Showing 3 comments
Marvel (Hoffman) and Arvene Black took over the theaters in 1946 following the death of Marvel’s mother, Clara S Hoffman. Clara Hoffman owned and operated the theaters since sometime in the 30s. I don’t know the exact date.
Small correction to Lon Peterson’s post from 2007. The Grand Theater business was sold to Earl and Mabel Kerr in the late 40’s. There were several managers over the year. George Hart is the only name I can recall. Carl Schwanabeck first came as a new manager, and later bought into the business. He did buy the remaining share from Mabel Kerr. That 1960 date might be right on that part; I don’t know for sure. The rest of the history I have provided is correct.
More history: Before Kerr and Schwanabeck, the Grand Theater was owned and operated by Marvel and Arvene Black (my parents). They inherited the theater from Clara S. Hoffman (my grandmother). Clara Hoffman was well known in the theater industry, having owned several theaters in Iowa and Monmouth IL. The Blacks continued to own the building for a number of years after they had sold the theater business itself.