From Commercial and Architecture St. Louis by George Washington Orear (1891). The Grand Opera House originally opened as the Varieties Theatre in 1852, which was rebuilt with a new facade in 1881. However, the building exploded as a result of a gas fire in 1884, and the Grand Opera House (depicted above) was built in its place at 514 Market Street. The Grand Opera House stood as an opera and vaudeville venue until the 1940s, when it was converted into a burlesque operation. It was well-known for its Moresque exterior and its 2300 seat venue. In 1963, the Grand Theater (as it was then known) was demolished as part of the urban renewal project associated with Busch Stadium.