Capitol Theatre

1001 Public Square,
Benton, IL 62812

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Capitol Theatre

Viewing: Photo | Street View

The Capitol Theatre was located on Public Square, off Main Street, in Benton. In the 1951 Film Daily Yearbook, it is listed as open with seating for 1160 and operated as part of the Fox Midwest Amusement Corporation. A park is located today where the Capitol Theatre formerly stood.

Contributed by Bryan

Recent comments (view all 5 comments)

kencmcintyre on August 23, 2008 at 9:32 pm

This 11/30/05 article discusses the purchase of the Capitol’s former location by the city:

SATB59 on September 18, 2008 at 9:34 pm

I am the director/founder of the Pyramid Players Theatre Troup that did indeed perform in the Historic Capitol Theatre during the summer of 1978. It was a church before we gained access to it. I attended movies there as a child (Disney classics, etc.) It was truly a gem of a theatre and I miss her everytime I go up to the public square. The Capitol Park (a small park with a Pavilion Stage) now stands where the Capitol stood. Benton, IL is also the home to actor John Malkovich (his family still runs the local newspaper.) Also, home to Louise Harrison, sister of Beatle George Harrison. He came here the summer BEFORE they played the Sullivan Show and became famous. The first Beatle recording ever played in the U.S. was broadcast on radio station WFRX in West Frankfort, IL (7 miles to the south of Benton.)

The Pyramid Players are still performing annual summer seasons at the Rend Lake College Theatre in Ina, IL.

Come visit us sometime…quite an historic little town.

B Summers

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on November 17, 2008 at 9:58 pm

The February 2, 1952, issue of Boxoffice Magazine reported that the Capitol Theatre in Benton had suffered heavy smoke and water damage during a conflagration which destroyed an adjacent four story building which contained, among other things, the theater manager’s office. The Capitol’s electric sign (whether this was a vertical sign or the name sign on the marquee is not specified) was also destroyed. Flames were prevented from entering the auditorium by what the article calls “a stout firewall.”

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on July 29, 2011 at 3:52 pm

The Google Maps pin icon is near the southwest corner of the square, but the article Ken linked to on August 23, 2008, says that the Capitol Theatre was at the southeast corner of the square. The band shell the article mentions has now been built on part of the theater’s site, and can be seen in Google Street View.

cecilray on August 13, 2015 at 4:04 pm

It was one of the first theaters in the area to show “Cinemascope” movies. “The Robe” was the first shown there. We thought the screen was “huge.” It was a great place to see movies.

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