Will Rogers Theater in Charleston closed by AMC

posted by CSWalczak on December 6, 2010 at 4:45 pm

CHARLESTON, IL — Another in a recent series of theaters closed by AMC has occurred in this eastern Illinois town. The Will Rogers, which opened in 1938 and which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, closed quietly on November 28.

The theater just off the courthouse square in Charleston was popular with locals and Eastern Illinois University students through the past seven decades. But like many smaller theaters, it was losing financial ground to multi-screen movieplexes, DVD rentals and Internet downloads.

“I really liked the small-theater atmosphere,” said Cuddy, who expects to transfer his work to another AMC facility. “I’ve been here for three years. It was my first job.”

There is more in the Journal Gazette.

Theaters in this post

Comments (7)

soybean
soybean on December 6, 2010 at 7:06 pm

There seems to be a pattern that at least three Theaters that AMC has closed are older theaters & are located downtown. When the coporate office is located at Kansas City,it makes it easier to close the theaters & not care how it will effect the communitys that lose their only movie theater. Or the employees who worked at the now closed theaters.

I attended the Will Rogers Theater several times before it became a twin screen. The theater had charm & character that you don’t find in the new theaters built today. Hopefully an owner who truly cares will buy the Will Rogers & show movies again.

lfreimauer
lfreimauer on December 6, 2010 at 9:09 pm

The small local theaters are becoming a thing of the past…very sad.

Eventually there will be no more left.

soybean
soybean on December 6, 2010 at 9:56 pm

It will be interesting how long the AMC Paris Theater( twin screen) @ Paris, Illinois stays opens. Which is located in downtown. Before it is quietly closed by AMC like the other theaters that AMC closed. For the same reason.

movietheatres
movietheatres on December 7, 2010 at 10:33 pm

Does anyone know if this was an owned property by and via Kerasotes or just leased?

soybean
soybean on December 7, 2010 at 11:28 pm

Scott,
I turn 60 last month. There has been only one theater, Will Rogers @ Charleston since I have been alive. Best of my memory, I think Kerasotes bought the Will Rogers after it had been closed( last movie shown before being closed, I think was “ The Last Picture Show” , then sold it to AMC. I perfer the Will Rogers over the Mega Theaters at Mattoon. Will Rogers has that special charm that Mega Theaters don’t have. Mattoon use to have two great theaters ( Mattoon & Time) in downtown Mattoon.

soybean
soybean on December 8, 2010 at 2:33 am

Scott,
The Mattoon Theater was across the street from the Time Theater. It & the Time theater as well as the Will Rogers were part of the Frisna (I’m not sure that is the correct spelling)chain before all three of them were bought by Kerasotes. The Mattoon Theater name was change to Cinema 3 when Kerasotes added two more screens. Last time I drove by, where Mattoon Theater was, was a vacant lot in downtown Mattoon. Time Theater was a night club for a while. Last I knew it was still standing with the clock marquee, though vacant. I saw many movies at the Time & the Mattoon when going to college at Lakeland.

soybean
soybean on December 8, 2010 at 5:28 am

Scott,
The Mattoon Theater was much bigger than the Time Theater, even before the additional screens were added. Both theaters along with the Will Rogers had charm that made them all very special. I had a friend who went to sleep watching “ Blazing Saddles ” at the Time Theater. When the movie was over, I & a few friends left him sleeping. He was waken up by an usher. He looked around & couldn’t find us untill he got out into the lobby. He was ready to kill all of us for getting up & walking out without him. Though we all thought it was funny.

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