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Casa Loma Ballroom celebrates 90 years
There's a bit of a hidden treasure in South St. Louis. A grand ballroom that is place where the best big bands stopped to play and thousands of people danced. A landmark that is celebrating 90 years.
Heidi Glaus, KSDK 11:54 AM. CDT March 16, 2017
At the corner of Iowa and Cherokee, behind the street signs is the real mark of what makes St. Louis magnificent.
"It started out as the Cinderella Ballroom," explains Pat Brannon.
It's a ballroom that was built in 1927, changed hands a few times and in 1935 became the Casa Loma Ballroom, a name that stuck and where time sort of stands still.
An old panel gets the mirror ball and the memories spinning.
"Jerry Lee Lewis performed?" I ask.
"Sure did," Pat says.
"Sinatra, Louie Armstrong, Glenn Miller, Guy Lombardo, all the greats, Pat Boone, Doc Severinsen, it goes on and on and on."
Pat bought the place in 1990. It is 18,000 square feet, 5,000 of which is a rather unique dance floor.
"It's a floating dance floor. The way they used to build them back then they took a honey maple and it was tongue and groove and they put together and it's resting on an inch of rubber and it cushions your knees when you dance."
It's not original, a fire destroyed most of the ballroom back in 1940, but it reopened later that same year.
"But when they redid it, it's got that 1940's art deco look," he explains.
Regardless people showed up and still do.
"The regulars and the ones who are here for the first time that say their grandparents met here or their great grandparents met here."
So the Casa Loma Ballroom might show it's age in spots, but that just adds character to a place that is a neighborhood landmark.
Tonight you can see Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. The doors open at 7p.m. Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers will take the stage at 7:30. Tickets are $30 at the door or $25 if you buy them online at casalomaballroom.com.
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