325 Park Central E,
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The Gillioz Theatre was built by M.E. Gillioz in 1926 for the sum of $300,000. When it opened on October 11, 1926, it was the largest movie palace in southwestern Missouri until the Fox Theatre in Joplin opened in 1932, also built by Gillioz. The opening film was Reginald Denny in “Take It From Me”. The ‘Singing Organist’ Glenn Stanbach opened the Wurlitzer organ.
The Gillioz Theatre remained open as a movie theater until 1979, when the Gillioz Theatre, already beginning to deteriorate, closed-seemingly forever. Legal wrangling kept the theatre dormant for years but it was finally placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.
Finally in 1991, the dust settled when the Springfield Landmarks Preservation Trust bought the beleaguered theatre. Over the past decade, the theatre has been raising money and finalizing its plans to return as an entertainment mecca for the city of Springfield.
A $2.6 million restoration project to restore the theatre and incorporate it into the planned Jim D. Morris Arts Center was completed in 2006, when the Gillioz Theatre reopened in October of that year.
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