Spencer Theatre

1903 Second Avenue,
Rock Island, IL 61201

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Family Theatre(Spencer)..Rock Island IL

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The Family Theatre opened in 1907 as a vaudeville theatre, it stood on Second Avenue between 19th Street and 20th Street. It was soon renamed Spencer Square Theatre. It was remodeled in 1916 and renamed Spencer Theatre. It was equipped with a theatre pipe organ, and went over to full time movie theatre use. In 1945, according to the Film Daily Yearbook, it could seat 1,000 and was operated by a subsidiary of Paramount Pictures Inc. The Spencer Theatre was closed in the 1950’s and was demolished to be replaced by a parking lot.

The theater was named for Spencer Square, the park that once stood across from the theatre. It too was also cleared away in the 1950’s, and Rock Island’s new post office and courthouse were constructed on the site.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 2 comments)

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on September 9, 2011 at 5:51 pm

The July 8, 1908, issue of The Moving Picture World said that the Family Theater in Rock Island would “…open for a summer run of moving pictures and illustrated songs.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on August 1, 2012 at 9:12 pm

The papers of Rock Island architect George P. Stauduhar include plans for the Spencer Square Theatre, dated 1915-16. The only other theater project in the papers is a house called Shield’s Movie Theatre, also in Rock Island, dated 1917. I’ve been unable to find any other references to it on the Internet.

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