Charles Skouras

Charles P. Skouras (born 1889 – 1954) in Skourohorion, Greece, was an American movie executive and president of Fox Coast West. He and his two brothers, George Skouras and Spyros Skouras came from Greece as poor sons of a sheep herder who rose to become top movie executives.


The Skouras brothers arrived in St. Louis in 1910 from Greece. Living frugally on wages as busboys and bartenders in downtown hotels, they pooled their savings of $3500 in 1914 and in partnership with two other Greeks, they constructed a modest nickelodeon at 1420 Market Street on the site of today's Kiel Opera House. This initial property was named the Olympia, was quickly followed by the acquisition of other theaters. They incorporated with $400,000 capital stock with more than thirty local theaters belonged to the Skouras empire by 1924.

Skouras Brothers Co. of St. Louis dream of building a world-class movie palace in downtown St. Louis was grandly realized in 1926 when the $5.5 million Ambassador Theatre Building opened. The theatre opened in 1939 as the New Fox Theatre. Five years later, the triumvirate sold out to Warner Brothers and moved east to claim top executive places in the industry.

Charles become president of Fox Coast West. In the later 1950s suit, Goldwyn claimed that Twentieth Century-Fox, Fox West Coast Theatres, National Theatres, Charles P. Skouras, and several affiliated circuits including [T. & D. Junior Enterprises had intentionally discriminated against independently-produced films, and he sought compensation for years of perceived oppression. Charles passed away before the trial took place.

When Charles and his brothers were still trying to get ahead in Hollywood, he made a vow to God that he would build a majestic cathedral if God would grant him success in show biz. Charlie Skouras got his wish. He went on to become the head of National Pictures and a man of his word, built the Saint Sophia church in 1952, in what was then the Greek section of town.

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