Theatre Gems: Great News From Classic Cinemas!

posted by ThrHistoricalSociety on November 9, 2015 at 11:47 am


Classic Cinemas’s Woodstock Theatre received a plaque from the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior for the work on the historic theater, which opened in 1927, Willis Johnson said.

“It was a frosting on the cake” receiving the plaque, Willis Johnson said. “You put all this effort into it and then you get recognized, and I think that that was really a thrill for us.”

Before renovations started about three years ago, Woodstock Theatre owners Willis and Shirley Johnson did not know a dome was hidden underneath a drop ceiling.

But once they discovered it, renovation plans changed so the dome would be visible, Willis Johnson said, and what was previously two theaters would be restored into one main auditorium.

Willis Johnson said he and his wife decided to restore the dome and parts of the original ceiling because the theater, originally the Miller Theater, was an important part of Woodstock.

“I think back in 1927 there we didn’t have all the entertainment options that we have today, so an important part of a family’s social life was going to the movies,” Willis Johnson said. ” … It was just an important part. First date, first job, first kiss.”

Enjoy the NW Herald’s article here:

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ABOUT THEATRE HISTORICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA: Founded by Ben Hall in 1969, the Theatre Historical Society of America (THS) celebrates, documents and promotes the architectural, cultural and social relevance of America’s historic theatres. Through its preservation of the collections in the American Theatre Architecture Archive, its signature publication Marquee™ and Conclave Theatre Tour, THS increases awareness, appreciation and scholarly study of America’s theatres.

Learn more about historic theatres on our website at




Comments (4)

pnelson on November 9, 2015 at 5:40 pm

Such a handsome theatre. Ceiling in auditorium is great and wall design.

Trolleyguy on November 10, 2015 at 7:00 am

Nowhere in the above article is it mentioned that this theatre is located in Woodstock, Illinois. One has to actually read the newspaper article to determine the location.

ChasSmith on November 10, 2015 at 12:16 pm

I was about to comment on that as well. It’s a big country. I wish theater locations would be identified right at the top of any article.

rsalters (Ron Salters)
rsalters (Ron Salters) on November 22, 2015 at 10:20 am

Most of the news stories posted here now are from the THSA on-line newsletter and they seem to assume that all the readers know where these theaters are located, so no city/state/province/country heading is provided, unfortunately. And I get the impression that they never read any comments that we post here.

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