Historic Paxton Majestic Theatre Destroyed in Fire
PAXTON, IL — A fire Tuesday morning completely destroyed the historic Paxton Majestic Theatre building, which included the theater space and apartments on the upper floor. Firefighters from six area departments fought the blaze, and were able to save nearby buildings from destruction. No one was injured in the fire. By later Tuesday afternoon, firefighters were still on the scene, as the remains of the theater continued to smoke. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to the state fire marshal’s office.
The Paxton Majestic, also known as the New Paxton, Paxtonian and Majestic Theatre, originally opened in 1913, in a building dating to the 19th century. It was last used in 2005 for live theatrical stage productions.
Paxtonians are shocked and mourning the loss of a Paxton landmark. Says Rhonda Blackford, who works across the street from the theater building at a florist, “It was just so sad to see something so historical go up so fast”.
For more information (and a photo of the burning theater), see this story in the News-Gazette.