Rocket Cinema

226 19th Street,
Rock Island, IL 61201

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Rocket Cinema 1940

Viewing: Photo | Street View

Opened as the Rocket Cinema in 1940, the single screen movie house was operated by Tri-State Theatres. All 800-seats were on a single level. Interior decorations were carried out by Hanns Teichert. It descended into discount status in the 1970’s and closed as the Capri Cinema at the end of the 1980’s.

A nightclub was later installed inside the Capri Cinema, but it too closed.

In spring of 2005, the theater, renamed the Brew and View II at the Rocket Cinema, reopened with, as the name implied, a “brew and view” format, which also featured live acts. This lasted until March 2006, and the building again became vacant. In the summer of 2010, it was taken over by a comedy club.

Contributed by Mike Geater

Recent comments (view all 23 comments)

milesrich
milesrich on June 28, 2008 at 4:04 am

In the late 50’s, and 60’s, the Rocket/Capri was a first run house.

Joe Vogel
Joe Vogel on March 22, 2009 at 3:22 am

The Rocket Theatre was featured in an article by theater decorator Hanns Teichert in the March 2, 1940, issue of Boxoffice Magazine. The new Tri-States Theatres house was designed by the Des Moines architectural firm Wetherell & Harrison.

CSWalczak
CSWalczak on August 20, 2010 at 5:29 pm

This theater is being leased to ComedySportz, an improvisational comedy troupe: View link

Mike Rogers
Mike Rogers on August 20, 2010 at 10:36 pm

Already a second run house in 1982.Next is closure.

JeffAdamson
JeffAdamson on September 13, 2010 at 6:48 pm

We have started work this week bringing the theater up to code. The bathrooms that were located in the basement, are being moved to the first floor for handicapped accessibility. Even though some major changes have been made to the inside over the years, we are trying to reproduce the art deco streamline look to the best of our capabilities. The screen is still there, but the projectors are gone be will be replaced soon. The venue will be used for weekly live performances and future film festivals.

JeffAdamson
JeffAdamson on November 28, 2010 at 11:38 pm

The old Rocket Theater has been renamed The Establishment Theater and opened this Thanksgiving weekend to three sold out shows. With a mix of improvisational comedy from ComedySportz and original films from local studios, tickets sales are exceeding expectations. After the original colors were back on the outside building and every light working on the marquee, the theater grabs your attention.

JeffAdamson
JeffAdamson on March 4, 2011 at 12:45 am

Pictures from the website.
View link

TomBarrister
TomBarrister on September 8, 2011 at 6:04 pm

I remember the Rocket/Capri theater well. It was originally first-run, except for the Fort. You can see the old WHBF (TV and radio) tower behind it. Half a block south (to the viewer’s left) and catty-corner was the Fort Theater, which got most of the first-run movies. In the early to mid 70’s, the Capri became a budget theater: $1 matinees and I believe $2 evenings. Of course it was second-run by then. In the early 1980s it went to 99 cents anytime.

The Showcase Cinemas in nearby Milan, which opened in 1968 with 6 screens, eventually put all of the downtown theaters out of business. It went out of business itself in 2001.

Tinseltoes
Tinseltoes on June 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Here’s a link to the 1940 trade article mentioned above by Joe Vogel: boxofficemagazine

Charlieg55
Charlieg55 on September 26, 2013 at 1:30 am

Tom Barrister is wrong about the Showcase Cinemas in Milan, Il. This theater complex originally opened with 2 screens, expanded to 3 in 1971, to 6 1975 (they split cinemas 1,2 and 3 in half). By 1980, it was expanded to 11 by once again splitting the existing theaters. Sitting next to the cinemas until its demise in 1978, was the “Memri Drive-In” theater. A “Hy Vee” grocery store now sits at the site of both movie locations. I worked at the “Showcase Cinemas” from late 1970 until mid 1972 as an usher.

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