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The Ambassador from the street during demolition.

Ambassador Building
Designed by C.W. and George Rapp of Chicago, the Ambassador was owned and operated by the Skouras Brothers, film industry giants who got their start in St. Louis.

No expense was spared for the Ambassador: at over $3.5 million for just the theater, the it was reputed to have the highest cost per seat of any theater in the world. Air conditioning, an elevating orchestra pit, and "the largest major-type switchboard ever constructed" were among the building's up-to-the-minute mechanical systems. Elaborate plasterwork filled the interior. (this information from the Landmarks Association report on the building, quoted in an article from the Riverfront Times.)

In May 1996, demolition opened views from the sidewalk of the theater that occupied the building's first six stories. Decorated in the Spanish Renaissance or Carnival style, it was rich with amazing, lavish decor and trim which turned heads and made passersby stop and pause, even as it was being destroyed.

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