Beverly Theater

2515 N. Knoxville Avenue,
Peoria, IL 61604

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Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 5, 2015 at 4:20 pm

A brief item in the April 21, 1971, issue of Bloomington, Illinois' daily paper The Pantagraph noted the death of architect J. Fletcher Lankton and said that he had “….designed Peoria’s Varsity and Beverly theaters as well as numerous other theaters in the Midwest.” So far I’ve been able to identify only one of those numerous other theaters, that being the Esquire in Springfield, Illinois. Kerasotes was a partner in the Esquire, along with Frisina Theatres. As George Kerasotes hired Lankton for two of his own projects, it seems very likely that some of those other theaters he designed were also Kerasotes houses.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on February 4, 2015 at 5:32 pm

Here is an undated interior photo of the Beverly Theatre’s auditorium, from the Peoria Historical Society.

Like Kerasotes' Varsity Theatre of 1939, the Beverly was designed by Peoria architect J. Fletcher Lankton. This web page has a history of Kerasotes Theatres.

KelliL
KelliL on March 31, 2013 at 1:05 pm

I was thinking this was on University down by McClure, but maybe I’m wrong. Last movie I saw there was Silence of the Lambs. I remember being a child and my mom taking me to see Disney movies there (Bambi, Freaky Friday, and Snow White come to mind).

JudithK
JudithK on July 15, 2012 at 6:05 pm

Whoops: says at the top of the page that a Walgreens is on the site. That’s it.

JudithK
JudithK on July 4, 2012 at 3:57 pm

I was in Peoria not too long ago after a very long absence. It was good to be back! I believe the theatre is still there, but is used for some other purpose (?). Those who live in Peoria, please advise.

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on May 19, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Nice Theatre. i dated a Beverly.

TLSLOEWS
TLSLOEWS on May 19, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Very nice vintage and more modern photos.

JudithK
JudithK on May 15, 2010 at 8:00 pm

The Beverly Theater I believe was close to my grandparents' home in Peoria, IL. During my time there (1953-1975 when my grandparents passed away) it showed “road show” films, notably two which I saw during those years, “Around the World in 80 Days” and “The Sound of Music.” The town where I lived did not show first-run motion pictures, so this was really appreciated. I wish I remembered the theater’s interior, but I do not other than the lack of a balcony.

JeffCarlson
JeffCarlson on January 21, 2010 at 8:26 pm

Here are a couple different vintage shot:

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Dave1
Dave1 on December 22, 2008 at 4:51 pm

I worked at the Bevery from 1989 – 1991. It had a searing capacity of 725. It did not have a balcony. The building also housed the chain’s District Office for a time. The projector was capable of showing standard 35mm films as well as 70mm films.

JeffCarlson
JeffCarlson on January 5, 2007 at 9:08 pm

After this theater closed, there was some small effort to turn it into a comedy museum highlighting such Peoria-area artists like Fibber Magee & Molly, Richard Pryor and Sam Kinison. It never got past the planning stage.