter of Cinema St. Louis through its General Operating Support Grant Program.