Castle Theatre closes in Bloomington, Illinois
BLOOMINGTON, IL — On 1/3/07, the Castle Theater owner Ben Slotky confirmed that his venue had closed, though a church will continue to offer Sunday services there. He refused to say if the theater, located at 209 E. Washington St., would be put up for sale or…if he planned to reopen it in the future, or if he would continue with previously announced plans for a downtown restaurant called “Your Mother’s,” although plans for the restaurant had been put on temporary hold for financial reasons.
Bank lenders claimed they had not foreclosed on the Castle nor taken over ownership. Slotky reportedly will continue his development of the Castle’s upper floors into condominiums. Slotky co-owns that space with downtown developer Fred Wollrab. Wollrab, who owns many downtown buildings, predicted this week that someone would purchase and operate the Castle if Slotky sells or if the bank forecloses, because the theater is in such good shape.
The downtown Castle had closed in 1988 but reopened in 2003 after a $1.5 million renovation. The City of Bloomington gave the Castle at least $315,000 in grants to help Slotky with renovations.
This is very sad. I much preferred the Castle over the other nearby theaters. The couches were GREAT! The food was good and prices were more than reasonable. I especially enjoyed watching Bears Games here during the football season. I hope someone purchases the Castle soon and reopens it. It seems to be in GREAT shape. Honestly aside from an upgrade in sound I think it is in better shape than most of the other theaters in town.